You and the love of your life survived the ultimate test to your relationship: raising kids. Now, you’re ready to tie the knot and take advantage of the legal protections that marriage provides. Keep the following in mind as you plan for your dream wedding:
Statistically, Your Marriage Is Safer Than You Think
As a cohabiting parent, you’ve likely experienced undue judgment on all sides. Friends, family members, even outright strangers assume that since you tackled milestones ‘out of order,’ your marriage is doomed to failure. Thankfully, statistics suggest otherwise—at least for marriages in the last two decades.
A study from the Council on Contemporary Families observed no impact on the risk of divorce for women who became mothers between 1997 and 2010—and before getting hitched. The takeaway: there is no need to doubt the strength of your marriage based on when or under what circumstances it occurs.
You risk of divorce may be similar to that of parents who married before having kids, but the possibility of dissolution is far from nonexistent. Even if your husband-to-be is the father of your children, he may not be considered the biological father for legal purposes. At the time of birth, did you take steps to acknowledge paternity? If not, the father of your children likely lacks parental rights. This could prove problematic in the event of divorce.
The solution? Verify paternity before adding a marriage license to the picture. This can be achieved through a voluntary written statement made under oath by both the mother and father. DNA testing can also be used to establish paternity as can, in rare circumstances, evidence of cohabitation at the time of conception.
The Role of Prenuptial Agreements
As a bride or groom-to-be with kids, you’re likely entering marriage with more logistical concerns than doe-eyed, childless fiancées. You may be the perfect candidate for a prenuptial agreement. It’s easier to outline specifics regarding post-divorce custody arrangements if your plans revolve around a child that actually exists.
As you prepare for marriage, consider protecting your children and your personal interests via a Virginia prenuptial agreement. DiPietro Law Group can guide you through this process, allowing you to enter marriage feeling completely secure.