What are the Legal Aspects of Getting Married?
Marriage is a time for celebration and love, but it is also a time that can seem stressful. There are many aspects that couples must consider before marriage, both legal and otherwise. Failure to do so could cause irreparable damage to the married couple later on.
The words “mine” and “yours” no longer apply in a relationship when two people get married as everything is shared. Some legal aspects to think about before marriage include:
- Assets (such as a house or a car)
- Liabilities (money owed)
- Name change
What Questions Should I Ask Before Marriage?
Marriage should be entered into after a sound and thoughtful discussion. Questions that should be asked before marriage include:
- Where will we live?
- Who will take whose last name?
- What is my spouse’s credit history? and
- What are my partner’s thoughts on raising children?
What are Pre/Postnuptial Agreements, and Do I Need Them in My Marriage?
Prenuptial AgreementsSometimes, before getting married, couples will enter into a written agreement that determines what financial obligations and/or assets each spouse will receive or retain should the marriage end in dissolution. This is commonly referred to as a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements can sometimes be lengthy and strenuous documents and a lawyer might be needed to make sure each party is protected. The following are a list of examples as to why a prenuptial agreement might be needed:
- Specifies each party’s assets, debts, and rights before marriage.
- Determines amount of spousal support, dissolution of assets if the marriage ends.
- In event of a spouse’s death it distributes his or her estate according to their wishes.
Postnuptial agreements are very similar to prenuptial agreements in that each spouse still enters into a written agreement that determines what financial obligations and/or assets each spouse will receive or retain should the marriage end in dissolution. The only difference is that this written agreement is made after the couple has already been married. Also, each partner is privy to more specific information about each other’s assets in a postnuptial agreement than in a prenuptial agreement.
Planning a marriage can seem like a difficult enough task and adding the legal aspects of what a marriage entails can make it a very strenuous process. Sometimes you need the help of an experienced marriage attorney to sort it all out.