Marriage can be an exhilarating time for any new couple, but with it comes a lot of new changes! As people, we tend not to like impulse decisions, so why do most couples enter a marriage before talking to a professional? Love can blind us and leave us in an awkward situation, so it is best to do a little research and sit down with a lawyer ahead of time!
We recommend a divorce mediation lawyer since if the marriage goes south, you will more than likely be talking to them anyway. A divorce lawyer can help you understand the ins and outs of your marriage and why it may be a good idea for you to be prepared when life’s challenges arise.
While it can seem like a prenuptial agreement can be negative for a relationship, it will save you from so much stress moving forward. The concept is simple: before your marriage, an attorney can help you set up an agreement that states how your assets, debts, and other marital property in the case of a divorce. There are plenty of reasons to pursue a prenup, such as:
- Either or both spouses have already been married
- There are children involved
- Wealth disparity
- Debt disparity
- One or both spouses are business owners.
While it may seem counterproductive to plan for divorce before your wedding, having an understanding of these topics can go a long way in creating a better relationship. The idea is to have the difficult conversations at the start and be prepared for the issues in the future. Below are some other common agreements made in a prenup.
Even if you do not speak with an attorney, we recommend having the conversation with your spouse about children. Apart from understanding the medical history of your spouse, it is very important to know about the type of parents they aim to be and, in the case of divorce, know who has custody of the children.
Custody, especially for spouses with unrelated children, is a must-have conversation prior to marriage. In most divorce cases, the court will grant custody of the children to the spouse they think is best suited to care for them. Regardless, knowing where you both stand is good for any healthy relationship.
Your finances will also merge in your marriage, and that also means debts. Your lawyer can help you understand the complexities of this merger and why it is important to be thorough with your partner. Try to set goals, understand your budgets, determine who carries more financial responsibility and the debt you bring to the marriage. Finances are just another part of the marriage, and they do not need to cause more of a strain than necessary.
4. Understanding your Rights
With marriage comes a variety of new rights that are afforded to you and your spouse. It can be very complicated at first, which is why we recommend you speak to a lawyer. They will walk you through how your taxes change since now, in the eyes of the government, you and your spouse are now a combined entity. Insurance, inheritance, and benefits also become shared. For example, even in divorce, your earned retirement benefits are shared with your spouse since they are entitled to it by law.
In addition to all of these benefits, you can now also open joint accounts, make medical decisions for an incapacitated spouse, and are allowed to pursue legal action in the case of wrongful death. These merely scratch the surface of the rights you earn in marriage, so be sure to know how your marriage changes things for you.
These topics and more are all reasons you should sit down with a lawyer and take the time to understand how marriage changes your lives. Do not let the specifics hold you back because, above all else, your spouse is there to help you navigate the uncharted waters of marriage. When you need a hand, though, be sure to talk to a lawyer, it may save you some undue stress.
About the Author
Veronica Baxter is a writer, blogger, and legal assistant operating out of the greater Philadelphia area.