Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Issues for Engaged Couples

From Naomi Cahn (GW), writing for Forbes:

We are in the middle of engagement season, and there is lots more to think about than choosing a ring or planning a wedding. That’s why, as Jen Glantz recently explained at HuffPost, “I’m Protecting My Money Before My Marriage.”

Getting married changes the emotional landscape of any couple and adds a new level of “commitment,” but it also changes the financial and legal relationship in some obvious and not-so-obvious ways.

First, you’re now eligible for a series of financial benefits and obligations. For example, in many states, if one of you buys “necessaries,” such as housing or food or medical care, then both of you could be on the hook for paying off that purchase. 

Or, when you get divorced, any money or assets that either of you earned during the marriage (regardless of how they are owned during the marriage) will be available for distribution. That is, everything you earn during your marriage (and in some states even what may be inherited during the marriage) is subject to some form of division between you at divorce. For example, even if you deposit your salary into a separate bank account, that account can still be divided at divorce. 

Read more here.

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