Examining Remarriage and Redivorce

  • While not occurring often, remarriages to a previous spouse and subsequent redivorces can be complicated situations.
  • Studies show that remarriage to the same individual increase the odds to redivorce.
  • Children can find themselves in emotional turmoil over the act of remarriage and subsequent redivorce.

Many individuals do not even get married. In fact, one in five adults ages 25 and older (approximately 42 million people) has never been married, as of 2012, according to Pew Research Center. These people never experience the highs and lows of a marital relationship, and thus never have to go through the divorce experience.

Then, there are people who go through the divorce experience, dividing custody, finances, and assets, only to somehow remarry the same individual that they had previously divorced.

It happens

Granted, it does not occur often. According to a study of 1,001 reunited couples by Nancy Kalish, professor emeritus at California State University, published in the Chicago Tribune, about 6 percent said they married, divorced, and remarried the same person. Additionally, 72 percent of those who reunited stayed together, specifically if the initial separations occurred at a young age.

In order to marry the person that you previously divorced, it requires a considerable amount of effort and commitment to resolve the previous irreconcilable differences and repair their damaged relationship, according to The Huffington Post.

Many times when individuals remarry someone new, they have a certain amount of baggage from a previous relationship to sort through. However, when someone is remarrying the person that they had previously divorced, the baggage being brought into the new marriage is the previous marriage itself.

When you decide to remarry the spouse that you had previously divorced, you are actively making the choice to improve on the previous habits of the relationship. You may look to communicate more often this time around or change some of the habits or behaviors that used to be the cause for conflict in the previous marriage.

Examining redivorce

If that does not occur, there is a chance you can find yourself facing a redivorce. While uncommon, redivorces do occur, creating a complicated pattern. Many who have studied marriage and divorce have looked into remarriage and redivorce, and the results of their studies have varied.

Research published in Ethology and Sociobiology found that when looking at marriage as a reproductive contract, the absence of children in a marriage was not only conducive to divorce and remarriage, but increases the likelihood of redivorce, as well.

Researchers from Brigham State University examined how reliable and valid the Marital Status Inventory, which was established in 1980 to provide information about perceived divorce potential, is in present-day relationships. In doing so, it found that any increases in the number of remarriages after a divorce results in increases in ending marriages through redivorce of at least one of the partners.

This phenomenon is predicated to the relationship between two willing individuals failing for a second time. So often during marriages, one individual can find themselves asleep at the wheel in some capacity and taking their spouse for granted, but it is a lot more difficult during the second marriage with the same person. Both spouses are actively choosing to give their relationship another chance to succeed, and it still did not work.

Given the fact that you have already gone through the divorce process with this person before, mediation may be the best option, in order to settle a redivorce. Informal mediation with both parties and both attorneys present will allow for the communication necessary to expedite the process.

As mentally and emotionally taxing as the divorce process can be, there are two sentiments that one can feel during a redivorce. On one hand, many simply have trouble believing that they are going through the divorce process again, especially with the same soon-to-be ex-spouse. On the other hand, some feel that this is painless experience, due to the fact that they already have felt the feelings of divorcing this person the first time. Therefore, when the redivorce occurs, there are less emotional consequences, unless there are children involved.

Children and redivorce

Children can create an additional layer to remarriage and redivorce that nobody can ever prepare for. In reuniting as a couple, the emotional impact of another separation can create a level of distrust and negative emotion that can last for years.

Seeking professional help when marital trouble is on the horizon is your best bet.

Because of how infrequent they may occur, there is no plan or strategy recommended for handling these situations, but as with most interactions with significant others, politeness, civility, and honesty are always helpful in navigating the complicated emotional tapestry that this entails.

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