You just got married and all you want to do is bask in the love you just vowed, yet there are other responsibilities that have to be taken care of. The legal part of getting married isn’t talked about much and it may be because it isn’t as appealing as grand weddings and beautiful gowns, etc. The reality of a marriage isn’t shown as much as the dream of marriage.
Sometimes legal factors lead to separation and even divorce. It's important to sit down and have a discussion about everything from funds and credit to property and insurances. Though you should know your partner’s financial situation, it still can be shocking to learn the depths of a person's finances. Here are some things you have to alter to make your marriage official legally.
1. Marriage Certificate/License
The first thing that you need to do is obtain a marriage license or certificate. Many governments and financial companies do not recognize married couples unless they have a physical copy of their marriage certificate. You can obtain a marriage certificate after your marriage has been registered and when you have proof of identity.
Both parties can apply for a certificate and even the children of the couple can apply. You’ll need some proof of identity to get the certificate and there is usually a fee that accompanies the application.
Taxes are confusing and mattering factor in everyone’s lives. When you are a married couple it can sometimes get a little more confusing than normal. The IRS cares about how you and your partner spend your money and you should have a discussion about this. You must educate yourself on taxes so you are prepared for completing a joint tax return. Sometimes couples even choose to file taxes separately to save time and limit stress and confusion.
Heterosexual and same-sex relationship are treated the same when it comes to taxes. Combined taxes aren’t necessary unless you and your partner are part owners of a business or you both have joint investments like:
3. Name Change
Name changing is one of the most popular legal factors in getting married that is widely known. The woman takes the name of the man or if it is a same-sex relationship, whatever agreement the two come to is what the name will be. Regardless you must change your name officially to be fully recognized as a married couple. You aren’t expected to rid your old maiden name and you can keep it attached if you want.
This is the thing that may seem time-consuming because of the number of things you will have to change. Your driver’s license and social security card have to be tended to first. You can then change bills and other things that need your official name.
Determine if you actually need to change your name on some things because sometimes it isn’t completely necessary, especially if you still have your maiden name attached.
4. Health Insurance
Marriage brings combined medical insurance. There are specific insurance plans dedicated to couples that make it easy for spouses to manage their health with a single policy. Sometimes it can be much to have two separate insuarnaces and joining on one makes all processes simple. There are times when certain insurance companies won't allow joint insurances.
Whether you decide to keep your separate insurance or join your spouses, it's an important discussion to have. Make sure to talk about what kinds of medical needs you both have to determine which plan you want. There are many options available that are tailored to certain needs. If you want to start a family, make sure you get a plan that covers pregnancy and births. Or if you need specialty doctors often, choose a plan that covers that, as well.
5. Bank Accounts and Credit Cards
Money is a sensitive thing when in a relationship and you want to know what your financial situation is as a couple. Asses your account information and determine if you want to open a joint bank account. If you do choose to get a joint account, it also good to have your own as well. The joint account could be used for specific reasons like bills and other household expenses. Talk with your spouse to decide what you want your account to be used for. Credit is another thing that is a major factor when it comes to legal things following a marriage. Make sure to decide if you want to keep your own credit cards as well. Also, assess your partner's credit score and pay history to decide who is, in fact, going to handle the finances.
After marriage, you must update your information, especially if you want to give your spouse access to your account. Make sure to do this so if an emergency happens your bank and credit companies know that your spouse is authorized.
6. Retirement and Life Insurance
This information should be updated if you already have life insurance and a retirement plan. You want to make your spouse a beneficiary. You want to be prepared for coverage when you or your spouse passes. A relationship is all about thinking about the future. Life insurance also gives you the choice to have more than one place for beneficiaries, so you can simply add your spouse to what you’ve already established without having to remove any other beneficiary you have listed.