It’s common for people to want to remarry after a divorce. After all, love doesn’t always work out the first time, and a new marriage can offer hope for a fresh start.
However, it’s crucial to ensure you meet all Texas legal requirements before doing so. Otherwise, you risk canceling your new marriage. Continue reading to learn about the criteria for remarrying after divorce in Texas and what could cause a new marriage to be voided.
Importance of the Waiting Period for Remarrying After Divorce
Newly divorced people are typically barred from immediately entering into a new marriage in Texas. The law in our state requires a mandatory wait of 30 days after the divorce is finalized before either party can remarry.
The waiting period begins on the day that the judge issues the divorce decree. On the 31st day after the decree is issued, both parties are free to remarry as they desire.
Why is there a wait time? Consider a few reasons.
1. The divorce process can be emotionally charged. The waiting period allows for a “cooling off” period where both parties can carefully evaluate the divorce agreement and ensure they are comfortable with it before proceeding to the next stage of life.
2. The law attempts to introduce safeguards to help prevent one party from being coerced into a new marriage shortly after finalizing a divorce.
3. If any new information arises during the 30-day wait period that could impact the original divorce agreement, either party can file an appeal or even a motion for new divorce proceedings.
In this type of situation, the waiting period will likely be extended until the matter is resolved. However, the judge could dismiss the new proceedings if they find that the information is not significant enough to warrant a change to the agreement.
Exceptions to the 30-Day Wait Period
Texas law is very strict about the 30-day gap between the end of one marriage at the start of a new marriage. However, there are exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
If either party wants to remarry before the end of the 30-day wait, they can file a petition with the court asking for a waiver of the waiting period. The court will only grant a waiver if there are extenuating circumstances. Consider two common examples.
1. If the military will deploy you or your soon-to-be spouse during the waiting period, the court may waive the waiting period so you can get married before deployment.
2. If you or your future spouse will undergo a significant surgical procedure where you want to establish Power of Attorney (POA), you may be able to convince the court to waive the waiting period.
There could be other situations that pertain to your situation. The judge will ultimately decide whether or not to grant a waiver based on the facts and circumstances of each case.
Reasons Why a New Marriage Could Be Voided
In some cases, a new marriage may be annulled — or declared null and void — by the court. An annulment is different from a divorce because it treats the marriage as if it never happened.
While there are many possible grounds for annulment, the most common scenario for a marriage to be annulled is when it occurs within the mandatory 30-day waiting period and a court grants no legal exception.
If the court discovers that either party remarries before the end of the post-divorce waiting period for the previous marriage, a judge has the ability to void the marriage.
When a marriage is annulled, the court will typically order that any property or assets acquired during the marriage be returned to their original owner.
For example, if you and your new spouse bought a house during your new marriage that was in the spouse’s name only, the court may order that the house be transferred back to your spouse. You would have no legal access to the property.
To avoid messy situations, it’s vital to ensure you meet all the requirements for remarriage under the Texas Family Code before tying the knot again.
Consult With an Attorney to Avoid Remarriage Legal Issues
There are many potential pitfalls when remarrying after divorce. If you’re considering remarriage, but you’re not sure if everything is lined up properly, I recommend working with a Texas divorce attorney such as myself. I can help ensure that your new marriage is legal and will not be later annulled.
If there are restrictions that you would like to bypass, I will review your case, work with you and the court, and help you file the necessary paperwork to request a waiver of the waiting period.
As a qualified divorce lawyer, I can also review your original divorce decree to ensure there are no stipulations on remarrying and there are no other outstanding legal issues that could hold up your new marriage.
When you turn to my law firm, I will work diligently to help you resolve any outstanding legal issues from previous relationships and verify that you are ready to remarry without the risk of having the new marriage voided.
I currently help spouses in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, and Harris County. If you live in one of these counties, please schedule a consultation to discuss the specifics of your case so that you can prepare to remarry in Texas.
Call my offices at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to discuss your situation. I look forward to assisting you with your plans to remarry after a divorce.