To-Dos Before the Wedding: A Checklist for Marrying Couples

If you've recently gotten engaged and set a date for your wedding, you're likely elbow-deep in the planning stages for The Big Day. Working on the guest list, reserving a venue, booking the entertainment, and consulting with a caterer are among the many tasks you'll tackle to plan the perfect celebration. With all the excitement, it's unlikely that the legal aspects of your nuptials are on your mind, but there are a few to-do's you must address as your wedding approaches. When you handle these issues in advance, you can ensure that you and your future spouse will get your marriage off on the right foot. Talk to a Michigan prenuptial agreement lawyer about your specific situation, and take care of these tasks before you walk down the aisle.

Obtain Your Marriage License

You'll need to procure a proper marriage license before the State of Michigan will recognize your marriage as legal. To do so, you visit the county clerk's office where you or your prospective spouse resides; if you live in different counties, you can apply in either location. In some counties, including Oakland County, you can obtain your marriage license online. The requirements are:

  • You must both be 18 years or older;

  • You must present a valid ID showing your current address; and,

  • You must pay the filing fee of $20 for Michigan residents.

Disclose All Assets, Income, and Debts

As soon as possible after your engagement, you and your partner should open the books on all of your finances. Make sure to include real estate, personal property, income, and debts you owe - either individually or jointly with another person. You don't want to head out on your honeymoon and find out that your new spouse didn't reveal financial matters that have serious implications for your future.

Consider a Prenuptial Agreement

An agreement that anticipates divorce is the furthest thing from your mind during your engagement period and as you're planning your wedding. However, a Michigan prenuptial agreement benefits both you and your spouse. It simplifies the dissolution if your marriage does break down, it sets forth provisions regarding spousal support, and streamlines the process of divvying up property. All of these issues would otherwise be difficult to resolve if divorce becomes imminent and emotions are running high. You may be looking at costly, protracted litigation to work out these details in court.

Talk to a Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer Before Saying "I DO"

Spouses rarely approach their wedding day with the expectation that the marriage could break down, but divorce does become a reality even for the happiest couples. If that time comes, a prenuptial agreement can help couples avoid emotionally taxing - and extremely expensive - litigation, which helps each spouse move on to a brighter post-divorce future. A skilled attorney can assist with prenuptial agreements, whether developing one on your behalf or reviewing the fairness of an agreement your soon-to-be-spouse presents to you. If you have questions about prenuptial agreements and want to hear more about your options, please contact Bloomfield Hills, MI attorney Michael A. Robbins.