Deciding to get married is exciting, and it’s a huge step. Besides flowers, photos, and music, there are also some legal considerations you should make before the big day.
Apply for a Marriage License
For your state to recognize your marriage as legally binding, you will have to get a marriage license. Be sure to apply for your marriage license well before the wedding day because it takes time to process and grant your license, but not too early. In North Dakota, marriage licenses expire 60 days after they are issued.
Consider a Prenuptial Agreement
A prenuptial agreement may help avoid expensive litigation if divorce is in your future. Although it may seem unromantic to talk about divorce before the marriage has even begun, a family law attorney can help create a valid prenuptial agreement that is fair to both partners and protects each spouse’s separate property.
Make Sure the Ceremony is Legal
Most states have laws about religious ceremonies, civil ceremonies, and who can officiate the wedding. According to North Dakota law, a marriage may be solemnized by:
- All judges of courts of record
- Municipal judges
- Recorders, unless the board of county commissioners designates a different official
- Ordained ministers of the gospel, priests, and clergy authorized by recognized denominations
- Any individual authorized by the rituals and practices of any religious persuasion
Before you tie the knot, have a serious chat with your partner about finances. It can be a huge mistake not to have that conversation, as research shows that married couples fight about money more than any other issue. The biggest sources of friction are usually frivolous purchases, household budgeting, and credit card debt.
If you’d like more information on marriage in North Dakota, Tracy Lyson is an experienced family law attorney who can help. Call 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002 today!