Four Things to Do Before Marriage

You're engaged! Congratulations! If you are currently preparing to walk down the aisle, there are several legal actions that you should take before you do so. Marriage is an important commitment. While divorce is always an option if things don't work, the process can be complicated. There are ways to ease this process from the beginning if you feel compelled to do so. We suggest that you complete this short task list prior to your wedding day:

Discuss debts and assets with your partner
Before you tie the knot, make sure you know just how much money your spouse owes. Once you get married, all of those debts will legally be yours. So will all assets. It is highly suggested that you document all separate debts and expenses prior to marriage, so that you can easily separate them in the event of a divorce in the future.

Create a prenuptial agreement
A prenuptial agreement sounds incredibly unromantic in the wake of engagement, but it is important. Should you and your spouse not work out, a prenuptial agreement can save a lot of headaches in the divorce process. A skilled Los Angeles family lawyer can help you to draft a prenuptial agreement which will hold up in court should you decide to split in the future.

Decide whether or not to change your last name
It is optional to change your last name in California. If you are a woman entering a marriage, you may want to take on your spouse's last name. Or, you may decide that this will be too complicated, and will be too much of a commitment. It often costs money to change your name back, so think carefully about this before deciding to legally alter your identity.

Ensure your ceremony is legal
Not everyone can officiate at a wedding ceremony. If your officiant is not legal, then you and your spouse will not be considered legally married after the ceremony. You will want to make sure that your officiant qualifies based on the requirements of the California law.

If you need assistance with these marriage preparations, a skilled Los Angeles family lawyer at Claery & Hammond can help. Don't hesitate to call the firm today to learn more!