How to Address Legal Issues Involving Your Wedding and the Coronavirus
On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that COVID-19, commonly referred to as the coronavirus, is enough of a global threat to humanity that it can now be classified as a “pandemic.” As more and more events with large gatherings are getting canceled or postponed, couples planning to tie the knot may be concerned. Here is why weddings are particularly susceptible to the coronavirus and what you might want to consider doing about it, including postponing it and choosing to work on your prenuptial agreement or cohabitation agreement instead.
Why Weddings Are Dangerous Due to the Coronavirus
Although most people have aimed their attention on the cancellation of major events and other public gatherings, including festivals like South by Southwest and Coachella, and sporting events like the NCAA March Madness Tournament, not enough focus has been placed on weddings. Weddings are particularly dangerous when it comes to the coronavirus because:
Most weddings have large amounts of people crowded into relatively small places.
The guests of many weddings are coming from all over the country and world, which increases the likelihood of some carrying the coronavirus.
Many guests that both the bride and groom would like to have in attendance at their wedding are elderly and therefore more susceptible to the virus.
You Postponed Your Wedding—Now What?
For many people, the question is not really what you should do about your wedding; it is what you should do instead of your wedding. With Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker recommending a ban on sporting events until May 1 and countless major events already canceled, it is becoming increasingly clear that a contingency plan for your wedding might be necessary. You might want to postpone your wedding and do the following with your time instead while you wait for the virus to run its course:
Work on a prenuptial agreement—This can often take longer than you would expect, but odds are once you complete it, you will be happy with the result. You might even be closer as a couple.
Develop a cohabitation agreement—If you are not already living together, maybe now would be a great time to give it a try. Consider starting out with a cohabitation agreement. This type of agreement can also be beneficial if you are already living together and want to establish or reaffirm some ground rules. Setting these rules early on could help you ease into your future marriage.
Marry each other without the wedding—You can go to your local courthouse and demonstrate your devotion to your partner by getting married without all the elaborate planning and large crowds—and possible coronavirus risks—that are involved with the wedding itself. This does not mean you will never have a wedding; it just means you will be taking a rain check on it until the coronavirus situation is remedied.
What to Do if the Wedding Must Go On
For the brave souls going through with their weddings despite the threat of the coronavirus, here are some tips to minimize possible infections:
Warn guests, particularly the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, that there are risks in attending the wedding, and encourage them to stay home if they have the slightest bit of doubts about going to your wedding, especially if they are already sick. Make sure they do not feel bad about missing your wedding.
Post the CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines for coronavirus prevention throughout the wedding venue.
Provide readily available access to hand sanitizer wherever possible within the venue.
Practice and encourage “social distancing” by seating people farther away from each other and spacing out the environment more.
Contact a Wheaton IL Family Law Attorney
With the coronavirus affecting so many people, the threat is real, and it must be taken into consideration with upcoming weddings. If you and your partner are thinking about postponing your wedding and are interested in working on some other legal arrangements for your relationship, contact a DuPage County prenuptial agreement lawyer at 630-871-1002. The consultation is free, and the dynamic team at Andrew Cores Family Law Group will make sure the time it takes for you to wait for the wedding is actually time well spent for your relationship.