Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog

5 Engagement Tips for 'Teen Mom' Jenelle Evans

"Teen Mom 2" star Jenelle Evans has announced that she recently got engaged to boyfriend Nathan Griffith.

Evans and Griffith have been dating for nearly two years and have a 4-month-old son together, reports E! Online. Both Evans and Griffith also have children from prior relationships, including Evans' 5-year-old daughter Jace. Details of the couple's engagement were not disclosed, but the bride-to-be did post pictures of her engagement ring on social media.

What legal issues should Evans and Griffith keep in mind as they prepare to take their vows? Here are five engagement tips they may want to consider:

  1. Have a prenup in place. Among other things, a prenuptial agreement allows a couple to clarify financial rights and responsibilities of each spouse during a marriage, and determine how property will be divided in the event of a divorce. For couples without a prenuptial agreement, the division of property after a divorce will be governed by the marital property laws in their state.
  2. Know the property division laws in your state. States generally follow one of two methods of handling the division of property in a divorce: community property or equitable division. In community property states, property and income acquired by either spouse during marriage (and that isn't separate property) is considered community property. That means it's subject to equal (50/50) division upon divorce. In equitable division states, a judge typically decides what would be a fair (i.e., equitable) division of property between the spouses. South Carolina, where Evans and Griffith live, is an equitable division state.
  3. Learn about stepparent adoption. As both Evans and Griffith will be new stepparents, they may wish to consider stepparent adoption. Generally, stepparent adoption requires the consent of both biological parents or the termination of rights of a biological parent.
  4. Update any estate plans. A major life event such as a marriage is generally a good time to review and revise your estate plan, including making changes to your will. The laws in most states will automatically award a percentage of your property to a surviving spouse upon your death. However, if you wish your estate to be devised differently, you can do this in your will or through a trust.
  5. Find an officiant. Although the laws governing who can officiate a wedding vary by state, many states now allow those ordained online to legally marry couples, allowing couples to have a friend of family member to do the honors.

Evans was arrested in 2013 after getting into a heated argument with Griffith. But the two have apparently settled their differences, at least for the time being. As E! Online reports, Evans even called Griffith "my bestfriend [sic] forever and ever!" on Instagram.

Follow FindLaw for Consumers on Facebook and Twitter (@FindLawConsumer).

Related Resources: