Advanced search

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 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)

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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?

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.

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 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.

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)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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)

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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)

AnyoneforTurps Thu 25-Apr-13 13:13:52

Re NOK. There is no general legal definition of your next of kin. There are a small number of laws that do define it (differently, naturally grin) e.g the Mental Health Act, but these definitions do not apply to medical situations generally, only to situations covered by those specific laws.

In general, marriage will not affect whether you are treated as NOK in medical situations and you have no more rights by being married. In fact, unless you have been given power of attorney or appointed by the court of protection, the NOK has no legal rights anyway. No adult is legally entitled to make medical decisions on behalf of another adult (other than with POA etc). Doctors would usually try to consult the wishes of NOK, but are not obliged to comply with them.

So you definitely do not need to get married so that your DP can be your NOK.

DeafLeopard Thu 25-Apr-13 13:04:18

"No need for a wedding to get married."

^^ this.

Weddings are such a circus these days that people think they can't afford to get married. You can and you should. You don't need to tell anyone if you don't want to offend / upset people, and if in the future you decide you want a big day then go and do it later.

Perihelion Thu 25-Apr-13 08:29:53

You can pick the shortest ceremony. For ours, we said " I am" and "Yes". Got married just before birth of DD so DH was NOK and so much cheaper than a visit to the solicitors. No need for a wedding to get married.

jamdonut Thu 25-Apr-13 08:14:11

If you "marry" in a register office it is a civil wedding i.e partnership in the eyes of the State ,not God. (That's why some people have blessings afterwards, if they need the approval of said Being. )
Is that not what you require?

DontmindifIdo Thu 25-Apr-13 08:08:24

I love the idea that civil partnerships, when you drill down to the actual legal bits, are any different to civil marriages - the actual process you go through and the legal rights and responsiblities are the same - i don't understand why some people are so set against marriage they will jump through hoop after hoop trying to get those rights and responsibilities without actually getting married - it's like you clearly want to be married without actually doing the easiest thing about it - ie. a straight forward, lunch break wedding.

I would say as well, if you want to at some unknown point in the future have a big wedding, there's nothing stopping you doing that anyway even if you've got legally married in the past, you can just have the ceremony but be legally covered now. That just means if the big wedding you'll save for "some day" never actually happens, you will still be covered.

I think the problem is that we've gone a couple of generations without large numbers of people just having simple civil services because you don't have to be married to live together, the bulk of people who do get married do a big wedding, and those who have done quiet registary job weddings don't feel the need to tell anyone they have.

I think the issues of those just living together in old age will start to creep up the public concious, those in care homes and going through difficult end of life decisions are still the last generation who had to be married rather than live together. But we are starting to see those who were the first to get divorced in large numbers and/or live together without getting married reach old age, you will start to hear more about the downsides, the loss of pension rights when your partner dies compared to spouse, the NOK issues (particularly with people having long drawn out declines you get in old age) and others raised.

jamdonut Thu 25-Apr-13 07:55:47

The reason that you can't do it "like a will" is because the legal formalities already go to the register office and take 2 witnesses (you don't even have to know them!) and just say the words and Bob's Your Uncle...sorted! You don't even have to tell anyone you've done it until you choose to. You don't have to have or wear a ring. Just carry on as before, but safe in the knowledge that you've covered your back.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now