Now that marriage for all is the law of the land in the United States and many other countries across the world, many same-sex couples are looking to make their union legal. Whether emotional or financial, there’s a lot to consider before marriage. While many couples rush into a wedding because of the benefits that come with a legal union, divorce is costly and acrimonious, so it’s important to make sure you’re making the right choice when you’re planning to walk down the aisle. Let’s go over five simple things to think about before you tie the knot.
1. Plan the perfect proposal.
The first step to any wedding is making sure your significant other says yes. Step one for a proposal usually involves a ring, and it’s easier than ever to find something beautiful that doesn’t break the bank. If you haven’t already looked into them, consider exploring a lab-created diamond ring instead of a traditional mined ring. Lab-created diamonds can cost up to 60% less per karat than a mined diamond. Lab-created diamonds are exactly what they sound like— authentic diamonds created by scientists imitating nature’s process in an expedited fashion. If you want to impress with a diamond that’s more affordable and more ethical, looking for a lab created diamond engagement ring might be a great idea.
Timing is of the utmost importance when asking someone to marry you, so be thoughtful about where and when you propose. You want your partner to feel comfortable and relaxed when you pop the question, above all else.
2. Consider pre-marriage counseling.
No matter how great of a relationship you have, marriage is complicated, and inevitably, you will face challenges. Sitting down with a therapist to talk about the changes that you can expect as a couple is a smart way to reduce your risk of conflict later on. You can find gay couples counseling from offices that specialize in providing services for LGBTQ+ clients, like Therapy Group of DC. It’s highly recommended to find out if the person you’re speaking with has experience discussing topics related to same-sex couples and the gay community, or else you might find yourself spending more time explaining rather than discussing the issues you’re facing.
3. Look up local laws and regulations.
While in the United States same-sex marriage is legal nationally, this isn’t the case in every country, and every state has a different process for obtaining a marriage license. You’ll want to double-check and make sure you have all the documentation you need so that you won’t have to worry about paperwork or tying up loose ends on your special day.
4. Think about government benefits.
The good news is that government benefits are being extended to spouses in same-sex partnerships now, including programs like social security. If one member of the couple is a low-earner compared to the other though, your social security taxes could rise after being married. Get a social security estimate in advance to find out exactly how marriage will affect both of your benefits going forward. If one partner is on disability or welfare, marriage may also interrupt those benefits due to the higher household income.
5. Don’t rush into anything.
There are plenty of emotional and financial benefits to marriage, but it’s important to take your time when deciding who you want to spend the rest of your life with. While many couples do rush into it because of the significant aid it can provide in terms of government benefits, health insurance, and the like, no one wants to go through an ugly divorce. If you wait until you’re truly comfortable and ready to be married, you’ll have a better chance of staying together forever.
While the legalization of gay marriage has put the topic on a lot of minds, there are still considerable risks and rewards to think about before you wed your partner. Getting married will change your legal situation, your financial situation, and it requires a substantial and lifelong emotional commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Still, if you communicate well with your partner, plan for the logical realities in advance, and wait until the time is right for you, you should be on your way to happily wedded bliss.