Post-Marriage Actions To Take

After getting married, there are specific steps you must take to ensure the legal and financial aspects of your married life as newlyweds are in order.

The wedding is over, and it was perfect. You breathe a sigh of relief. No more plans to make, dresses to try on, waiting periods to take note of, or marriage licenses to file. But, before fully relaxing and letting your married life unfold, you must complete specific tasks.

Checklist for Post-Marriage Actions

After the marriage ceremony, there are a few things you have to attend to before settling down to married life. Taking care of these things in the first couple of weeks after your big day is crucial. Once these responsibilities are out of the way, you'll be free to focus on enjoying your newly married status.

This checklist can serve as a reminder of the tasks that need to be done now that you are married. For instance, you might have to visit your local county clerk's office to get a certified copy of your marriage license. Or you might be asked to give an affidavit to the Social Security Administration to change the name on your social security card.

Take note that not everything on this list may apply to you. They may also vary depending on the state law or the county clerk's office where you got married.

Here are some key actions you might need to take:

  • Extend the health care coverage to your spouse by amending your health insurance policy.
  • Add your spouse to your dental insurance plan.
  • Call your car insurance company for any modifications to the vehicle operators or your address.
  • Establish your life insurance policy, designating your spouse as the beneficiary. This will ensure financial support to your family members in case of death.
  • Think about whether you want to change your name after you get married. If you opt for a name change, communicate these changes to your creditors.
  • If you relocate after getting married, inform your bank, credit card providers, creditors, and other related persons of your new address.
  • Give notice to the Social Security Administration of your name change after marriage.
  • Visit your local DMV office and secure a driver's license that reflects your new name and address.
  • Change the name on your bank accounts, checks, and other financial documents to reflect your new name. Or, you and your spouse may also establish a joint bank account.
  • Update your residential address on your checks and bank accounts.
  • Secure your marriage certificate.
  • Talk about the distribution of household chores, family obligations, and other responsibilities. This includes paying bills, driving kids to school, etc.
  • Write a new will.

Details About Change of Name After Marriage

If you opt to change your name after marriage, it is important to communicate these to relevant people. Here is a detailed list of other businesses and entities to notify if you legally change your name:

  • Employers
  • Schools
  • Post office (via change of address form)
  • Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Social Security Administration
  • Department of Records or Vital Statistics (the issuers of birth certificates)
  • Banks and other financial institutions
  • Creditors and debtors
  • Telephone and utility companies
  • State taxing authorities such as the IRS (Internal Revenue Service)
  • Insurance agencies
  • Registrar of voters or your local county clerk
  • Passport office
  • Public assistance office (welfare)
  • Veterans Administration

Child Support and Other Court Orders

If you or your spouse have a child or children from a previous relationship, it is important to know the child support laws in your state. Consulting a family law attorney might be necessary to understand this complex process better.

Consult an Experienced Family Law Attorney

After the wedding excitement subsides, tasks are waiting for you to do as a married couple. You can consult a family law attorney for more guidance about the intricacies and legal requirements after the wedding. Their legal advice will make it easier for you to process these vital records. Family law attorneys can also answer other questions relating to marriage. This includes the following:

You can reach out to a family law attorney near you. FindLaw offers a directory of attorneys in every state. They also offer free access to articles related to family law and other legal issues.

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Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • Many people can get married without hiring legal help
  • Marriages involving prenups, significant debt, child custody issues, and property questions may need an attorney

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Don't Forget About Estate Planning

Marriage is an ideal time to create or change your estate planning forms. Take the time to add new beneficiaries (including your spouse!) to your will. Consider creating a power of attorney to ensure your spouse can access your financial accounts. Also, a health care directive lets your spouse make your medical decisions if you ever become incapacitated.

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