Photo: Harwell Photography
The arrival of Spring is more than just the return of the birds and the bees, and the flowers and the trees. It also means new beginnings and new life. So it's no wonder that Spring is also wedding season. For many soon-to-be married couples, it's a new chapter of their life and relationship.
But before these couples walk down the aisle, they have to keep in mind that married life will have bumps along the way.
According to DivorceStatistics.org, as of 2010, 45 to 50 percent of first marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. So how can couples avoid being a part of such a huge percentage?
They can take a page from the couples of Married At First Sight, the popular reality TV show that features six people who agree to enter a legal marriage with a complete stranger. The show then follows the couple throughout their marriage, and the couple decides if they want to stay together or part ways. A little unconventional, but it shows us that sometimes we don't know everything about our partner.
With this in mind, BeenVerified Communications Director Justin Lavelle compiled three important questions for couples considering tying the knot. BeenVerified is a popular online background check platform. Although it may be uncomfortable to talk about at first, Lavelle believes that the answers to these questions are important to consider before entering a marriage.
"If you have doubts that aren't being addressed, get them resolved before you get married or the hurt, embarrassment and damage will be much worse down the road," he says.
Before putting a ring on it, couples should be able to answer these questions about each other:
1. Does he/she have a criminal record?
Sometimes in love, the person's past doesn't matter; what matters is the now. But of course, it can also be a deal-breaker for some, especially with heinous crimes.
"[Being] surprised to find out about a criminal record after you have been married can erode trust, and even put you in a dangerous position if your spouse is unreformed and actively hiding it from you," says Lavelle.
So be sure to bring up information like this early on, so no surprises occur later on in the relationship.
2. Has he/she been married before?
As mentioned before, 45 to 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce, and it can be for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, some relationships just don't work out and you have to move on.
"As a potential new spouse, it's in your best interest to know if your partner has been previously married and what he or she learned from the experience," Lavelle advises. "This can help interrupt old, destructive patterns and make you aware of any sensitivities your partner might have."
"Get clear on issues like debt, credit scores and spending habits before you create a legal and financial partnership that is marriage with another person," says Lavelle.
See more: Love & Relationships
This article originally appeared on YourTango.