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Preparing for your second marriage? Here are some tips

Re-marriages are different than first marriages. There are stepchildren, visitation schedules, ex-spouses and ex-in-laws just to name a few. But these four tips can help you prepare for a happy and successful re-marriage.
Aaron Anderson, FamilyShare Modified: August 15, 2014 at 11:44 pm •  Published: August 18, 2014

Your first marriage was great - for a while. But then things turned south and you divorced. Maybe there were things that you wished you had seen from the beginning or maybe you just didn't know quite what to expect. Either way, you're all the wiser now and you feel like you're ready to get married again. Good for you! There's nothing that takes more courage than remarrying after you've seen some of the bad things that can happen in a marriage.

But remarriage is a lot different than your first marriage. For one thing, you didn't have kids when you got married the first time. You also didn't have a bitter ex. And depending on when you got married, you probably didn't have a house or a 401(k), either. But now that you're older and life is more complicated, you have more things to consider when you get married. And because there are more things to consider, there are more things you need to plan for to ensure you have a successful and happy marriage the second time.

1. Discuss child visitation

What kind of custody schedule do you have with your kids? What kind of custody schedule does your soon-to-be-spouse have? Coordinating custody schedules is one of the most practical and one of the most useful things to do before you get married. That way it helps you adjust to living together at the beginning more easily and you can enjoy your "honeymoon phase" more.

2. Talk openly about finances

Finances is one of the least romantic things to talk about. So when you're engaged, it's usually one of the things that are overlooked the most. But when you're getting re-married you have more assets and more things to consider which makes talking about finances absolutely necessary.

For example, discuss who pays for your children's birthday presents. Do each of you pay for your own children's Christmas presents or do you both pitch in for each others' children? Are any adult children still financially dependent? Does your soon-to-be-spouse expect you to pitch in?

And be sure to talk about what each others' financial obligations are to your ex-spouses. What kind of child support payments are being made? Are there any back payments that are still owed? Are either of you still paying for a house you're not living in? Is your paycheck expected to help your spouse with their divorce obligations? These kinds of things can make a big difference in your livable income and lifestyle. You don't want to be surprised, so make sure to talk about it beforehand. That way you can make an informed decision about whether the marriage is financially feasible.

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