Marriage: The Legalities to Remember

paper-workAs lovely and personal and exciting this wedding is going to be, the wise couple remembers that it much more.  Your very personal and beautifully planned event is also a civil event in which a new legal entity is created.  There are a number of factors to consider once the bride and the groom are pronounced man and wife.

  • The prenuptial agreement – While it may not be romantic to consider one, there are circumstances in which a contract concerning expectations or property can be very helpful.  These agreements give the couple an opportunity to cover certain circumstances.  For example, it is a second marriage for both and each has children from a former marriage, an agreement might protect the rights of each partner’s children, or the parents of the bride or the groom may be giving the couple a valuable antique.  The family may wish to have this heirloom remain in the family in the event of divorce.  A prenuptial agreement may state how you will handle savings or how household expenses will be shared.  Such agreements should be well thought out and reviewed by a lawyer, signed by both parties plus witnesses and notarized.
  • The marriage license –   Know that each state has its own requirements for blood tests, waiting time and age of consent , so do check with public officials for all the details.
  • The marriage certificate – Following your ceremony, your witnesses and the officiant (and in some states the bride and groom as well) will all sign the civil certificate.  Some couples may include the signing in their ceremony (a Quaker custom).  Your church or synagogue may also issue its own certificate.  Generally your officiant will file your marriage certificate with the proper authorities and you’ll receive a copy some weeks later by mail.
  • Changing your name -Once married the bride can choose to use her husband’s surname, continue to use her maiden name, or combine the two to suit the couple’s choice.  If any change of name is done, you’ll need to record than name change on all legal documents and papers.

Here are a few:

*Driver’s license
*Car Registration
*Social Security card
*Insurance Policies
*Voter Registration card
*Checking Account
*Savings Accounts
*Credit Cards
*Stock Certificates
*Employee I.D. cards
*Post Office

Call us at 307-200-9886 or email to discuss ideas.

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