There are many questions to ask before marriage, and the answers to those questions can have a huge impact on whether the union will last or not. In the excitement of dating and getting engaged, couples sometimes forget to get the most pertinent information about a perspective mate. It is easy to become enthralled with their physical appearance or caught up in a whirlwind romance. But when the dust settles from a tempestuous courtship and before couples say, "I do" several important issues must be resolved. After all, when two people vow to marry, they must also realize that the vow includes a promise to live together until death. That is all the more reason to consider questions to ask before marriage to learn more about a potential mate. The first concern should be does he or she believe in God? Asking about a perspective spouse's personal faith will determine, in part, whether they will be forthcoming about answering other queries. The second question should address whether or not a prospective mate is or has been married. Thirdly, singles should know if their intended has children. Last but not least, are they gainfully employed?
For a Christian, one of the foremost questions to ask before marriage should be, "Do you believe in God?" A man or woman's personal belief system will override every other aspect of wedlock. Unsaved or unchurched individuals will have difficulty living with someone who is a believer in Jesus Christ. No matter how much two people are attracted physically, having two opposing belief systems will wreak havoc in the home and cause such a division that lasting harmony will be almost impossible. A Christian wife married to a non-believing husband may be forced to obey and submit to a man who is not obedient or submissive to God. Therefore, a believing wife will constantly be pulled in two different directions until her husband gives his heart to Jesus Christ as a born-again believer. But an unsaved husband can be won by the holy conversation, or lifestyle, of the wife. "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word, be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear" (I Peter 3:1-2).
Asking a perspective mate if they are married may seem odd; but surprisingly people do get engaged to men and women who are still wed to others! Singles unwittingly fall prey to Internet dating predators that are already married but seek opportunities to form relationships for unscrupulous purposes. Potential mates who have lived separately from a spouse for several years may have failed to get a legal divorce. In almost every state in the Union and abroad, marrying more than one spouse at a time is called bigamy. Questions to ask before marriage for singles concerned about whether their intended is truly free to wed can best be answered by doing an online background check. Many Internet agencies offer do-it-yourself investigative services for a small fee. It is far better to pay a monthly nominal fee than to pay a lifetime for marrying the wrong person. If a fiancee insists that the divorce was final, asking to see the divorce papers is not out of line.
Important questions to ask before marriage also include determining if a potential mate has children. Issues involving children from a previous marriage or relationship will impact a new union for the lifetime of the child, especially if the potential mate is a custodial parent. Marrying a spouse with kids means that the children may have to live with the newlyweds. An inability to make lifestyle changes to accommodate a new marriage with kids can spell disaster. Child support is also a major consideration for couples considering holy wedlock. Part of a prospective partner's income will be diverted to caring for a child until the age of 18 or after graduating from college. Singles engaged to a perspective spouse who pays support should consider the following questions to ask before marriage: "How much child support do you pay?" "Do you also pay alimony?" "What visitation rights do you have?" "Will your kids stay with us periodically?" Blended families consisting of his, hers, and their children, will also face additional challenges of sibling rivalry, changing schools, and providing financial and emotional support.
One of the most crucial questions to ask before marriage is "Do you have a job?" Having money or the lack thereof can either make or break a happy home. If a potential partner is unemployed or underemployed and overburdened with debt, the task of providing for the family may fall solely on one spouse. Sadly, there are men and women who prey on hapless individuals desperate to get married. But smooth talking and romance won't pay the bills. Engaged couples should be mature enough to thoroughly discuss personal finances before committing to a lifelong relationship. Two-income couples may want to determine how the bills will be shared, whether home ownership is feasible, and how much money can be saved.
Other questions to ask before marriage regarding personal assets and liabilities that will be shared after the wedding are also essential. A full disclosure, including indebtedness from student loans, alimony, child support, real estate, and auto loans is necessary before couples should feel comfortable about walking down the aisle. If the relationship has become serious enough to warrant intimate financial details, potential partners should also discuss valuable assets that will become jointly owned. A word of caution: until singles are comfortable about a perspective mate's motives and personal background, disclosure of account numbers, bank personal identification numbers, passwords, and even social security numbers should be withheld. In cases where considerable assets are involved, consulting an attorney about drafting a prenuptial agreement might also be a wise decision.
Common Law MarriagesCommon Law Marriages are only recognized by a few states in the United States. The length of time a couple lives together does not matter. What does matter is if the couple introduces themselves as being married, uses the same last name, files joint income tax returns, and continuously lives together. When common law marriages end, partners must file for a divorce even though they do not have a marriage certificate. Christians should consider carefully what God's word says about choosing a mate and marriage. The Bible tells us, "Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness" (2 Corinthians 6:14)?
In the State of Texas, common law marriages must be established by signing a form. This form can be found in the County Clerk's office. Other criteria include living together and telling others they are married. Length of time living together has no bearing. In other words, a couple can live together for 20 years but if either one has not claimed to be married then they are not united in wedlock. If a man and woman desire to be united in wedlock then he and she should take the necessary steps in accordance with the laws of the State and do so. This can eliminate any doubts as to whether or not they are husband and wife. As Christians, we should not be moving in with another unless we are going to marry. "But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn" (1 Corinthians 7:9).
Disagreements about common law marriages can happen when one partner claims matrimony and the other one does not. Most of the laws in the States that allow matrimony without a certificate state that both people have to agree on being married in order for it to be legal. Both adults need to agree on whether or not there is a marriage. One thing you can do is consult an attorney about the specifics in the law. Using wisdom is called for in a situation like this because making a major life decision will affect more than just you, especially if there are children involved. There is plenty of information found online about the laws pertaining to matrimony and cohabitation. If consulting an attorney is not an option then do some searches on the subject online and make an informed decision.
Matrimony is a serious decision and should be considered carefully because divorce is a serious consequence of choosing the wrong partner. Some people look into common law marriages because they just want to live with a person instead of uniting in matrimony. One reason is because a previous marriage failed and there was an ugly divorce. Another reason is because children from a previous marriage are involved. Other reasons include finances, communication problems, in-laws, religious beliefs, and disagreements on other important issues. Christian adults need to study God's word and see what He says about marrying. Go to church together and consult a minister or counselor about the situation. Pray together and ask God for healing over hurts in the past and guidance to make the right decision about the future.
Getting to know a person is vital before moving in together or considering matrimony. Some couples move in together soon after meeting and find out later there is no common interests between them. If the partners introduce themselves as Mr. and Mrs., then a divorce will have to be filed with the local court if they live in a Sate that recognizes common law marriages. Research on marital laws where one lives can provide some answers ahead of time before moving in with someone else. Take plenty of time and do not rush into anything. Date for awhile and do not be easily persuaded to do anything in haste. Instead ask the other person a lot of questions and find out about his beliefs and what is important to him.
There are so many things to consider before marrying another. One needs to make sure that there are common goals, similar likes and dislikes, similar expectations, similar religious beliefs, and interests. Communication is important especially on subjects that can make or break common law marriages. Money, sexual matters, children, where you want to live, and values are some of the things to be concerned about. The other partner may have divorced and owes a lot of debts or has to pay child support. One of the subjects that couples often fight about is finances so know where you stand before taking the plunge. The other partner may not want to own a home or does not have good enough credit to do so. Perhaps you have always dreamed of owning a home but with credit problems the interest rate would be too high to do so.
Some couples choose to live together instead of becoming legally married. If the two are not living in a State that recognizes common law marriages then they may encounter difficulties when separating. If children have been born during the time a couple lives together then the father of the children may not be considered a legal parent. He may have to prove through the courts that he is the father. This usually takes a blood test known as a paternity test. If parenthood is established then the father will be legally obligated to pay child support and should be granted visitation rights.