How does life change after marriage

Changes after the wedding: rights, obligations, opportunities

When the sound of the wedding bells fades away and the ink on the certificate has dried, many newlyweds face the more pragmatic part of getting married. Whether pension, assets or insurance: Read here what changes when you get married and what you should be aware of.

Changes after the wedding: Well prepared for the marriage

To say yes does not only mean the - hopefully - lifelong bond with the spouse, but also the consent to certain duties and rights. If you want to get married, you should, if possible, find out in advance what the legal bond means for life, for example. Because often things are real regulated differently than many married couples expect. For example, if your partner is sick or has an accident, marriage does not provide a sufficient legal basis for you to get all the information about his or her condition. First of all, he must expressly release the doctor from his obligation to maintain confidentiality. You should also be clear about things like maintenance obligations before the wedding - otherwise, in the event of a separation, there may be a rude awakening.

The name change

When asked, “What changes when you get married?”, Many people probably think of the name first. The Change of name is not mandatory, but in fact most couples agree on a common family name. That is, one of the partners takes the last name of the other. What sounds romantic is de facto associated with some effort and additional costs. Whether official documents, newspaper subscriptions or doorbell signs - if you have taken over the family name of your spouse, you should take care of the name change as soon as possible after the wedding. These include, for example:

  • ID card and passport
  • Vehicle papers
  • Bank account
  • Health insurance
  • Insurance
  • Electricity provider
  • E-mail address
  • User accounts in online shops
  • Social networks

You can find complete checklists on the Internet - you are guaranteed not to forget any important points. Until the name change is complete, you should keep your Leave the birth name on the doorbellso that your mail continues to reach you. If you are not planning a common surname, you have to determine a married name at the registry office. If you are planning to have children, your children will receive this surname.

Marriage: what changes financially?

Even if financial advantages are not the reason for the ring swap for most couples: With marriage, arise monetary amenitiesthat cannot be dismissed out of hand. In return, however, you also enter into obligations towards your partner.

Tax changes

If you get married, you automatically end up in tax class IV. However, there is also the option of changing tax classes once a year on November 30th - for example to combine tax class III and V or tax class IV and IV with a factor. This so-called Spouse splitting However, it is only recommended in two cases:

  • One partner has a significantly higher income than the other.
  • One partner works part-time.

As soon as one of the partners generates around 60 percent of the total net income, it makes sense for him to switch to tax class III. For spouses who earn a similar amount, however, it is hardly worthwhile to optimize the tax brackets. A joint tax return is still possible.

If the difference in wages is very large, you must expect a higher tax back payment in tax brackets III and V at the end of the year. In tax classes IV or IV with a factor, on the other hand, there is usually little or no tax refund.

Marriage can bring financial advantages not only in terms of income tax. Also at The state gives preferential treatment to married couples. For example, your savings allowance doubles to 1,602 euros - income from investments does not have to be taxed up to this amount. The tax exemptions for gift and inheritance tax will also increase from 20,000 to a total of 500,000 euros.

Assets and possessions: what will change after the wedding?

After the marriage, everything you own automatically belongs to your partner too? This assumption is a common myth. Unless otherwise agreed in a marriage contract, the so-called community of gains applies. This means that everyone keeps the property that they earned before marriage. Only between the assets that were added during the marriage is there a balance in the end: Half of the difference between the two gains then goes to the partner who earned less. Incidentally, the other is only liable for debts that one of the two spouses incurs during the marriage if he has also signed the loan agreement.

Alternatively, you can agree on a separation of property or a community of property. You must have both options have it notarized. In the first variant, all possessions remain strictly separated even after the marriage. However, this also means that the surviving dependents have to pay taxes on the entire estate if one of the two spouses dies. In the case of community of property, on the other hand, everything is really shared - including debts. This variant is considered to be out of date and is hardly noticed by married couples.


Basically: There is a mutual maintenance obligation of the spouses - both during the marriage and in the case of separated couples and after a divorce. This maintenance obligation comes into force, for example, when one of the partners is unable to work or loses his or her job. Maintenance claims are arguably the biggest controversial factor in the event of a separation. However, they can be specified in advance in a marriage contract - so the fronts are clarified from the outset. Maintenance claims are regulated differently in the separation phase and after the divorce.

  • Separation maintenance: If the spouses are already separated but the divorce has not yet taken place, you are entitled to separation maintenance. This applies regardless of the reason for separation and even if something else was previously agreed in the contract. The dependent spouse must pay 3/7 of their net income to the dependent. However, the deductible is at least 1,200 euros.
  • Divorced alimony: After the divorce, both are required to provide for their own living. Maintenance claims only exist if someone is unable to do so - for example because they have to look after the children. In this case he is entitled to use the so-called Care maintenance to acquire. The entitlement is graded according to the age of the child.

Marriage: what changes with age

Ideally, a marriage lasts into old age - and even then the bond has a financial impact on life.

The retirement provision

The statutory pension entitlements of both spouses are in the course of the so-called pension adjustment added up, halved and at retirement evenly divided. If you would like to make additional provisions with a Riester pension, both partners are automatically eligible as soon as one of them can claim the Riester pension. With the basic pension or Rürüp pension, a form of private old-age provision that comes with tax advantages, you can insure your spouse if you wish.

Inheritance and survivor's pension

If your spouse dies before you, you are part of the legacy alongside parents, siblings and children automatically taken into account by law - unless the will is otherwise regulated in the will. You are also married for one year or more Entitlement to widow's or widower's pension. One distinguishes between

  • the Small widower's pension (100 percent in the first three months, then 25 percent of the actual pension, limited to two years) and
  • the Large widow's pension (in the first three months 100 percent, then 55, previously 60 percent of the pension drawn, with no time limit).

You have a chance of a large widow's pension, for example, if you are unable to work or are raising a child. However, these claims from a previous marriage expire when you marry again.


When it comes to insurance, a lot is simplified for married couples:

  • Health insurance is one of the compulsory insurances in Germany. You can, however, your spouse Co-insure free of charge with statutory health insuranceif they have little or no income.
  • You should avoid unnecessary multiple insurances: In the case of liability, household effects, motor vehicle liability or legal protection, check whether you have unnecessary duplicate policies to have. As a rule, the more recent contract is terminated, in some cases there is even an extraordinary right of termination.
  • As a married couple, it makes perfect sense to take out term life insuranceto be financially secure in the event of death. In the case of married couples, the inheritance tax exemption is already 500,000 euros, so that even high insured sums remain tax-free. Married couples can also take out associated term life insurance and thus save on insurance premiums.
  • If you have already taken out term life insurance, you can often use the so-called reinsurance guarantee Adjust the sum insured. At Verti, for example, weddings are one of those life events that can easily be reinsured for up to 30,000 euros without a new health check.

Children: what is the legal change after marriage?

After the wedding, it doesn't take long for many couples to have their first offspring. But also blended families, in which one or even both partners bring children from previous relationships into the marriage, are now quite normal. But what is the legal situation, especially for fathers?

  • For children born during marriage, is no acknowledgment of paternity necessary. The husband is then automatically the father of the child - with all rights of contact and custody as well as maintenance obligations.
  • The children then automatically have the common surname or the married name given before the marriagebut never double names.
  • If your partner brings children into the marriage, you have first neither rights nor obligations towards these children. However, you can adopt them and are therefore legally equal to the biological father.

There's a lot to organize, and not just before the wedding. Even after getting married, newly married couples have to deal with various important questions, go to the authorities and adjust insurance contracts. Because even if everything will probably stay the same for the time being after the interpersonal agreement - a lot will change legally for a married couple. Above all, you should be clear about the obligations associated with a wedding and be open about them together with your partner Need for a marriage contract to discuss. This can still be put on after the marriage.