When two people are in love and planning to spend the rest of their lives together, lawyering up is probably the last thing on their minds. In planning a wedding, no one adds ‘talk to a lawyer on the list of things to be done before the big day.
It is after things turn sour that people regret not having the important legal talks beforehand. Of course, it is not only the bitter thought of possible divorce that requires seeing a lawyer. Several other legal aspects of marriage need to be sorted out before saying ‘I do.’
But marriage financially alters the lives of a couple completely. Their legal and tax statuses change, and an individual is intimately affected by their partner’s financial choices. With your head in the clouds but feet on the ground, here are some legal aspects of a marriage to talk about before the big day.
Considering the Effects of the Marriage on Any Existing Children
If there are any children from a previous relationship, marriage will have a huge impact on them. A discussion that includes all parties that will be affected by the decision of marriage needs to be had. This includes people like the child’s other biological parent, the future spouse, and the child if they are of the age when they can offer intelligent insights.
Sorting Out Money and Property Issues
This might be one of the most important discussions to have before marriage. It can be a tough conversation, one that requires the couple to descend from cloud nine, but it cannot be avoided. If avoided, it can lead to some serious consequences down the line that will then become way too complicated. Most couples will choose to open up a joint bank, but that might become a cause of some tension later on. Property rights are another important issue that deserves a conversation.
Both partners need to disclose their financial status and circumstances to one another. This means disclosing the assets and liabilities and obtaining credit reports and credit scores. When the picture is clear, it can help understand how finances will be dealt with in the future and saves a person from nasty surprises when it is too late.
It is quite common for one partner to earn more, or be in possession of more assets than the other. If there is such a difference in earning power, it might be a wise choice to discuss a prenuptial agreement. Although it is not the most romantic of conversations, it is a necessary one. Most couples hesitate to approach such a subject but in this case, it is better to be safe than sorry.
A prenuptial contract can guarantee protection to an individual’s assets, along with assigning responsibility for future debts a couple may acquire after marriage. It will also ensure that children from previous relationships are provided for. In the unfortunate case of divorce, a prenuptial agreement can define spousal support.
After marriage, a couple will be seeking joint financial ventures like car loans and mortgages and opening joint accounts. These joint financial ventures will have an effect on both parties’ future credit scores.
Planning the Wedding
Planning a marriage is a stressful ordeal that can take its toll on the parties involved. Again, an open and honest conversation will make things a lot easier.
Right off the bat, one of the biggest questions to answer is how the wedding will be financed. Who will be the one to finance it? What is the maximum budget allotted to the wedding? The answers to these questions are what starts off the marriage, and good, well-thought-out answers to these questions will set a great tone for the marriage.
While it is tradition for the father of the bride to shoulder the finances of the wedding, this is often not the case or not even possible. Many times, couples will decide to finance their own weddings, and often, they will not have a very large budget to work with. This can be the cause of great tension in the relationship, but a great wedding can be put together on any budget.
What is important to remember is to remain within the budget. Couples will often neglect a more important financial priority like saving for a house to finance their wedding instead. In the short run, this may seem like a good idea but spending lavishly on one day to compromise on more important factors is neglectful and unwise.
Another decision that needs to be made when it comes to the wedding is about the ring. Rings can be as cost-effective as $10 or as costly as 5 figure brands. Make sure there is enough insurance before investing in a ring that’s on the heavier side in terms of money in case the ring gets lost or stolen.
Divorce lawyers in Westminster recommend having these conversations prior to getting married because it eases the road ahead when two individuals come together to share life and everything that comes with it. Divorce lawyers in Erie advise that having these open, honest, and difficult conversations now will save a lot of pain and misery in the future. It is not a bad idea to sit with a lawyer in Broomfield, or even a child custody lawyer in Erie if there are children in the picture that the marriage will impact, and talk out the best possible plan to lead a healthy life together in every regard.