Your wedding is a romantic milestone you’ve likely looked forward to for a long time. It’ll be a memorable, fun day, but you shouldn’t reach that day without having meaningful conversations with your partner. These are a few critical decisions you should consider before and after marriage. Timing these conversations correctly will help your marriage start on a solid foundation.
Decisions to Consider After Marriage
Anyone who’s already walked down the aisle should talk about these things with their spouse. They’re important steps you can take as a married couple to ensure a happy future.
1. Make Potential Financial Changes
You’ve been paying taxes since you started your first job, but you and your spouse may not want to file individually anymore. Married couples sometimes get a lower tax rate and more deductions depending on their income. Talk with a certified tax professional when you file in April to discuss your options and make the best financial decision for your situation.
Combining your names on any existing businesses or property could also be wise. If you operate both equally, you should get equal legal rights to those entities.
Many couples also open joint bank or savings accounts after getting married. You’ll both get to deposit and withdraw money as needed, which is helpful if you’re also operating a business together. Combining your savings in a joint high-yield savings account will also result in more interest earned because the account’s amount will double automatically.
2. Get New Insurance
Sometimes married couples leave their wedding, honeymoon in a romantic destination, and move into a new house together when they come home. If you’re about to buy a house together, you might get house insurance in both of your names. Both partners can file claims if damage occurs while you live there.
Marriage may also change your health insurance situation — one partner could join the other on their employer’s provided insurance. Don’t worry if you got married after open enrollment either. Most health insurance companies grant a 60-day grace period after a wedding as a special open enrollment period for couples.
Car insurance policies should also have both of your names on the insurance cards for each of your vehicles. You’ll both have legal rights to remain covered by the insurance if you swap cars and get in an accident.
Life insurance is another crucial component of married life. If your spouse were to pass away, life insurance would help you pay the bills and keep your living arrangement for at least a few years. Setting up a life insurance policy is simple after receiving quotes, but you may need to find time for a physical exam depending on what the provider requires.
It’s important to note that you may need multiple copies of your marriage certificate to make these changes. Companies may request a copy to validate the legal standing of your marriage and will likely keep their copy on file.
3. Create Your Wills
There are numerous reasons to make individual wills after getting married. Even if you don’t own any property or assets, your wills will be legal guidance in an emergency. You could name your partner as the medical power of attorney if you cannot make medical decisions for yourself.
The wills should also specifically name each other as the person who should receive your assets and finances after death. Otherwise, your family or your spouse’s family might petition to receive everything in court. Creating a will doesn’t take long and isn’t expensive, although you’ll need to pay an attorney or a notary to make it legally binding.
What to Discuss Before Marriage
Now that you know a few important decisions to consider after marriage, don’t miss the opportunity to talk about these other factors. Whether you’re engaged or already married, they’re essential conversations every couple should have.
1. Your Financial Priorities
Every couple needs to be clear about their financial priorities as individuals and as a team. Talk about how you handle your money now and how you want to use it in the future. You can coordinate your dreams and even make some adjustments to effectively reach your goals as a couple.
2. Your Family’s Dreams
It’s always a good idea to talk about what you want for your family. Family can have many different definitions and changes as the years pass. Discuss the potential of having kids, if you want children and if you’d rather have pets. It’s also good to mention how you’d parent those kids to find common ground.
Maybe you’ve always pictured putting roots down in a specific city or spending years traveling as a couple. Do you want to open a family business? Become an influencer couple online? Have fun daydreaming together and try to do this at least once a year. It’s important to revisit topics like this as you experience different types of personal growth.
3. Your Potential Debt
When you marry someone, you take on their debt as well. Your name won’t be on it, but those monthly payments will be essential to your household budget. Discuss how much debt you both have, how you’re currently paying it and if you plan to pay it off soon. You should both understand how you’ll manage the debt to make a budget that works best for your household.
4. Your Lifestyle Expectations
It’s never a bad idea to talk about your lifestyle expectations. Even if you aren’t going to live together until after you’re married, you should know what will make each other feel valued and respected in your home.
Talk about things like how clean you keep your living space. See if you naturally gravitate toward specific household chores or which responsibilities you’d rather not handle. Revisiting these things every few months will keep resentment from forming if there isn’t a good line of communication about these things.
If you come to a point where no one will handle a particular chore, try to find a compromise. You might both hate vacuuming, so hand that job off to a robot vacuum. Schedule when you and your partner will handle laundry or mow the lawn. Simple hacks will solve future problems before fights ever happen.
5. Your Conflict Resolution Styles
Marriage is supposed to last a lifetime, so it’s better to enter a marriage knowing how you both handle or approach conflict. Discuss how you feel and react to arguments with other people and which types of conflict are most challenging for you to handle.
You could also discuss what you’re willing to try to fix those things, like going to couples therapy. It could result in helpful therapy before your wedding or post-wedding therapy that leads to greater fulfillment in your relationship.
Don’t forget to practice this step after marriage as well. Relationships will never be without conflict, even if you feel like things are going well. Couples should keep their communication styles open and flexible to grow through even the most minor arguments.
Talk With Your Partner
Sit down with your partner to start a conversation about some of the most important decisions to consider after marriage. No matter where you are in your relationship, talking about these things will help you realize if you’re meant to be or need to work together to find lasting happiness.
Author – Beth is the Managing Editor and content manager at Body+Mind. She is passionate about writing about fitness, diet, fitness, mental health, and parenting. In her spare time, Beth enjoys trying out new fitness routines and recipes.