Whether the person doling out wisdom is Abby, Prudence, or Ask A Manager, advice columns are as popular as ever. They allow us to peek into someone else’s life from a safe distance, and commiserate or judge at will. Recently, a letter written to Abby caught our eye. A guy by the name “Working Backward” wanted to know if it would be okay to divorce his current wife and date his first wife.
I was married to a wonderful, beautiful woman when we were much younger. We got married because of an unplanned pregnancy. After some years, we both had grown in different directions, and we divorced. We remained friends even after I remarried.
I’m now in the early stages of my second divorce because I am lonely in a marriage where there’s no communication or intimacy. I have tried working things out; my wife isn’t interested, so I have given up trying. We no longer have a physical bond, but I refuse to lower myself to cheat to fulfill my needs.
I find myself drawn to my first wife, and I know she feels the same. While I’d like to see how life as a single guy of 55-plus would be, I also want to date my ex. We have a child together, and we have more in common now than before.
Can a second time around really work? Or should I first play the field once I am divorced?
As divorce lawyers, we’re not surprised to see this question because it is a fairly common situation — even here in Reading. Nor were we surprised by Abby’s response. She suggested “Working Backward” and wife number one get premarital couples counseling to ensure this time around isn’t a repeat of their first.
Solid advice. We would go a step further and recommend the letter writer and first wife talk to an experienced family law attorney as well. If the couple decides to remarry, they should modify their divorce settlement and craft a pre or postnuptial agreement.
The Court Is Not Big Brother
Even if it seems stupid to keep paying child support or spousal support, aka alimony, when you are living under the same roof, those payments are still legally required until the terms of the divorce agreement say payments are no longer required, or you seek a modification. The court does not care and will not notice you reunited with your ex unless you bring that information to the court’s attention.
This is true in every situation where modifications are possible. If you or your ex makes a significant life change, and you think your support payments should change as well, it is up to you to ask the court to approve a modification.
Our firm has helped a handful of couples get back together after divorce. We always push them to consider drafting a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in addition to seeking a modification to their divorce settlement.
There is a misconception that prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are only for couples who think they might someday get divorced. In reality, every couple should consider drafting one because most of us aren’t wedding our high school sweethearts a couple of weeks after graduation. Most partners bring baggage — both good and bad — into the relationship, and a marital agreement allows a couple to work through that and decide how they are going to structure their lives going forward.
If either partner has been married before, even to one another, a marital agreement can discuss child support and spousal support obligations, outline what portion of an existing retirement account goes to the prior spouse, and generally acknowledge the fact that the previously married partner is bringing certain obligations to the marriage.
We Fight For The Results You Need
If you are rekindling a romance with a past flame, our team can help you navigate the legal issues that may trip you up or put unneeded stress on the relationship. We aren’t here to judge you, or try and talk you out of something you know in your heart of hearts is what you want, we are here to fight for the results you need. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.