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AIBU to think if you want marital rights then you should get married?

(648 Posts)
KitKat1985 Mon 27-Nov-17 13:07:57

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42134722

According to this BBC article, 2/3rds of cohabiting couples wrongly believe 'common-law marriage' laws exist when dividing up finances, and there are calls now to introduce some form of legal financial protection for 'common-law marriages'. AIBU to not get this? Surely if people choose not to get married (or have a civil partnership for same sex couples) then they do so knowing that they don't have the same legal protection as married couples. It was one of the reasons me and DH decided to get married after co-habiting for a couple of years. Surely if you choose not to take on the legal and financial commitments of getting married, then you can't expect to have the same rights if you break up / your partner passes away? And surely for some couples the whole reason they don't want to get married is so they can just walk away from things if the relationship fails, without having to have the legal and financial complications involved in getting divorced? Is it really fair to then force those people to have to support their partner if they break up even if they actively choose never to make that commitment in the first place?

MidnightAura Mon 27-Nov-17 13:09:11

I agree. If you want the benefits of getting married then get married.

munkynutts Mon 27-Nov-17 13:09:40

I dont know but Im interested as it kind of ties in with the thread i started yesterday

grannytomine Mon 27-Nov-17 13:09:57

It does seem logical.

Ttbb Mon 27-Nov-17 13:11:16

YANBU. Many people deliberately don't get married because they don't want those same protections/obligations. If you want them then just go down to your local registrar and get yourselves registered. You don't have to have a wedding, you don't have to tell anyone. It's not that hard.

TheMathsTrainee Mon 27-Nov-17 13:13:08

Absolutely agree

There are pros and cons to both situations, if you argue that they are or should be the same, you are actually are taking away that choice for everybody.

Really angry at my cohort of people who tend to say marriage doesn’t mean anything, it’s just a piece of paper , it makes no difference etc etc. Blah blah.

upperlimit Mon 27-Nov-17 13:13:29

Surely if people choose not to get married (or have a civil partnership for same sex couples) then they do so knowing that they don't have the same legal protection as married couples.

And

According to this BBC article, 2/3rds of cohabiting couples wrongly believe 'common-law marriage' laws exist when dividing up finances

These two statements seem contradictory.

SheSparkles Mon 27-Nov-17 13:13:38

I totally agree. People say “it’s only a piece of paper, it doesn’t make any difference”. That piece of paper is a legal contract which brings rights with it, which can protect both parties

ferrier Mon 27-Nov-17 13:14:09

I agree. And conversely, if you don't want those same 'benefits' then living together should give you that choice. I get really annoyed at some of the moves being made to make living together virtually identical to marriage.

MaidOfStars Mon 27-Nov-17 13:14:59

I’m not sure.

There is a precedent for acquisition of rights based on a continuous situation? Using a neighbour’s path, working for specified lengths of time etc? I think there is some scope for this in ‘common law marriage’?

RaininSummer Mon 27-Nov-17 13:15:21

Yes I agree really. I have never married and probably wont ever as I just don't get it. Shocking misunderstanding with those 2/3 of cohabiters believing that.

scoobydooagain Mon 27-Nov-17 13:15:36

I agree, me and my partner are not married, I want my house to go to my ds (but partner will have life rent) likewise my insurance and death in service 50% each. I don't want to be given rights (or for them to be taken away from me), if we want to get married we will but absolutely no plans to.

KitKat1985 Mon 27-Nov-17 13:16:11

I have to be honest Upperlimit that I'm a bit sceptical of the statistic that 2/3rd of couples believe common-law marriage rules exist. Surely most cohabiting couples know that they don't have the same legal protection as married couples?

Barbaro Mon 27-Nov-17 13:16:41

I don't really understand the aversion to getting married. The woman in the article was with him for 17 years, why not get married? I know a big fancy wedding isn't affordable to most, but just get it done cheaply at least. Why stay with someone for that long otherwise?

RaininSummer Mon 27-Nov-17 13:16:51

Also, as mentioned above, I don't want my live in (bit of a cocklodger) gaining rights over my house etc.

AnneLovesGilbert Mon 27-Nov-17 13:17:38

YANBU. It's madness.

TheMathsTrainee Mon 27-Nov-17 13:18:17

Exactly Rain in Summer. Some people choose not to get married for those reasons.

upperlimit Mon 27-Nov-17 13:23:24

I am less and less surprised by what people don't know KitKat.

I think, given the spread of marriage over class, it is going to be poorer people, women mainly, who are harmed by the failure of a cohabiting relationship and lack of common law marriage laws. (I read that yesterday, I'm not an authority on the subject).

I think more could be done to disabuse people of any rights they think are afforded by cohabiting.

LondonGirl83 Mon 27-Nov-17 13:24:29

YANBU - people should be able to live together without becoming defacto legal spouses. Committing to marriage and all its ties and obligations should be an affirmative choice

KERALA1 Mon 27-Nov-17 13:27:15

Currently a thread started by a poor woman who has found her DP has cheated on her, together 20 years, kids, given up job to be SAHM. Not married. Her situation would be totally different if she were married.

I will be telling my daughters in the strongest possible terms that they are absolutely not to compromise their earning power in the slightest to facilitate any man unless they are married. Its madness you are totally vulnerable.

genever Mon 27-Nov-17 13:27:54

I agree. I got married purely for the legal and financial reasons.

I refer to my previous partner as my ex-husband because it was a long-term, cohabiting relationship but actually we weren't married and that made splitting up a lot more straightforward, practically if not emotionally.

In this relationship we got married because we have kids and a property together. We had no guests, no wedding party, no nothing. But we know we have the legal protections in place.

MorrisZapp Mon 27-Nov-17 13:29:16

Yanbu. I'm cohabiting but we're equal earners and have made wills.

I work in this area and it never ceases to amaze me that so many people think that living together offers legal protection. I've seen people who have cohabited for twenty years having to sell their beloved homes because their partner died and didn't think there was any need to will their share.

The legal heirs get the lot, if no will exists. I say to everybody: get married, or make wills.

PoorYorick Mon 27-Nov-17 13:29:29

I understand wedding aversion but if you're planning on living together, sharing a house and having kids, I really don't understand marriage aversion.

The marriage is easier to get out of than the mortgage!

Andrewofgg Mon 27-Nov-17 13:29:48

YANBU. If you want a long term commitment - make one. Mutually.

IHeartKingThistle Mon 27-Nov-17 13:30:23

Very interesting debate on this on LBC earlier. Some very indignant women who don't want to be married very angry at anyone suggesting they should, because they trust their partners. Then a woman rang in who'd been left high and dry by her partner when he left. They weren't married and he had no financial obligations towards her, didn't pay child support etc. It was really sad to listen to.

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