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To think that anyone who has Dc's with a Dp without getting married doesn't realise how precarious their situation is ?

(185 Posts)
kittensinmydinner Tue 25-Nov-14 19:33:56

Just that really. Have just spent 6 months supporting best friend after her 'd' p met and left her for OW and 'soul mate' in May. leaving her with 5 dcs. He married in September despite not believing it when bf wanted to. She is entitled to nothing except maintenance (which wouldn't come close to paying the mortgage). She has been SAHM for 19 yrs and supported his carreer trajectory as a very big earner but is not entitled to anything in the way of pension or property. So aibu in thinking that primary carers who give up work or reduce their income to look after dcs do so without being aware exactly how vulnerable they are financially. (unless of course they have their own private income . )

Stormingateacup Tue 25-Nov-14 19:38:26

Why was her name not on the house? Why did she not pay into a private pension from the family income?

Both of these would have changed her current situation. You can't replicate marriage rights but there are several steps you can take to get as close as possible and sounds like she failed to do that.

WooWooOwl Tue 25-Nov-14 19:38:54

I'd have thought that nowadays hopefully people know that getting themselves into a situation where they are completely financially dependant on someone they have no legal tie to and giving up their self sufficiency would be unwise.

Your friends exP is only part of the problem here.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 25-Nov-14 19:39:30

If they lived together in the property with their 5 children and owned it then of course she is entitled to some of it.

It's really 2 issues and I do agree with your point, I anyone who has children without marriage unless independantly wealthy, is daft.

The second issue is not being on the deeds of property that you and your children live in - also daft.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 25-Nov-14 19:41:03

If he's a very high earner then hopefully child support will be substantial though?

Wonder how the new wife feels about having every weekend taken up with 5 children visiting ? grin

TheBogQueen Tue 25-Nov-14 19:42:17

We are not married.

Both names on the mortgage. We both work full time.

Wishtoremainunknown Tue 25-Nov-14 19:44:43

Why on earth wasn't she named on the property ?

Even if not married being named on the property and paying To a pension would have helped here.

I feel sorry for your friend but she has been very silly not to do this.

HadleyHemingway Tue 25-Nov-14 19:45:26


When DD came along and DP and I decided to remain unmarried because DP 'doesn't believe in it', I went to a solicitor and took legal advice

At the moment we earn the same and have roughly the same value in assets.

But I've told him in no uncertain terms that if we ever decide as a family that I should be a SAHM, or change my working patterns to the detriment of my earning power, then we are getting married.

I will never make myself financially vulnerable to someone I'm not married to.

avocadotoast Tue 25-Nov-14 19:45:40

Tell her to look into something called "beneficial interest" with regards to the property. It tends to apply more in divorce and insolvency, but can also apply to people who aren't married.

It basically means that if you've lived with someone for a long time, and have made a contribution towards the property (whether financially, or as in your friend's case, by raising the kids which has enabled him to work full time and pay the mortgage), you may be seen to have a share of any equity.

I mean, she'd need a solicitor as it's a tricky thing to prove, but worth a look.

(Sorry, I know that didn't answer your original question at all!)

munchkin2902 Tue 25-Nov-14 19:46:14

I think it depends on the situation. I'm not married to DP and baby due next week BUT we both have good jobs (he earns more than me but we both earn over 50k) and joint names on mortgage. So as long as I keep working full time and pay into my own pension (which I intend to do) I don't see that I'm particularly disadvantaged by not being married?

DaisyFlowerChain Tue 25-Nov-14 19:49:11

Being married doesn't guarantee spousal maintenance and being unemployed means no way of paying the mortgage on the event of a split.

It doesn't take a genius to work out if you quit work (or never start) to rely on another adult that if things go wrong the income source disappears. The more children the more childcare will cost when a job is needed not to mention bills.

Child maintainable for five children will be a decent amount though.

BerniceBroadside Tue 25-Nov-14 19:49:13

Well yes, she was foolish, but it's amazing how many people that there is such a thing a a common law spouse, or that they'll have a claim on their partner's house, or that they'll automatically inherit if their partner dies.

Quite simply, if you don't wish to marry make sure you retain financial independence and sort out the legal issues.

Actually, the above also applies if you are married.

AugustaGloop Tue 25-Nov-14 19:49:25

Your title is wrong. Having DCs and not marrying is not of itself a problem, it is having DC, giving up financial independence and not marrying.

I have a friend whose DP did not believe in marriage. She was fine with it for so long as she had financial independence - she did not initially give up work and had a decent job. No doubt shared ownership of their house etc. When their DC were around 4 and 6, she was made redundant. She could have got another job, but they (mutually) decided it would be best for the family if she was a SAHM for a while. At that stage she insisted they get married. He (being a decent bloke) understood that her reason for wanting to get married was more important in that scenario than his reasons for not wanting to.

CleanLinesSharpEdges Tue 25-Nov-14 19:50:40

You see threads on here all the time where couples seem to have fallen into having children together without any discussion about legalities, finances, childcare, returning to work and general expectations.

I just wouldn't have had a child with DH if we weren't married, but if I did it would be on the insistence of joint names on mortgage, joint names on all bills, total joint finances and wills with each of us leaving everything to the other lodged with a solicitor.

3littlefrogs Tue 25-Nov-14 19:50:47

I agree.
Many people still think there is such a thing as "common law wife". This is a non existent entity.
A relative of my in laws' was left homeless and practically destitute by her DP of 15 years, with whom she had 2 DCs.

Not only did he pay no maintenance, he took the family car, for which she had paid, but was in his name(!)

She lives in cheap rented housing, miles from anywhere with hardly any transport links. Her life is pretty grim TBH.

Another friend was left homeless and broke after her DP died suddenly. He hadn't made a will, so all his assets went to his family. she was left with literally nothing.

Even if you don't want to get married, sorting out things like joint and separate assets, property, pensions, life insurance is so, so important.

NakedFatGal Tue 25-Nov-14 19:51:13

I was vulnerable but if woman works and the mortgage is joint then it should be ok!

I ended up totally screwed though. A real what not to do.

sanfairyanne Tue 25-Nov-14 19:51:19

as you say, its when they become sahp or go part time that they are particularly vulnerable. equally, where wills are not made and the partner dies, big nightmare of sorting out finances

BerniceBroadside Tue 25-Nov-14 19:52:10

Oops, that should read 'people think that...'

HadleyHemingway Tue 25-Nov-14 19:53:01

Elfo your situation sounds similar to mine.

You're right, there's no disadvantage at the moment. It'd only start getting precarious if you gave up work or went so part time that your career/future earning power would take a permanent hit.

HadleyHemingway Tue 25-Nov-14 19:55:40

And YY, if not married, the best thing you can do is sort wills out and leave everything to each other.

Viviennemary Tue 25-Nov-14 19:56:45

Personally speaking I think all SAHP's are in a vulnerable position unless they have a private income or other means of their own. Even with everything in joint names the salary will still go when the person leaves.

skylark2 Tue 25-Nov-14 19:57:07

It's just so much easier to get married - you don't have to think of all the things that you'd have to be careful about putting in both names, the reciprocal wills and so on. Marriage does it for you.

hollie84 Tue 25-Nov-14 19:57:49

I financially support DP and our children. I don't think I am in a precarious situation actually!

wanderingcloud Tue 25-Nov-14 19:59:01

Read the title and was ready to say YABU but actually, I think in that instance YANBU. It's not having children out of wedlock that's the issue, it's giving up financial autonomy AND having children whilst unmarried. There are many simple, logical steps people should take if they prefer to remain unmarried and start a family. If they choose not too then it's an issue.

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Tue 25-Nov-14 20:01:21

All of this goes out of the window when the couple has nothing.

Many working class people have no mortgage and no savings. I wonder if this is why marriage is falling out of favour?

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