Do we HAVE to get married?

(119 Posts)
NaturalBlondeYeahRight Wed 24-Apr-13 20:33:44

We have been together ( more or less happily grin )for 18 years. 2 DC, house in both names and appropriate wills and life insurance.
I don't want a 'ah, go and get married' Fred. But seriously, should we?
If either of us kick the bucket before our time, will
It cause serious problems. OH main breadwinner so presuming he will be ok money wise but am I taking big risks. I have visions of poverty line before will is sorted. We don't even have joint accounts (never got round to it) but please don't think this is an issue, our money is shared equally.

DontmindifIdo Wed 24-Apr-13 21:39:30

Zappo- if your DM has died before you need decisions making as NOK, who would it be?

Dahlen Wed 24-Apr-13 21:40:25

You don't HAVE to get married. You can get round everything - including next of kin status and pension rights if you are financially and legally savvy (but most people are not wink). However, to do it that way will be difficult, time-consuming and costly. It is far simpler (and cheaper) to just get married.

exoticfruits Wed 24-Apr-13 21:41:47

But my MIL wouldn't be making decisions about me or my children(that would be different) but about DP!

But it would have huge implications for you if you didn't get on -fine if she loves you and wants to make things as best as possible for all.

Thurlow Wed 24-Apr-13 21:42:42

I didn't realise that about the before 2003 parental rights, that's pretty unfair!

Murette, you comment about support reminds me of a law course I went on once, where the tutor said that if you move in to a house you don't shared own, make sure you get your name on the mortgage; if someone moves in to your house, never let them onto the mortgage!

Realistically, DP and I earn roughly the same amount and both work f/t so as far as I am concerned he owes me nothing in terms of support, he only owes our DC. Obviously if there is a difference in income or one parent works and the other stays at home, that becomes a different discussion.

exoticfruits Wed 24-Apr-13 21:43:25

Much cheaper to get a marriage certificate. If you don't you need to make sure that you cover all angles legally and don't just miss something by accident.

Zappo Wed 24-Apr-13 21:44:56

Zappo- if your DM has died before you need decisions making as NOK, who would it be?

Well presumably someone has to be your next of kin. So if DC are 18 they would be, if not, I suppose my siblings.

In law how do they decide who has precedence as next of kin?- eldest surviving sibling. What happens if someone has no parents and no siblings- is it any surviving relative? Does an Uncle take precedence over a cousin. What happens if a patient hasn't declared who his NOK is?
I'm genuinely interested.

OceanBeach Wed 24-Apr-13 21:45:41

You dont have to say vows to he legally married. Whole bare minimum legal thing takes 2 minutes. Only have to confirm you name and are free to marry and sign register. That's it! Cheaper than a solicitor

exoticfruits Wed 24-Apr-13 21:46:16

It is a bit like travel insurance-it is only when you come to make a claim that you realise that you should have gone through all the small print in minute detail-if all is well you never realise that you were not fully covered.

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Wed 24-Apr-13 21:46:25

Ah Mrspogles you make me feel like a whippersnapper with my 17 year engagement grin
It's very easy to put fingers in ears and shout la la la when things are going smoothly. Believe me, different scenarios have often crossed my mind, and like someone earlier said, OH doesn't really have to worry as most of the household income comes from him.
I've googled registry offices near me and there are surprising few. I know it's been said before, but in this day and age I cannot believe that partnership loopholes cannot be sorted like a will.

FrauMoose Wed 24-Apr-13 21:46:48

I think there might also be problems if one of you got a job abroad - spouses can travel with their husband/wife but as a cohabiting partner does not have this right.

I married my partner in a fairly simple (Quaker) service. No great expenditure. No white dress. I don't wear a ring. I didn't change my name. It didn't mean we started behaving like characters in a sitcom.

That was 18 years ago.

In many ways I am very unromantic. It seemed as much about saying, 'We are in business together' as it was about Valentine's Day sentimentality.

exoticfruits Wed 24-Apr-13 21:47:23

That is why you need a solicitor Zappo-you can be sure there are definite answers.

Zappo Wed 24-Apr-13 21:47:55

exoticfruits point taken

I still can't see myself ever being married though

DontmindifIdo Wed 24-Apr-13 21:48:01

Zappo - just think about things like if your MIL refused to give permission for a proceedure that means that while your DP survived, they were physically disabled and unable to work/needed you to take on a caring role for them, it would surely have a huge impact on you and your DCs. (Even more so if as NOK she refused a proceedure that lead to your DP dying).

If your MIL decided to make things difficult for you to access your DP if they were in hospital, there's little you could do about it.

LivingThings Wed 24-Apr-13 21:55:03

Get married. Me and DH had been together for 8 years but decided to get married as wanted children and to have things/wills etc financially sorted before that. Just went to Las Vegas and got wed in a hotel chapel and had a great holiday too.

Zappo Wed 24-Apr-13 21:55:41

But I'm sure MIL would want the best for DP and she's not a JW so won't be refusing blood transfusions.

Plus what do divorced people with children do? Divorced partner might still be main wage earner, giving wife good maintenance. may be co-parenting responsibly. Ex-wife won't be NOK any longer and MIL will be making all the decisions.

So you could get married and split up before you get ill/hgospitalised and no longer be protected anyway.

I know I'm being devil's advocate here

TWinklyLittleStar Wed 24-Apr-13 22:00:23

I cannot believe that partnership loopholes cannot be sorted like a will

But they can - by signing a marriage certificate. Quick, cheap and easy. Why spend all that extra time money and energy trying to cover all the eventualities that marriage will cover?

WorrySighWorrySigh Wed 24-Apr-13 22:02:03

I cannot believe that partnership loopholes cannot be sorted like a will.

They can! (now repeating myself): register office, notice, fee, witnesses, confirm that you are free to marry, sign register.

How much easier do you want it?

The difference between a marriage and a will is that a marriage is a bilateral agreement a will is a unilateral statement.

exoticfruits Wed 24-Apr-13 22:08:23

Going to a solicitor is never cheap-getting the marriage certificate is much cheaper and simpler.

DontmindifIdo Wed 24-Apr-13 22:11:10

NaturallyBlonde - the loopholes can be sorted out in less than 15 minutes, you just get married wink to be fair, the law gives you an easy and relatively cheap and religion free way of confirming your partnership - a civil wedding, taking out all the 'frills' - really all you have to do is confirm your name and that you are chosing to marry this person with free will and know of no reason why your marriage would be illegal, your DP does the same front of a couple of witnesses and then you sign a bit of paper to that effect - take out the romantic bits, readings and photos and it can be only 5 minutes to sort that. I know someone who got married in their lunch break and didn't say anything for a few weeks - it was just for them because he'd just been often a dream job in the middle east and it really wasn't practical/safe for her to go if she wasn't his wife.

There's not many registery offices because so many hotels can do weddings now, so people often just get married at one of those with the registrar going to them, but most councils will have one somewhere.

TheCraicDealer Wed 24-Apr-13 22:12:09

It is amusing that many people say they don't have time to arrange a marriage ceremony, but think that they will have time to gather relevant documents, discuss specifically what they want to achieve, pick a solicitor, meet the solicitor, hash out the terms of an agreement and sign on the doted line.... Honestly, I feel sleepy just typing all that.

MephistophelesSister Wed 24-Apr-13 22:12:54

DH and I married after more than 10yrs together. He really wasn't keen - but as he was the main earner and I was pregnant at the time I was adamant and he eventually caved in. We had a very quiet registry office do with just witnesses. I didn't even tell my parents until after the event (which caused major bad feelings, but thatis a whole other thread...)

6 months later he was diagnosed with a rare but serious form of cancer, had a massive operation and was given 50/50 chances of surviving another 6 months. Thankfully he is still with us, but being married meant that there was never any question about medical decisions, me being present at the hospital, me refusing visits from his side of the family that he didn't want etc. Had the worst come to pass, I wouldn't have been left dealing with extra legal shit as well as being a new mum and having lost my partner. I am very, very glad we did it.

The capital gains tax on second properties is definitely a problem, however. We have two properties (one in each of our names), and should we ever need to sell either we are in a position where we would have to pay ££££s that an unmarried couple would escape. It is possible to list one property as your main residence, I believe - and you can switch which it is with a certain amount of notice, but it is still tricky. It rankles a bit, as even if you add the value of our two together we aren't close to the value of the average family home in the UK. Grrrrr.

WorrySighWorrySigh Wed 24-Apr-13 22:14:59

Ex-wife won't be NOK any longer and MIL will be making all the decisions.

Exactly, part and parcel of being an ex (and MiL is then ex as well). Otherwise ex-spouses would be making NOK decisions over the heads of second spouses. Which would make no sense.

I'm sure MIL would want the best for DP and she's not a JW so won't be refusing blood transfusions.

But it isnt just about blood transfusions. My MiL does not know my DH's full medical history. She doesnt know what medication he is taking or that he is allergic to ibuprofen.

I am certain that my DH would not want his lovely but easily confused, technically sane but practically barking DM making important medical decisions over his unconscious body. He would rather the doctors asked the cat.

DontmindifIdo Wed 24-Apr-13 22:15:29

Zappo- the problem arises when it's not clear what 'the best' is - often there's several options that will lead to different outcomes. however as his partner, you'd be the one to live with the results of those outcomes, but not the one who's decision would be final (assuming he was unable to make the decision himself). Also as the one who lives with him you are bound to have a better idea of what he'd want - it's been 15 years since I lived with my mum, I've been with DH for 12 of those years, I'd say he's got a much better idea of my views and preferences and what's best for me than my mum would now.

iheartdusty Wed 24-Apr-13 22:16:59

There must be so many horror stories about NOK stepping in.

My friend's experience; her DP died, his adult daughter was NOK, they had never got on through the 10 years friend and DP were together, adult daughter arranged the funeral without telling friend and refused to tell friend which undertakers were involved, where her DP's body was, and so on.

MrsPoglesWood Wed 24-Apr-13 22:19:31

Not quite a whippersnapper NaturalBlonde DP and I saw and ad on Sky for a film called "The Five Year Engagement." We both laughed and called them amateurs.

But you cannot sort out pension inheritance through a will. The terms of the pension have to say that they will pay out to an unmarried partner nominated by the pension holder. A pension recipient cannot nominate someone in a will to receive their pension unless the terms of the pension allow it. And they are far and few between. Nearly all specifiy a spouse or civil partner - both of which need certificates as proof of inherited rights.

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