Despite myths of "happily-ever-after" or "love conquers all," problems in the marital relationship may surface within a short time after the wedding
The success or failure of a marriage relationship may hinge on how well the couple deals with issues such as financial assets, communication, conflict, parenting, in-laws, leisure time, sexuality, family of origin, spirituality, expectations, and chores. Most couples don't talk about these issues before they get married, and are surprised one or two years down the road when conflict seems more prevalent than romance. The question to ask yourself is, "are you ready for marriage?"
While a family law attorney can help you create a premarital agreement to avoid conflict about financial issues, it is helpful for couples to ask themselves many other questions. Take some time to review this lengthy list with your future spouse. You may be surprised how open communication about these subjects will improve your relationship.
Many couples get married due to pregnancy, loneliness, or other reasons. If you are clear about your motivation, it is less likely you will have unrealistic expectations.
It's important to know each other's expectations about finances. Talking through and memorializing how you expect to divide your assets in the unfortunate event of divorce reduces the likelihood of conflict even if you don't end up separating. Remember, each state views marital and separate property differently. All states view property acquired before the marriage, property received as a gift, and property inherited during the marriage as separate property -- it is not shared by the marriage. States are divided about how to treat marital property -- the property that is acquired or earned during the marriage. Community property states divide marital property equally, while the other states use equitable distribution and divide the property "fairly," which could be 50/50 or some other proportion.
Children & Parenting
Get Professional Help with Your Legal Questions About Marriage
Pursuing this type of discussion will often reveal mismatched expectations, and can help you resolve areas of discrepancy before they become divisive. If you encounter issues that require assistance from an attorney, such as financial issues, property titles, adoption or child support questions, be sure to consult with a family law attorney who's familiar with the relevant laws in your state.