Changing your marital status for a happily ever after

Wedding registration book

Wedding registration book

Sharing your life with someone is a milestone in and of itself. Together, you’re making a conscious decision to devote all you have to give to a special person, and that’s a beautiful thing. There are a lot of things to keep in mind when going about changing your marital status. We’ve put together a short list of topics to discuss with your loved one before you live happily ever after.

Make sure your loved one is covered

A change in marital status, whether it be in marriage, divorce, or legal separation allows an individual to make appropriate changes to their health insurance. Review your options and add or remove your new spouse’s as appropriate. A conversation should be had between you and your partner to determine what needs you might have moving forward. Be sure to ask the important questions when it comes to your partner’s health. Keep in mind that you usually have 60 days from the event of your marital status change to qualify for a special enrollment period.

Discuss financial status and impacts

An important topic to discuss with your partner is outstanding debts. Find out what balances you each have and what tactics you might use to pay them off. Financial planning is key from the onset, and there are a lot organizations that recognize marital status changes as a milestone for change. Consider the impact on the following organizations and events:

  • You and your spouse’s employee benefits
  • Tax time (Internal Revenue Service)
  • Loan providers (think student loans, housing, etc)
  • Credit card providers
  • Voter registration and identification (passport offices, license and registration, etc)
  • Postal offices

Get on the same page with familial goals

Nothing can dampen a relationship more than not being on the same page when it comes to familial goals. Even if the conversations seem difficult to have, be sure to discuss things like children, housing, careers, domestic responsibilities, financial security, and personal goals. Who knows, something as simple as having one Netflix profile or two can make all the difference! Communication is key, and openness about aspirations and fears are a healthy part of any relationship. Keep an ongoing list of things you want to accomplish in your relationship now that you’re sharing your life with someone else. Keep track of how your personal ambitions align with your spouse’s and always maintain an honest dialogue about them. A communal journal  is always a good place to start.

Take time to yourself

A change in marital status is change in you. We chose our spouses for their ability to accept and love us, and that results in a lot of “I” statements suddenly becoming “we” statements. This is important for familial goals, but remember that despite your undeniable bond with your partner, you are still your own person, and sometimes you’ll need time to yourself!

Don’t get us wrong; explore the intricacies of life with your partner is important and should be cherished. However, separate your ‘you’ time from your ‘us’ time by finding new activities you can do with your partner that push you both outside your comfort zones, so you can add spontaneity to your relationship. Keep some activities that you cherish to yourself and use them as your special time to recharge and maintain your identity. It’s often said that your spouse is the person that brings out the best in you, but you can still be at your best when it’s just you working at it.

Taylor Werdel

May 16, 2018