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It’s your big day. Between flowers and invitations and picking a venue, it’s easy to get distracted and forget about the less glamorous aspects of getting married. But fear not, the attorneys at The Law StoreTM have you covered. Here’s a list of some things you need to keep in mind when you take the plunge.

The Legal Wedding Checklist

The Marriage License: Everyone who is getting married must obtain a valid marriage license from the Record of Deeds before the actual marriage. Missouri does not require a blood test and there is no waiting period before getting married, but the ceremony must take place within 30 days or the license will expire. If either spouse has been previously married, you must show proof of divorce or annulment and you must wait 30 after the divorce is final to get remarried.

  • The Officiant: Once you have your marriage license, you must have your officiant complete it and have two witnesses who are 18 or older sign it. The officiant must then return the completed license to the to the County Recorder’s office within 15 days of the ceremony.
  • The Marriage Certificate: While obtaining a marriage certificate is not a requirement, many people like to have it. After you’ve properly obtained and filed your marriage license, you can request an official Certificate of Marriage from the state for your personal records.
  • The Prenup: Let’s face it – no one thinks they’ll get divorced. But planning for all possible outcomes is the smart thing to do. A prenuptial agreement allows you to dictate how you and your spouse will handle financial matters if things don’t go as planned. If you don’t sign a prenup, it’s not too late. You can accomplish the same thing after you’re married with a postnuptial agreement.
  • The Name Change: You may be planning to take your spouse’s name after you get married, or switch to a hyphenated last name. In either case, you’ll need to submit a number of name changes, including:
    • Social Security;
    • The DMV;
    • Your passport;
    • Bank accounts and credit cards;
    • Retirement accounts and investments;
    • Insurance;
    • The post office;
    • Utilities.
  • The Change of Beneficiary: Now that you have a new spouse, you will likely want to name him or her as a beneficiary on all your important financial instruments. You’ll have to submit a change of beneficiary for things such as employment benefits, life insurance policies, and retirement accounts, to name a few.
  • The Will: You’ll need to update your current will to designate your new spouse as the person who will inherit in the event of your death. If you don’t currently have a will, now is the perfect time to create one.

We’re Here to Help You Get Hitched Without a Hitch

Your wedding is an exciting time. The Law Store is here to help you with all the legal necessities, so you can spend your time focusing on your big day. We offer a wide range of affordable legal services that will ensure everything is in order before you say “I Do.” With our Free First AdviceTM program, you can consult with one of our family law attorneys free of charge to discuss any questions you may have regarding pre-wedding legal planning. Book an appointment today by dropping by The Law Store, calling us, or scheduling a service online.