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marriage doesn't come with so much as a pamphlet

(36 Posts)
thecolonelbumminganugget Fri 10-Feb-17 17:30:42

DP and I went to the registry office this afternoon to give notice of our forthcomming marriage. The guy checked our passports, filled in the forms etc etc. We were asked to sign a declaration that we are legally capable of getting married, all fine and dandy.

However, AIBU to find it really odd that there was not so much as a 'by the way, a marriage is probably the most onerous contract you will enter into in your lifetime, we recommend that you understand the consequences of doing so and if you are unsure, please seek legal advice'?

I'm pretty anti state interference with the individual but it seems really odd that there isn't even a leaflet with a few bullet points about what being married means and advising you to seek further advice if you think you are ensure about anything.

We weren't relying on this by the way. We have looked into the consequences of being married. I just find it odd that when we took out contents insurance a couple of weeks ago the bank were very careful about going through the main terms and conditions but getting married comes with no word of caution at all. it maybe AIBU and not giving people enough credit that they fully understand what they are signing up to.

SukeyTakeItOffAgain Fri 10-Feb-17 17:32:26

What kind of stuff did the have in mind? Tax and pension implications etc?

Lottapianos Fri 10-Feb-17 17:36:33

I agree OP. I think a lot of people don't think much further than a sparkly ring, a white dress and a party. They get swept up in the 'romantic' side of things and could probably do with being talked through the implications of tying your life to someone elses legally.

BiggerBoatNeeded Fri 10-Feb-17 17:37:46

I'd never thought about it in that way but you're right, it's a bit odd isn't it. So many legal/financial implications but no information given as far as I can recall.

Crunchyside Fri 10-Feb-17 17:44:36

YANBU, some people would really benefit from more education about what marriage involves, it's a serious commitment, and like you say, even taking insurance out at the bank or signing up for a new phone contract you would get more of a briefing on what the contract involves! Becoming a British citizen requires reading a book and taking a test... I don't think you should take a test to get married but it would be good to equip people with a deeper understanding of marriage, beyond the fun of the wedding!

We had a church wedding and had to attend a few marriage preparation sessions before the wedding, we worked through a little booklet each, which had thought provoking questions about what marriage means to you and what challenges you might face etc. We then talked through the answers with the vicar and his wife over a cup of tea at their house, very quaint smile We wrote our answers in the booklet and now they're really lovely keepsakes to read back through! Neither of us are religious but chose a church wedding mainly for the symbolism, the tradition, and the historical venue.

I remember thinking that the marriage preparation bit, although it sounds cringey, was actually really lovely and valuable as it was literally the only bit of wedding preparation that is focussed on the marriage itself rather than just the wedding day.

Having said that, it was more about the emotional commitment and didn't involve any legal information. I think for civil weddings it would still be a good idea to include some kind of preparation though.

SantanaLopez Fri 10-Feb-17 17:46:30

Y'all should sign up for a Catholic wedding and the obligatory pre-marriage marriage classes.

Sooooo much fun.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 10-Feb-17 17:56:08

We got married c of e and had a whole Saturday of wedding class.

I've still the notes somewhere.

thecolonelbumminganugget Fri 10-Feb-17 18:10:06

sukey two good examples among other things. Although admittedly being married has a bearing on many situations and not all will apply to all people so it would be dificult to produce a factsheet that would be relevant to all. However I'm surprised that there isn't even a declaration that as a person entering into a marriage you have understood as far as you consider appropriate the consequences of the agreement you are entering into and will undertake to seek advice or even provide a link to a government or charity website where there is more information so you can pick out the bits that are most relevant to you.

thecolonelbumminganugget Fri 10-Feb-17 18:15:04

Out of interest as someone not getting married in a religious context, what sort of thing do the classes cover?

(Also anything that you think was really good that you think is worth considering whatever your religion or lack thereof?)

MistressPage Fri 10-Feb-17 18:23:18

Um, you know onerous means troublesome or a burden OP? I wouldn't describe marriage as onerous!!!

NarkyMcDinkyChops Fri 10-Feb-17 18:24:49

Seriously? Do the general public need advice and guidelines on absolutely everything now?

RacoonBandit Fri 10-Feb-17 18:26:11

If you agree to marry then its up to you to understand what it means. If people are too thick to do their research then more fool them.

Why do adults need to be babied so much?

SweetChickadee Fri 10-Feb-17 18:28:35

My marriage isn't the least bit onerous, thanks confused

TheTombstonesMove Fri 10-Feb-17 18:33:30

Totally agree OP.

Redkite10a Fri 10-Feb-17 18:36:06

We got married in a C of E church. We had one class, it covered things attitudes to money, whether you wanted kids, the importance of communication styles and different ways of handling problems. It also covered what was actually going to happen in the ceremony. It didn't cover the legal implications of marriage at all, and was fairly obvious stuff. Saying that, one of DH''s friends marriage broke down after less than a year because they hadn't talked about that sort of stuff....

Crumbs1 Fri 10-Feb-17 18:42:51

I quite like my marriage, always have. It's not onerous at all. It's a delight (usually).

BackforGood Fri 10-Feb-17 18:43:07

I too was going to say that Churches have always done some form of marriage class. I agree that some people get swept up in the 'wedding day' image without really thinking about the next 50 years. I agree with you OP. Although, of course, the people who haven't really thought about it are likely to be the ones who wouldn't read any information either.

BiggerBoatNeeded Fri 10-Feb-17 18:44:15

Is it a bit like job contracts though? When things are going well they're not onerous, its if things get tricky that it would be important to know what you had signed yourself up to. But no one would say we were being babied for having info about our job contracts and no one would suggest it was preposterous that you should read your job contract and understood what it obliges you to and what protection it might offer you.

LaPharisienne Fri 10-Feb-17 18:51:17

Are you saying YOU would have liked a pamphlet, or that you think there are lots of people less intelligent/informed than you who ought to get one?

hmm

BlondeBecky1983 Fri 10-Feb-17 18:56:40

I think they assume that if you've bothered to pay to give notice you have at least put a little thought/research into the whole thing. It's like the tax office, not there to give out advice.

BiggerBoatNeeded Fri 10-Feb-17 19:05:08

I truthfully probably would have benefitted from some more information, yes. And I'm not particularly uninformed or unintelligent as far as I know.

MaidOfStars Fri 10-Feb-17 19:06:16

You're getting married without consideration or forethought? You need to be spoonfed the implications, responsibilities and legal rights?

Honestly?

MaidOfStars Fri 10-Feb-17 19:07:47

Marriage is nothing more or less than a legal contract. You read the terms and conditions. You read the small print. You understand how it will affect your finances, your children, your care, your rights. Then you sign.

then go and buy a massive dress

BiggerBoatNeeded Fri 10-Feb-17 19:13:59

Do you honestly think everyone who gets married does that though? Goes and seeks out the information about the legal implications of they divorce etc then weighs it up against societal pressures to marry/romantic ideals. They clearly don't otherwise there would far fewer divorcees who end up being outraged at having to support their ExH/W financially or having to split inheritances/pensions etc surely.

thecolonelbumminganugget Fri 10-Feb-17 19:19:33

I mean legally onerous, as in it comes with legal burden, however happily married you are. And no, I didn't want a pamphlet, I was just expressing surprise that given how much stuff does come with disclaimers and urging you to seek independent advice (pensions, morgages, insurance, going on a diet or taking up exercise of you're watching channel 4) , entering into something as important as a marriage doesn't come with anything of the sort.

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