A wedding is much more than just a ceremony for two people to show to the world how much they love each other. It is a binding contract that is not supposed to be taken lightly. In a world with many rules and laws to follow, marriage has its own to follow.
Some of the Legal Issues
When you sit down to plan out your wedding, you are probably thinking about colors, themes, seating arrangements, and a myriad of other little details that will make your day perfect. But you may not consider the legal aspects that will make your day run smoothly and your new life continue in the same fashion. You know you need a marriage license, but have you thought about changing your name and getting new legal documents, writing a new will, or signing a prenuptial agreement? These don’t often come up in the discussion, but they are pretty important to talk about.
Changing Your Name
While no longer a given, many women change their last name when they get married. While it seems like this should be pretty easy to do, it is actually a pretty complicated process. Most places require you to have an original copy of the marriage license, not a photocopy. You will need to change your name on your social security card, your driver’s license, your passport, and your bank account. These all require various amounts of paperwork, and it can be a little tedious to go through. Once you’ve gotten those names changed, you can work on changing it with less important groups, such as school or your employer.
Writing a Will
It seems a little counter-intuitive to think about writing a will when you are getting married, but this is a protection for you and your spouse in case the worst happens. Even if you don’t have a lot of money or assets, creating a will allows you to provide for your spouse and any children or dependents you may have. This step is especially important if you have been married before. Don’t leave your spouse vulnerable, just because you think you will live forever.
Signing a Prenup
This is a tricky topic, especially for engaged couples. No one believes that they are going into a marriage that is going to end, but so many of them do. While this may not seem like a big deal when you are young and poor, hopefully you won’t stay that way. And if you already have significant assets, such as property or a business, signing a prenup is a way of protecting those investments in the worst possible scenario. This isn’t a step for everyone, so make sure you do your research before you decide whether or not you need a prenup.
When it comes down to it, your wedding should be a happy occasion. Don’t let these legal issues derail you or your spouse. Take care of them early and enjoy your perfect day.