- Joint vs. separate finances: During the marriage, do you plan to keep your earnings separate? Will each person be entitled to what they have earned in the event of divorce, or would you agree to an equal split of property and money regardless of each person’s earnings? What would you agree to do financially if one person steps back from their career to raise any children born during your marriage?
- Prior relationships: It is more common for Virginia title loans complaints couples to enter into a Prenuptial Agreement if one or both members have children from a prior relationship. You may wish to consider a prenup as a means of sorting through who is responsible for what financially when it comes to the children, and to make sure your children’s finances are protected.
Yes. Getting engaged does not change your legal marital status. Of course, you are not able to enter into a new marriage before a divorce is final. Even if you are legally separated, until a divorce is finalized, you may not marry anyone else.
If you still need to finalize a divorce, you may want to ask a lawyer whether publicly announcing an engagement might be detrimental to, or delay, your divorce case.
How does an engagement affect my legal status if I am seeking U.S. citizenship?
If you are engaged to be married to a United States citizen, you may be eligible for a K-1 non-immigrant visa. This is also known as a fiance visa. If your fiance obtains one of these visas on your behalf, you are required to intend to be married within 90 days of arriving in the United States.
Obtaining the visa requires significant preparation. First, you must have seen your fiance in person at least once in the two years prior to seeking the visa, unless your culture prohibits prospective spouses from doing so. Then, you must file Form I-129F, also known as a Petition for Alien Fiance. The form will be reviewed not only by citizenship and immigration services but also by United States Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security.
While you are a fiance on a fiance visa, you have the right to be in the United States. However, the visa will expire, and if you do not end up getting married within the 90-day requirement, your legal right to reside in the U.S. may be revoked. Once you are married, you can file to obtain a permanent visa as the spouse of a U.S. citizen.
Does being engaged to be married affect my legal or financial status in general?
Being engaged to be married does not usually affect your legal status, unless you are engaged to a U.S. citizen and you are seeking citizenship or a visa. Being a fiance is otherwise not a separate legal status.
Financially, things can get a bit complicated. If you take on debts, or sign contracts, as a couple before the wedding, those debts can follow either person that agreed to them, even if the wedding never happens. This happens most frequently with wedding vendor contracts when an engagement is canceled after deposits and contracts are paid.
Marriage, however, most certainly does change your legal and financial status, so it may be wise to discuss these issues with your partner before the big day.
To learn more about the laws surrounding engagements and Prenuptial Agreements, reach out to a Rocket Lawyer On Call® attorney for affordable legal advice.
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.