From the proposal through your wedding day, you will have many decisions and arrangements to make that it can be easy to overlook some of the legal issues related to marriage. It is always a good idea to discuss marriage laws and other pertinent family law matters with a professional to avoid running into problems down the road. Here are a few things you may want to consider leading up to your wedding day and beyond.
- Prenuptial Agreement- If there is an unequal division of wealth going into the marriage or other legal aspects you want covered in the event the marriage does not last “until death,” a prenuptial agreement should be drafted and executed. This document spells out what would happen should the couple divorce.
- Name Change- While anyone can legally change their name anytime in their life or even several times, the simplest one occurs upon marriage. Either spouse can take the other’s last name, and all that is typically needed for documentation is the marriage certificate. You must still file the change appropriately, and that includes notifying the DMV, Social Security office, and other agencies.
- Tax Reporting Change- Once you are married, you will no longer be able to file as single taxpayers. You will have the option to file as Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately, which your tax preparer can walk you through.
- Last Will & Testament- Once you are married, you may want to make changes to your previously prepared will by drafting and executing a codicil. This is also a good time to learn about community property laws and other marriage laws related to the distribution of your assets.
If you have family law or marriage law questions as they are stated in North Carolina, contact us at Jones, Childers, Donaldson & Webb, PLLC. We offer a wide variety of family law services to assist you in getting off on the right foot in your marriage.