Planning for a wedding is not just about beautiful dresses, wedding invitations, and finding the perfect venue. You must also carefully consider various legal obligations and options to ensure you enter a safe, secure, and legal marriage to your partner. Here are the legal matters you should sort out before the big day.
Apply for a Marriage License
There are specific restrictions on who you can marry in various US states. Do your research regarding your state’s legal requirements before you apply for a marriage license. For example, while the legal age to marry in most states is 18 years old, there are some states that will allow you marry younger than 18 if you have parental consent. Also, note that parental consent is a legal requirement for couples under the age of 21 in Mississippi.
Ensure You Have Officially Terminated Any Prior Marriage
You cannot legally marry your partner if you have failed to terminate a prior marriage. If you or your partner have been wed before, you may need to provide some states with proof of its termination, such as copies of a divorce decree or a copy of their deceased partner’s death certificate. You will then be free to marry your partner legally.
Arrange a Prenuptial Agreement
While you will not want to think of divorce before you have even got married, it can sadly be a realistic end for many relationships. You must, therefore, take a logical approach to marriage to ensure both you and your spouse are protected should the marriage breakdown. No-one enters a marriage with the aim of divorcing, but it can happen, and you will be glad you arranged a prenuptial agreement prior to your wedding if it happens to you. Find a prenup lawyer to arrange a prenuptial agreement, meaning that if the worse were to happen, your money and estate, or their money and estate are safe and secure.
A Binding Wedding Contract
Finding a beautiful venue is crucial for your wedding day, as you will want to ensure everything is perfect for you, your partner, and guests. As you will not want any nasty surprises to arise along the way, it could be a wise idea to arrange a legal binding contract with the venue owner, so you will know exactly what you are paying for and what you will both expect to receive on your wedding day.
Opening a Joint Bank Account
While married couples have no legal obligation to open a joint bank account, it is important to remember that a spouse is legally entitled to 50% of their husband or wife’s assets. You should, therefore, decide whether to pool all your money together or to divide incomes into separate accounts. Sit down together to decide how you will pay for life’s big investments and savings. Finances can be a common source of stress, arguments, and tension, so the conversation before the big day could help you to avoid conflict once you have both said: “I do.”