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Marriage Replay: Divorcing and Remarrying Your Spouse

Marriage Replay: Divorcing and Remarrying Your SpouseIf you have divorced and remarried your spouse, you may be thinking that things will be different this time. This is normal as you both have most likely settled your quarrels and put everything in the past behind you. Now, you are now living together in your spouse’s home and you want to start investing and making the space yours.

“Second Time Around” recently wrote MarketWatch asking about this exact scenario, saying:

My husband and I remarried after five years of being divorced. In October 2019, during the time we were divorced, I purchased a home in Louisiana. In March 2020, my ex-husband had a home custom built in Georgia for $445,000; it’s now worth $700,000.

In December 2020, we remarried. I contemplated selling my home in Louisiana and moving into his home in Georgia. We planned to put the $200,000 proceeds from the sale of my house into major additions and remodeling of his house. I’ve already added an $8,000 California Closet to the main bedroom of his home. I have one adult son, and my husband has two adult children.

How do I protect my investment in the aforementioned house if he expires or we divorce again?

While it may seem great that both parties were able to work things out and restart their marriage after a divorce, Quentin from MarketWatch reminds the writer that they have been down this road before. He warns, “History has a horrible habit of repeating itself.”

Steps to take to protect yourself in this situation

Even though only around six percent of divorced couples end up remarrying each other, it still can happen. Therefore, if you find yourself rekindling your relationship with your ex-spouse and decide to remarry, there may be some changes depending on how many years have passed since the divorce. For example, if five to ten 10 have passed, there is a chance that you and your spouse started new jobs, moved to new cities, bought new homes, and began living totally different lives than you were during the first marriage.

As a result, you both may need to make important decisions after getting married, which may include where you will live or who will live in whose home. While the easiest way to settle this may be to move into your spouse’s home and start making it yours, you need to think long and hard about this because you want to ensure that you are protected.

Here are a few important steps that you should consider to protect yourself:

  • Putting your name on the deed: First and foremost, before you begin doing any renovations or investing in a home with your own money, you want to make sure that your name is on the deed along with your spouse’s. If you have owned property before, you know that a deed is a legal document that states that a person is the owner of a property and holds the title. Therefore, it is crucial that you both are on this document, implying that you both are the owners of the home. This can help you avoid probate in the future as well.
  • Putting your name on the mortgage: Putting your name on the deed should be enough, but consider putting your name on the mortgage, too. A mortgage is the contract between the borrower and a lender, which explains that the borrower will repay the lender the amount needed for the home. Some people use the terms mortgage and deed interchangeably, but these are two very different documents. Therefore, you want to make sure that your name is on both.
  • Creating and signing a postmarital agreement: Next, you should create a postmarital agreement with your spouse. It does not matter if you did not have a postmarital agreement in place for the first marriage; you should make sure that you think of the possibility of divorcing again and create one this time. During this process, you both will go over who will get what in the event of divorce, and you both will need to sign the agreement.
  • Changing your estate plan: You and your spouse should also change or update your estate plans to include the home. You can work with a Charlotte family law attorney who knows the ins and outs of divorces, estate planning, postnuptial agreements, and dividing marriage property. They can explain the entire process and what you need to do to protect yourself as well as any children who may be involved or left behind when you or your spouse pass away.

It can be difficult to think logically, especially when you are newly married again and everything seems to be going much better this time. However, it is critical that you remember that you and your spouse divorced for a reason before, and there is always the possibility that things could take a turn for the worse again. Therefore, even though you may never have to face the legal issues of protecting your rights or dividing assets, it is always recommended to be prepared in advance for these “just in case” scenarios.

How does Charlotte, NC handle dividing assets and property during divorce?

Even though those who have already gone through divorce likely already know how the process of dividing assets and property goes, we want to briefly explain how this works for those who have not gone through this or may not have a good understanding of it.

North Carolina is an equal distribution state. This means that if you and your spouse end up getting a divorce and are unable to come to an agreement about your property rights, the court will step in and make a decision on what is fair. Most of the time, the law ensures that both spouses receive a 50/50 division. However, there are several factors that go into the decision of determining what exactly is fair and equitable, such as income, debts, property, prior obligations, age, marriage length, health, retirement, and more.

It is important to point out that North Carolina considers “all real and personal property acquired by a spouse before marriage” as separate property. This means that the home you want to invest in is considered separate property because your spouse bought it before you remarried. There is the option that you can say that you commingled your assets by investing money into your spouse’s home, but keep in mind that this can cause major disputes and big challenges during a divorce.

Overall, it is advisable to put your name on the deed and mortgage as soon as possible, ask an attorney for advice about your unique situation and circumstances, and remain cautious and careful as you have been down this road once before.

At Epperson Law Group, we take our clients’ questions and concerns very seriously. Therefore, if you simply need legal advice or information about your property or anything else involving your marriage or divorce, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Charlotte divorce attorneys at your earliest opportunity. Call our office or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment at our Boone, Concord, Weddington, or Charlotte location today.