When a couple decides to get married, they will be uniting their lives and forming a legal partnership. Unfortunately, as statistics show, nearly half of marriages end in divorce in the United States. There are a variety of reasons for this, but since the possibility of divorce exists, couples can take steps to protect themselves by educating themselves about the law and planning for both a successful marriage and a potential divorce. Before getting married, they should be sure to address the following issues:
- Finances - How will income and expenses be shared after getting married? Does either spouse have significant debt? Will the spouses share bank accounts and credit cards? It is important for both spouses to be on the same page about their budget, their spending habits, and their financial goals, ensuring that they do not encounter any surprises after getting married.
- Property ownership - Does either spouse own valuable property or have significant financial assets? Will the couple be living in a home previously owned by one spouse? Does either spouse have ownership interests in a business? Spouses should be clear about what they own, how ownership of property will be handled going forward, and what will happen to this property if their relationship ever ends.
- Estate planning - After getting married, will the spouses’ wills need to be updated? Do they plan to give each other power of attorney? Do they have methods in place to protect their assets near the end of their life? Does either spouse need to put provisions in place to provide for children from a previous relationship? Couples should make sure they have addressed these issues and understand each other’s wishes regarding their estate.
- Prenuptial agreement - While planning for divorce before getting married may not be very romantic, having an agreement in place for how things can be handled if the relationship ends can alleviate a great deal of stress. Premarital agreements can be especially helpful for spouses who own a business, bring significant assets into a marriage, or want to ensure that their children will have financial resources no matter what happens in the future.
Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney
If you have any questions about the legal issues that you should consider before you get married, or if you want to make sure your family will have legal and financial protections in the future, the skilled attorneys of Anderson & Associates, P.C. can help you meet your legal requirements and protect your rights and interests. Contact our Wheaton family law firm at 630-653-9400 to schedule a free consultation.