The legalities of marriage can be complicated and confusing, and it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re aware of your obligations before you commit to any relationship. I’d recommend speaking with a good lawyers, such as Family Lawyers Perth, to make sure that you know just what’s required of you.
To help you get an idea about some of the things you need to think about, I’ve put together this list of the top five things to consider – in a legal sense – before getting married. As always, this isn’t and shouldn’t be treated as legal advice. Make sure that you do your own research before making any major decisions.
- Prenuptial agreements
Although some people won’t even consider prenuptial agreements, I’d recommend at least touching on the subject with your partner.
A prenuptial agreement basically allows you and your partner to keep your finances separated to some extent, which makes things easier in the case of a divorce or separation.
You should definitely consider a prenuptial agreement if one partner is entering the relationship with significantly more assets than the other.
- Name changes
If you’re planning on changing your name when you get married then you will need to make sure that you also get it changed in all sorts of other places. Make sure that you update your name with:
- Your bank and any other financial institutions.
- The Australian electoral commission.
- The department of transport and any other relevant government offices.
Failing to update to your changed name can lead to all sorts of inconveniences in the future, especially with financial institutions like banks.
- Your wills
Once you’re married you might need to update your will to accommodate your changed status. If both you and your spouse already have up to date wills in place you might not need to do anything, but it’s something you should keep in mind.
- Bank accounts
A lot of couples decide to get joint bank accounts after they get married. You may or may not want to do this, but it’s definitely something that you need to consider. Speak to your lawyer and make sure that you take into account the legal and financial obligations that come with opening a joint bank account.
- Your current children
You also need to take any children you already have into account. If they are from a previous relationship, you need to consider whether or not you’re going to make your new spouse a legal guardian.
Since this is a very big decision, you will need to discuss this with the children in question, your new spouse, and the childrens’ other biological parent before coming to any conclusions.
Getting married is a huge thing. If you haven’t already, you need to think carefully about your legal obligations both before and after marriage, making sure that you’re aware of everything that you need to do.
Think about things like prenuptial agreements, your financial situation, and the impact your marriage will have on any children you already have. I’d definitely recommend speaking to a family lawyer to make sure that you’re getting things right.