Spouses-to-be usually have a busy schedule when planning weddings and ceremonies. Although deciding on a venue or cake flavors are important, many couples forget to think about questions to ask before marriage.
There are many financial, personal and legal aspects of marriage everyone should think about before saying “I do.” Although some questions may not sound very romantic, honest conversations with your life partner will you and your partner make informed decisions and improve communication.
1. Do we need a prenuptial agreement?
The phrase “prenuptial agreement” stops many people in their tracks. Some feel as though wanting a prenup indicates a lack of trust and planning for the failure of a marriage. This is a common misconception, as a prenup is a smart idea for many couples.
A prenup is a contract two individuals make before they get married to clarify rights and responsibilities about property, debt and finances in case the couple gets divorced. Although this is commonly associated with rich couples, this type of contract can be beneficial to anyone with assets and debts.
You might want a prenuptial agreement if you and/or your future spouse:
- Own real estate.
- Own some or all of a business.
- Have large amounts of assets other than real estate.
- Have debt.
Although not an exhaustive list of reasons for a prenup, these examples illustrate how complicated financial matters can be once your finances are mixed. This agreement can help with alimony settlements, property inheritance questions and more. Although a tough conversation to have while planning your wedding, it’s crucial that you evaluate premarital assets and debts to protect you and your partner.
2. Can we go to premarital counseling?
Some people think that going to counseling before marriage indicates problems in the relationship. In reality, premarital counseling offers helpful tools, exercises and viewpoints for engaged couples to take into their marriages.
There are many secular and religious options for in-person counseling, and you can even find premarital courses online. Some states may require premarital courses to get a marriage license or offer a license discount for anyone with a certificate of completion.
In counseling, you and your future spouse can learn how to strengthen your communication methods, handle financial difficulties and responsibilities, resolve issues and conflicts and talk about tough topics in your relationship.
If your significant other asks about premarital counseling, go to the sessions with an open heart and mind. Counselors offer valuable perspectives and tools for handling current and future issues that can cause tension in any relationship.
3. Do you want children?
One of the most important questions to ask before marriage involves the subject of kids. The desire for children can be an ultimatum for many couples. A compromise on the decision of kids can leave a spouse resentful and result in an unhealthy relationship or a divorce.
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The question about raising a family does not end with “Do you want children?” even if you and your spouse are in agreement. You and your partner should think hard about the certainty of your decisions. If you both want children, you should discuss the possibilities of infertility, feelings on adoption or fostering, IVF or surrogacy and how many children you’d like to have and when.
Having children will also impact other choices that you and your spouse may need to make. Where do you want to live to raise your family? How will your finances change? How will you handle parental leave? It’s also crucial to talk about parenting styles and expectations, as this may reveal other topics you and your spouse need to cover.
4. What are our views on money and finances?
Having an honest discussion about finances is important for any relationship. Although prenuptial agreements are an important topic, your financial conversations shouldn’t stop there. Financial woes can place great emotional strain on a relationship, so it is important to evaluate your financial compatibility and be upfront about money troubles and expectations.
Make sure you talk about current debts and credit scores, as these can impact both of you if you are looking for housing or loans together. Marriage questions for couples about money should include conversations about financial philosophies, spending and saving habits and joint or separating bank accounts. Honesty about your finances allows you and your partner to make smart financial decisions together, pay debts and create a realistic household budget.
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You and your significant other should make sure to talk about financial goals to see if they align, and work on a solution to make these goals a reality. For example, talk to your partner about creating an emergency fund and what you can do to reach your financial target. You should also talk about preparing for the future, such as retirement, pensions and life insurance policies that will help your family with finances in the years to come.
5. What are the legal things to do before you get married?
Legal marriage tasks may not sound very romantic but making a checklist will put you and your spouse-to-be at ease so you can enjoy your wedding day and life together. In between conversations about the guest list and caterers, make sure you:
- Apply for a marriage license. This license may only be good for a limited time before you need a new one. Make sure you get an official marriage certificate later!
- Apply for a name change, if desired. Make sure you change your name on all your documents and accounts.
- Find an officiant to sign off on your marriage license and perform the marriage, as needed.
- Ensure that you are able to get married. Although this sounds strange, some people may go to apply for a marriage license only to find out that their divorce in Miami or another location is not final.
If you need to get legal matters straightened out before your wedding, The Aguilera Law Center, P.A., is here to help. Give our office a call today at 305-255-FIRM or contact us online to connect with one of our expert attorneys.