You might not think you have anything in common with the billionaire ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, but if you are getting divorced for the second time, you share that experience with MacKenzie Scott. She filed for divorce from her second husband in September of 2022, less than two years into their marriage. The details of her divorce are under wraps, of course, but it is a given that she probably had an airtight prenuptial agreement, and the dissolution of the marriage will be fairly straightforward.
This is less likely to be the case with the average American's second divorce. For many people, a second divorce is much more complicated than their first. We discuss potential challenges and how our experienced family lawyer can meet them on your behalf.
Why Second Divorces Are Often More Difficult
Some studies show that the likelihood of divorce increases with each marriage, so while nearly half of all first marriages end in divorce, about 75 percent of third marriages don't last. This could be because people who have already gotten divorced once don't fight as hard to save a marriage, or it could be because later marriages are less likely to have young children, so less is at stake in a divorce.
However, that doesn't mean a second or third divorce will be a simple matter. Factors that can complicate a later divorce include:
- Support payments. If you were already paying spousal support to your first spouse, it could be financially difficult if you were ordered to pay alimony to another ex. Likewise, you might have to pay child support for children from the second marriage as well as continuing to support any minor children from your first marriage.
- Child custody and visitation. It will be challenging to manage parenting time with children from two marriages. If you were involved in raising stepchildren in your second marriage, you might want to spend time with them as well as your biological children. This juggling act could become very complicated very quickly.
- Asset division. Second marriages are more complicated in terms of marital property vs. separate property. What did each of you bring to the marriage, and how should it be divided? People getting married for a second or third time are generally older and might have accumulated more wealth to deal with in a divorce. The more money there is, the more contentious asset division can become.
- Emotional difficulties. You might find that your family and friends are less supportive this time around, or you might beat yourself up for not being able to make this marriage work. However, it is important not to let your emotions get in the way of securing what you need and deserve in the divorce agreement.
If your marriage is over, the potential complications of divorce won't matter to you as much as just ending the union and getting on with your life. You might not even think about the challenges you face, and you could leave things on the table that could have been negotiated more favorably for you. That is why you need an experienced divorce attorney to walk you through the factors that could cause problems before you file or even before you discuss divorce with your second spouse.
Trust James E. Short, PLC With Your Second Divorce
The sooner you consult our Virginia family law attorney in the divorce process, the more likely it is that we can help you get a fair and appropriate divorce agreement. You should not settle for less than you deserve because this is not your first divorce, and you should not compromise simply because it will be difficult to reach an agreement with your ex. When you contact James Short, he will explain your rights and options and help you figure out the best way to get what you need out of your second—or third—divorce. Contact us online or call our office at 757-410-5042.