Monday, April 25, 2022

How To Prepare For A Life Together Before Getting Married

 When you think of your happily ever after it is probably utopic. You may lapse into a dreamlike state as you consider a wonderful future with your partner. The reality, however, is that happiness takes work at any stage of a relationship. There are several ways you can stack the proverbial deck in your favor to achieve a prosperous and content relationship as the years go by.

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Plan to be together geographically.

If you are an American citizen and your fiancé is a non-U.S. citizen currently residing in another country, you need to find a legal way to bring them to the United States. The fiancé visa, also known as the K-1 visa, is your vehicle to make co-locating possible.  

Your first step in securing a fiancé visa is to meet with a qualified lawyer who is an expert in the field. They will guide you on the requirements necessary to start your new life together. Your lawyer will aid you in working with your caseworker and immigration attorney and filing the final paperwork with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for you and your fiancé. 

After you begin the visa application process, you will need to consider where you will live together. Will your fiancé come to your currently established city, or will you begin a new life in a new location? Will you move into a different home? You have been living in your home for a while with all of your possessions already in place. When your soon-to-be spouse arrives, where will their belongings fit? This is an important discussion to have to ensure you have similar expectations.

Learn how to communicate.

Being aware of each other’s needs does not come naturally for most people. Watch this video for helpful tips on how to be a receptive partner.

Be open about finances.

Everybody has a financial history, and you and your fiancé are no different. Furthermore, you likely have distinct opinions on how to handle your money. These factors are influenced by family, the economy, student loan debt, employment, and your perspective on risk.

A necessary part of preparing to marry is sitting down to have an open conversation about your respective finances. Some key items to discuss are:

  • Will you combine your finances?

  • Will you keep your assets separate?

  • How will bills be paid?

  • Do either of you have any debt?

  • Do you have student loans?

  • How will you pay off the debt?

  • Do you have an agreed upon timeline to pay off the debt?

  • What is your retirement timeline and vision?

  • Do you both plan to keep working?

  • Do you want or plan to have children? How many?

  • How will the children be cared for?

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Knowing you want to spend the rest of your life with another person is an amazingly uplifting feeling. That feeling does not guarantee a problem-free relationship. What can make your partnership easier is taking care of logistical obligations such as being geographically separated. Opening lines of communication with one another is another essential for a successful marriage. Be honest about your intentions, expectations, and goals going into your union. You may not agree on everything, but at least you can talk it through together and support each other. Congratulations!

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