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Are there any advantages for me in getting married?

(42 Posts)
beyondbelief Tue 14-Feb-17 16:28:09

Will try to keep this short.

I'm 43, divorced, one teenage son. I've been in a co-habiting relationship with DP for 5 years now. I earn more, I have more assets (not much, but more). Dp has some debts (maybe <10k altogether, I'm guessing a bit), no assets.

We rent where we live and don't own any property together, most of the furniture etc, the car, belongs to me. We both have stable professional jobs and are both fairly ambitious career-wise, although I am probably further along in my career.

Dp is an amazing 'step-dad' to ds, who adores him. Ds's bio father is a feckless, unemployed alcoholic who lets ds down frequently and provides no stability or role modelling. Our marriage was a disaster from day 1 because I never listened to the alarm bells.

Dp and I have had our up and downs like any couple but I know he loves me very much and I love him more and more the longer we're together. He's a good, kind man who has really shown his love and support for me in the last year which has been awful (bereavements/illness/miscarriage). I see a future for us.

We don't want any more kids.

At the weekend he made it clear that he wants to get married. We've talked about it in an abstract sense before but neither of us have ever really thought about it seriously (so I thought). He's adamant he wants to spend the rest of his life with me and marriage needs to be a part of that. I don't think it's a deal-breaker but it's clearly something that he really wants. He thinks I've knocked him back after I said I didn't see it as important to me at the moment.

I love him to bits but don't see 'what's in it for me', marriage-wise. I don't see why we would bother doing it. Sometimes I like the idea of it, but I liked the idea of being married to xh and that was fucking awful.

What would you do/think in my position? Any advice very welcome!

user1469456533 Tue 14-Feb-17 16:41:52

I think you’re scared after what happened in your first marriage. You’ve listed your assets against your DP’s in your OP so I think you’re probably worried about what you wold lose if you got married and then the relationship broke down. Maybe talk to your partner and try to explain that, but also try and remember that what happened in the past doesn’t mean it will happen again in the future and from what you have said your DP sounds like a great man and nothing like your ex.

If it’s important to your partner and you’re not fussed either way I would do it for him.

peppatax Tue 14-Feb-17 16:46:13

Probably not want you want to hear OP but he's a great asset for your DS should anything happen to you and if you're married then although I'm not sure of the legal ins and outs but it would surely be better for your son.

Otherwise I agree with PP - you should do it for him if he wants to and you're on the fence

beyondbelief Tue 14-Feb-17 17:12:07

Yes, I am concerned about what would happen to the money I have worked hard, as a single parent for many years, to build up, if our marriage went wrong. It's not a fortune but it is 'my security'. I know that might sound harsh but there it is. Second marriages fail even more often than first ones afaik.

As far as I can see, the only reason to do it is because Dp wants to. And whilst I want to do things that make him happy, this is a big step!

I don't know what the situation would be with ds if anything was to happen to me. His father still has PR until ds is 18 so probably nothing?

I just think, for women that don't want kids and earn more than their partners, why bother getting married? But maybe I'm being shortsighted.

butterfly990 Tue 14-Feb-17 17:46:06

Consider a pre-nup, and will.

Loss of maintenance payments when re-marry
God forbid he dies you maybe entitled to widow's pension

May50 Tue 14-Feb-17 19:14:27

OP - I understand your concerns. I am divorced (and lost a lot of assets on divorce). Since then I know I will never get married again. Not risking my assets/pension again etc. you have a teenage son so it's only a few years until he is an adult anyway. A solicitor friend of mine sad why on earth would I get married again, she is very practical . I have DC so I want them to benefit from my house , savings etc. you say your DP has £10k of debts, what would happen to them if you got married? Would you be responsible too?

beyondbelief Tue 14-Feb-17 19:14:48

Thanks for the link butterfly, will take a look.

Although LOL at the thought of losing maintenance payments - ds has had nothing from xh for a very long time.

beyondbelief Tue 14-Feb-17 19:19:21

Sorry, meant to say, no child support for a very long time and certainly never any maintenance payments to me.

I don't think I'd be responsible for the debts. They are all in his name only and most incurred before we met. But I'd have to be sure.

HappenstanceMarmite Thu 16-Feb-17 16:33:05

Do one's assets (earned before marriage) become "joint" upon marriage? In other words, if you go into a marriage with eg a property, does that property become joint during a divorce settlement? (Where no children are involved)

TheCakes Thu 16-Feb-17 16:37:33

You don't lose child maintenance payments anyway! Think it's spousal (does anyone get them?!)

HerOtherHalf Thu 16-Feb-17 16:49:13

Not a serious chip-in but....

If you are married you cannot be forced to give evidence against him in a criminal prosecution, nor he against you. Planning any bank heists in the near future?

wherearemymarbles Thu 16-Feb-17 17:18:05

an individual is not liable for a spouses debt unless its in joint names. Of course the lender can go after joint assests

Op, would you marry him without hesitation if he were richer than you? If so you would be a bit of a hypocrite if him being poorer is a problem.

Kefalonia2017 Wed 29-Mar-17 17:43:35

I am in the process of divorce and trying to reach a financial settlement. I owned my house prior to the marriage and am about to have to hand over 50% of it to my ex who insists the law states he is entitled to that !

missymayhemsmum Wed 29-Mar-17 21:15:18

If you want to grow old together, to be each other's next of kin, and to make that public commitment, for hime to be ds's stepdad not his 'stepdad' then maybe you should overcome your fears and natural cynicism about marriage.
Just because it was crap before, doesn't mean it'll be crap again

happypoobum Wed 29-Mar-17 21:20:49

To be honest, from the limited amount you have posted, no I wouldn't get married right now.

Maybe if DP cleared his debts, but maybe not even then.

ImperialBlether Wed 29-Mar-17 21:24:59

HerOtherHalf That just isn't true!

booitsme Wed 29-Mar-17 21:44:05


50% is a starting point and not necessarily where you will end up. Get legal advice. Much will depend on whether you have any children, length of marriage and total assets. It is possible to "ring fence I.e treat separately and possibly retain) pre marital assets. That will depend on whether this is a 'needs' case. If you are very wealthy and each of your housing needs ect can be met without the need of including the pre marital asset then it can be ring fenced. It will depend on circumstances. I.e childless couple with a short marriage = you are more likely to ring fence or receive most of the asset. Long marriage or children then less likely.

Kefalonia2017 Fri 10-Nov-17 18:14:11

The fear of losing my assets is stopping me from getting divorced however i have been separated 6 years now and the constant worry is making me very stressed.

TammySwansonTwo Fri 10-Nov-17 18:22:53

My mum married 3 times and each was a disaster. She passed away while married to the third, an especially vile abusive specimen, who's now living the highlife with her flat, her money, rental income and half her pension, all of which will then go to his kids when he dies. Seeing the state my mum got herself into I would never get married again if my marriage broke down. Ever. When they met he was bankrupt, homeless and jobless. Not bad for 7 years of being an odious prick, eh?

However, you have to weigh up the benefits for you (legal, widows benefits although that's basically nothing now in reality, any tax implications etc)

Kefalonia2017 Fri 10-Nov-17 19:23:51

Foresight is a wonderful thing ! The law I'm afraid is very much against me I fear

dietcokebreaktime Fri 10-Nov-17 21:10:57

No don't do it. Rather be called a hypocrite than end up losing your child's inheritance to someone else! I really can't see the point.

cheminotte Fri 10-Nov-17 21:16:34

I wouldn't no. I get the point if you have kids, but not really otherwise.

Catlovingmama Fri 10-Nov-17 21:19:40

Check out the inheritance tax position?

One major advantage is the right to be each other's legal next of kin. I know someone who wasn't allowed to be with her dp of 20+ years when he was dying as his dd was his legal next of kin and she didnt want the dp there. She didn't get to make any decisions in relation to his care or funeral either.

confusedlittleone Fri 10-Nov-17 21:30:55

There's zero reason why you should, but a few reason why shouldn't. In your situation I absolutely wouldn't

Julie8008 Fri 10-Nov-17 21:38:28

Apart from legal protection I dont see what the point of marriage is. You dont need that now so I think it has no up side.

What about some sort of commitment ritual/party, maybe even change your surname, why does he want marriage so much? Its more likely to cause problems than benefits.

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