LEGALLY BINDING Five Things You Need to Know Before You Say “I Do” By Virginia Olson
our wedding is near. Yes, it is an exciting time, but you also need to know marriage will affect your legal and financial status. Amanda Engel, attorney with the Duncan Law Firm, offers five important “To Do” items every bride-to-be needs to take care of and understand before she gets married:
PURCHASE A MARRIAGE LICENSE. Prior to getting married, you must obtain a marriage license from a Register of Deeds in a South Dakota County. To obtain a license you must present either a drivers’ license or a copy of a birth certificate. The cost is $40. THE MARRIAGE MUST OCCUR WITH 20 DAYS OF PURCHASING THE LICENSE. Once you are married, the individual who solemnizes the marriage must return the license to the Register of Deeds within 10 days. If not, there will be no record of your marriage. DISCUSS DEBTS, ASSETS, AND OTHER FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS. One of the major causes of divorce is finances or financial problems. Talking about debts, assets and finances prior to marriage can allow couples to avoid financial problems in the future and set themselves up for long-term success. Obtaining a clear picture of each other’s financial conditions creates an opportunity to openly discuss how major financial decisions will be handled during the course of the marriage. The beginning of the marriage is the perfect opportunity to work on “financial togetherness.” CONSIDER A PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT. An honest discussion about debts, assets and other financial obligations will open the door in helping you consider whether or not a prenuptial agreement is necessary. A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that allows couples to spell out their separate assets before marriage in order to prevent arguments or disputes over who owns what, should
SiouxFallsWoman.net | February/March 2019
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