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 Thu 25-Apr-13 13:25:53

DeafLeopard - yes, we did have the big wedding because we wanted to do it, but it was in a hotel, and the legal part (paying the council for two people to come out to do the ceremony and giving us our marriage certificate), cost about the same as we have been quoted to do wills. (We only really want wills to say what we want to happen to DCs and who will manage their money if we both die)

NotYoMomma Thu 25-Apr-13 14:14:10

I would just et married because surely it's just easier? Rather than seeing solicitors and looking everything up...

The way the law is I don't see why more people don't just get cheap weddings.

Zappo Thu 25-Apr-13 22:04:50

"The way the law is I don't see why more people don't just get cheap weddings"

Because marriage is for life and some people don't want to make promises they may not be able to keep. Or does the civil ceremony not stress the "till death us do part bit"

I say that not because I'm planning on doing a runner but because I've seen so many marriages/relationships break up including my own.

DontmindifIdo Thu 25-Apr-13 22:08:45

Zappo, there are no vows in the civil ceremony unless you add them in, literally you just have to confirm who you are, that you know who they are, and that you freely chose to get married And have no legal reason not to - anything else is not required legally and is just personal preference.

DontmindifIdo Thu 25-Apr-13 22:09:53

Basically, you don't make any promises unless you chose to.

Zappo Thu 25-Apr-13 22:15:06

Ah thanks for confirming.

I think I got confused by another thread where someone was hoping for civil partnerships to become available to all because civil partnerships whilst conferring all the legal rights of marrisge stressed the finite nature of the relationship.

MyNewPassiveAggressiveNickname Thu 25-Apr-13 22:20:47

There is always the inheritance tax issue. As someone above said - being married has its massive advantages for the bad times.

Yes I know we all want to think bad things will never happen to use- but the reality is often different. Making a stance on remaining single comes at a cost IMO.

jamdonut Fri 26-Apr-13 08:11:17

See, I don't get why people want to go to all of the trouble of solicitors and wills etc just because they don't want to say "I promise..."., or say,"I don't need a bit of paper..." because quite obviously you DO need that bit of paper either by a civil ceremony or the solicitor to keep you secure. If you want to be easy come,easy go,then fine,don't bother. But don't expect to have any legal rights.

If you want legal rights,you go through the legal procedure which is "marriage".

(sorry, rambling,I know, but you get the gist. Rushing off to work)

exoticfruits Fri 26-Apr-13 08:28:54

It has always given me a wry smile when people say, in an off hand way, 'it is just a piece of paper' - because it really is far, far more, which unfortunately they may find out later to their cost. You don't have to have a wedding- you can pop into the registry office when doing your shopping, wearing jeans or whatever, get 2 witnesses off the street and do the formalities. You can get the legal side from a solicitor but then it will cost far more and there is the niggling doubt that something has been missed.
When you read on MN about the problems people have with DPs parents it is even odder that put themselves in a position where they could be completely frozen out by his family. If he already has DCs before you meet him there could again be huge problems.
If you don't get the marriage certificate you need to be sure that any blood relations love you to bits and want to put you first.

WorrySighWorrySigh Fri 26-Apr-13 08:30:58

I do get frustrated when people want the legal bits of marriage but complain that they have to actually do something to get them.

One of the nice things about Britain is that the state basically doesnt peer in through your bedroom window. If you want a relationship to be acknowledged legally then you have to tell the state about it (ie marriage/CP) otherwise you are simply two people sharing an address.

If the state were to assume that people who had lived at the same address for some time were in a relationship then all sorts of flat-share situations would take on a whole new meaning.

You cant have it both ways.

DontmindifIdo Fri 26-Apr-13 08:38:24

Jamdonut - i think what you are trying to say (and sorry if I've got this wrong) is that it's annoying when people want the rights confurred by marriage but not the responsibilities that go along with it (and your rights are your DP's reponsibilities, and your responsibilities are your DP's rights) - and don't want to do something that is far quicker and easier than the average solicitor appointment.

Zappo - that sounds like they went to a civil partnership with a humanist ceremony and got themselves confused! It's one of the big arguments for same sex marriage in my mind, it takes away the "other" option, you're married or you're not, if you want the rights, fine - everyone has the chance to get them, relatively cheaply and quickly (or fancy and expensively if they want) and it's all the same basic questions, how you 'dress round' that is entirely up to you. If you don't want the rights and responsibilities, also fine, that's up to you, you've got the choice.

Zappo Fri 26-Apr-13 21:30:20

"If you don't get the marriage certificate you need to be sure that any blood relations love you to bits and want to put you first"

True but I see many many threads on here where DH and DW don't put their spouses first.

Zappo Fri 26-Apr-13 21:37:03

"If you want a relationship to be acknowledged legally then you have to tell the state about it (ie marriage/CP) otherwise you are simply two people sharing an address"

Perversely, I rather like it when you put it like that- I am a woman who has chosen to live with a man no more no less quite romantic andvery Sue Bridehead(buries head in sand)

WorrySighWorrySigh Fri 26-Apr-13 22:20:19

I am a woman who has chosen to live with a man no more no less

And that is absolutely fine, that is what the state will then defend. I dont think that people have to marry if they dont want to create rights and obligations.

tootssweet Fri 26-Apr-13 22:34:56

This is a really interesting thread - am unmarried but DP & I have been together for years. He says he has a mortgage & dc's with me & that is enough to show his commitment - but practical me knows it isn't. Will be showing him this thread & seeing what we do next. Thanks for the advice mners!

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 27-Apr-13 11:09:29

tootssweet - the problem is that these commitments are to the mortgage company and the children. Quite frankly, the mortgage company is probably the most able to enforce that the commitment.

They arent a commitment to you.

DeafLeopard Sat 27-Apr-13 12:09:19

toot - what WSWS says is correct.

You haven't said if you have made wills leaving everything to each other, but if you haven't and he dies, how would you feel if his parents forced you to sell your house so that they could have the financial value of their share of his inheritance?

Or if your house is above the IHT level, you could have to sell up to pay the IHT?

soverylucky Sat 27-Apr-13 12:19:53

Why don't you see getting married like going to make your will. For a will you go into town to attend an appointment with your solicitor where certain things will be explained to you and you sign on the dotted line. Takes a wee bit of time. For a marriage you go into town to attend an appointment with a registrar. No need for flowers, car, photographer or even to go for a meal afterwards. Then you have all financial and practical bases covered. TBH I can't see any reason in your situation not to get married.

DontmindifIdo Sat 27-Apr-13 20:52:53

Zappo - ^"If you don't get the marriage certificate you need to be sure that any blood relations love you to bits and want to put you first"

True but I see many many threads on here where DH and DW don't put their spouses first.^

this is true, but if you think your DH or DW wouldn't put you first, you can end that relationship via a divorce, you are kind of stuffed when it comes to your parents/PILs, nowt you can do about them. (other than get married and stop this sort of thing being their choice)

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