Getting married is supposed to be one of the happiest moments of your life, an unforgettable day where your love is symbolised by a beautiful ceremony for all your family and friends. Of course, at the start, you don’t really want to think about all the legal considerations involved – who does? But it’s important that you do, no matter how unlikely you may think it is that you could get caught up in a divorce. This article runs through some of the legal matters you may want to consider before you get married.
Money can tear you apart
It’s important to realise that money is quite a large factor in the survival of many marital relationships. Some couples go for a prenuptial agreement. This is a document that allows the two people involved to disclose their financial situation to one another before marrying. Although it hardly seems romantic, it’s a good way of making financial affairs clear to one another early on, and it allows couples to figure out a good way of organising their finances in their married life. Before you get married, make sure you talk to a legal representative, like Co-Op Legal Services, about things like your finances.
Make vendors sign a contract
The wedding has to go without a hitch – of course, they rarely do, but you’ll want to avoid disasters like the caterer disappearing on the eve of the big event. Binding all the vendors involved to a contract will mean that, although your guests went hungry, you can still get something out of the vendor in a small-claims court.
Changing your name
Once you’re married, you will receive a marriage certificate, where, if desired so, you may change your surname to that of your partner’s. Before doing so, make sure you discuss this thoroughly with your partner to make sure it’s the thing you want to do. Additionally, you’ll have to inform your employer, your bank and any other important body that you have changed your name. Getting married really does involve a lot of paperwork!
Update your will
This only applies if you’ve already made a will; but if you do have one, you will need to update it with the arrival of your partner into your life as a permanent presence. You’ll have to consider the finer details of how your estate will be distributed in the event of your passing away, as well as how much you want to allocate to your partner.