As of August 1, Minnesota couples no longer have to wait to get a marriage license, thanks to a new state law passed earlier this year. Under old law, marrying couples had to wait five days after applying to receive their license.
The history of the old law is somewhat elusive, but the original intent seems to have been to prevent people from rushing into marriages they wouldn’t be able to sustain. A number of other states also still have waiting periods, including Wisconsin.
But just because the law no longer forces couples to wait before getting married doesn’t mean waiting is a bad idea. Once you’ve decided you’re ready to tie the knot, there are a few less-romantic things you need to consider – and potentially discuss with a lawyer.
Whether you decide to draft a prenuptial agreement or not, you’ll want to think about the consequences of joining finances.
You may want to work your way through a premarital agreement issues checklist, such as this one, or consult with an attorney about your particular situation.
Here are just some things you may want to consider:
- Will you combine the money and property that you already own? If so, how?
- Will you have only joint financial accounts, only separate accounts or both?
- How will you pay your shared bills? What about separate bills?
- Will you file taxes jointly or separately?
- Will one of you be supporting the other one through higher education at any point?
- If one side of the family gives the couple a large gift, is it shared evenly?
And then there’s probably the least romantic question of all: what if it doesn’t work out? A formal agreement drafted while everything is rosy can help make things easier in the event that the marriage ends in divorce.
Discussing finances well in advance of the marriage can allow you to relax and focus on more romantic thoughts in the days leading up to the wedding.