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A before and after marriage checklist

Getting married or recently tied the knot?

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You are part of the over 2 million couples that get married each year. Here are a few topics and questions to consider before marriage and after getting married that can help cement your future.

Things to discuss before marriage

  • Debt. How much debt do you and your partner each have? What’s your plan for paying off debt?
  • Credit ratings. It’s always good to know your credit score and what a good credit score is. Once married, each of your credit ratings will affect your joint ability to obtain loans for cars and a home. If one of you has a lower score than desired, we have help to improve your credit score.
  • The status of your money. What do each of you make? Are you comfortable sharing money? If not, who will be responsible for paying bills?
  • The future of your money. What are your expectations about career and work?
  • Savings. How much will you have for savings? Experts suggest saving three to six months of expenses in an emergency fund.
  • Children. Do you agree on having or not having children? If so, what are your plans for careers and childcare?
  • Retirement. What are your dreams for post-work life? What type of retirement plan works for you?
  • Name. Will one of you change your name?

Things to do before marriage

  • Obtain a marriage license, usually from a county clerk in the state in which you want to be married, as well as pay a fee. Depending on your state, the marriage license may be good for 30 days or up to a year, it's a good Idea to verify.
  • Get a blood test if required by your state.
  • Determine if a prenuptial agreement is right for you particularly if one or both of you have substantial assets.
  • Show proof of divorce or annulment of a previous marriage, or death of a previous spouse.
  • Wait. Some states have waiting periods from the time of the license issuance until the permissible time of the ceremony.

Must-dos after you say "I do"

  • Update identification, including driver's license, Social Security card and notify places that have your pre-marital information on file.
  • Update your paperwork, including all retirement account and life insurance beneficiaries and name changes.
  • Look at health insurance. Does one spouse’s work plan make more sense for your whole family?
  • Look at insurance such as auto, home or rental insurance; add life insurance if you don’t have it. You may be eligible to receive a discount for adding additional policies.
  • Create or update a will. Establish your spouse as your beneficiary.
  • Consider additional documents, such as a Power of Attorney or living will.

Your State Farm® agent can help you navigate the changes and help with your insurance planning needs.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.



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