Although remarrying a spouse might seem like a rare occurrence in the United States, it might be more common than you realize. In fact, recent statistics suggest that as many as 15% of couples reconcile after they separate. While only 6% of couples actually remarry after divorcing, this number is still notable – and it equates to about one in every 15 divorcing couples remarrying. Many spouses who divorce spend years wishing they could get back together with their exes, but what actually happens if their dreams come true? What about all the assets that were divided during the divorce? What if one spouse walked away with the family home? Does the other spouse regain ownership of the property? What if one spouse walked away with a 50% share in the family business? Does the business go back into the hands of the other spouse who started the business?
The System of Separate Property Still Applies
While this situation can lead to some confusion, the law is actually quite clear: Any property owned by a spouse prior to the marriage is considered “separate property” and is not eligible for property division. Even if this property was once owned by the other spouse, a divorce and a subsequent remarriage do not “cancel out” the initial division of assets.
For example, a spouse might have divorced with full ownership of the family home – perhaps due to the fact that they also gained primary physical custody over the children. Even if the spouses remarry each other after the children move out, the home will remain the property of the spouse who received it during the divorce. It would also be considered separate property.
This means that if the spouses divorced a second time, the family home would be completely ineligible for property division – despite being marital property during the first divorce. This is something spouses should keep in mind if they think remarrying their ex will help them get their assets back.
Spouses Could Commingle Assets During the Second Marriage
Of course, spouses might choose to commingle these assets during the marriage. For example, the spouse with the family home might agree to add the other spouse to the title. One spouse might also agree to make mortgage payments on a home despite not owning it. A spouse might contribute to the value of the property in other ways by completing renovation work. In these situations, the assets might become eligible for property division in a second divorce. At the end of the day, couples can always take matters into their own hands by making their assets part of a single-family estate once again.
The Power of Postnuptial and Prenuptial Agreements When Exes Remarry
Postnuptial and prenuptial agreements can be especially effective when exes remarry. First of all, there is a high chance of a second divorce if the same issues arise again. Secondly, it helps consolidate assets that have already been divided in the first divorce or protect separate assets from going back on the chopping board, so to speak.