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To be a sahm if we aren't married?

(259 Posts)
NotReadyForThisX2 Thu 14-Mar-19 16:50:44

More would I be really I suppose and I think I would be but Dp thinks otherwise.

Unexpectedly pregnant with a seconds Dc, Ds is only five months. We've vaguely discussed a few options but Dp keeps coming back to me staying home until they both or at least Ds start school.
We could afford it and it could in fact be the cheaper option compared to childcare X2 and getting a cleaner in or outsourcing ironing or something to ease the pressure.

I'm actually loving being home with Ds a lot more than I thought I would and Dp does pull his weight, he's not suggesting it to get out of any cleaning/childcare etc.

But we aren't married and I don't want to get married now I'm pregnant or because I'm pregnant. We are planning on doing so though and Dp would do it as soon as possible if I wanted.

I don't need to decide anything just yet, but I'm still on maternity leave and if I'm wanting to go back after the second one. I'm thinking it will be better to go back from this leave earlier and I'll need to tell work as soon as possible.

My career's not one that's particularly hard to get back on track, but I do enjoy it and wasn't planning on staying home. But I want to stay off for the year with Ds and the thought of juggling work with two under two is quite daunting.
The easy solution seems to be stay home for the next few years.
I'd be stupid to give up work without the protection of marriage though, wouldn't I? Or maybe stupid to even with marriage, I don't know!

planespotting Sat 16-Mar-19 06:47:48

* I'm named on DPs pension paperwork* this can be changed with an email though

SignOnTheWindow Sat 16-Mar-19 00:31:02


I know you've said your post is about being an unmarried SAHM rather than just being unmarried, and that you're getting married next year but...

My partner died completely unexpectedly when I was 7 months pregnant with our second child. We thought we'd covered all bases by making wills, sorting out pension etc. Two things that really hit me hard were that I wasn't entitled to any widowed parent's benefit and that I couldn't put DP's name on our DD's birth certificate when she was born.

It may not make any difference to your decision to wait till next year, and that's fair enough, but it's worth knowing all the implications. We didn't, and in retrospect would have done things differently.

fancynancyclancy Fri 15-Mar-19 23:59:55

I personally would find a way to stay working. Can you go part time? It doesn’t matter if you don’t earn much more that it costs as the childcare bill should be split across you both & it’s not forever. I gave up my career & started a new one after DC1. DH supported me in every way & even though he earns more if a child is ill we share the burden, his job is not more important than mine. Fast forward 3 years & Im now on a better salary & have a great role with lots of progression.

lozster Fri 15-Mar-19 23:27:57

And the tax free threshold is £325k. OP owns half the house anyway, and whilst OH’s estate may be over 325, equally it may not be especially if the OP is youngish with a mortgage and few other assets.

lozster Fri 15-Mar-19 23:22:06

Gah!!! Again, for those who haven’t read any of the thread. Next of kin has no legal meaning in the uk.

burntdinner Fri 15-Mar-19 20:49:59

Sorry only read the first part of the thread but please take into consideration

If you are unmarried you are not next of kin and loose many rights should something happen to either of you ie accident or illness

Regardless of having left everything to the other in a will neither of you would be a spouse and are therefore liable for inheritance tax on anything over the current threshold which when you are talking properties and pensions isn't very high - only a spouse inherits without taxation

helterskelter3 Fri 15-Mar-19 20:36:46

Me and DP are not married but have mirror wills and all our assets are in joint names. We don’t need to get married and have no intention of doing so. Can you look at working part-time to protect your NI contributions and pension? If anything happens, it’s easier to go full-time than get a job from scratch.

Downwiththatsortofthing252 Fri 15-Mar-19 20:32:57

Haven't read the full thread, but forget about the wedding party for now, you're a mum and need to protect yourself and your two kids. The whole romantic ideal is lovely but if you're looking to give up work then you would be incredibly vulnerable and foolish to not get married. Go in jeans to the local registrar office and job done, then you can plan your big wedding party.

I was the same as you, trusted my DP and didn't get married, now have 3 kids under 3 (one boy and then unplanned twins), and we're on the verge of splitting up except I can't go out on my own, I have no money. And no legal protection. It's a big regret of mine

NotReadyForThisX2 Fri 15-Mar-19 20:30:02

Because I'm not sure being married would offer that much more protection in my case @Kennehora. If we married and divorced in the time frame I'm looking at staying home, I'd still only get 50% of the equity in the house and of any savings.
Staying in work or with a job to go to, seems the best way to protect myself and my Dc. So I'm going to try work out a way to do that if possible first.

FuckertyBoo Fri 15-Mar-19 18:47:56

If you can do it and you want to, I’d keep your job. Reduced hours would definitely help.

Kennehora Fri 15-Mar-19 18:12:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

altiara Fri 15-Mar-19 17:01:04

If I were you I’d be worried about what would happen if DP died. I think you’ve covered that though. I just know a friend of a friend, they didn’t get married because he’d had a bad divorce, then later on she died so he had a massive tax bill.
I’d also worry about giving up work with pension, death in service benefit, medical insurance, critical illness cover etc. Someone I know had an additional year off as sabbatical after mat leave ended. Not sure if that would be an option if you’re trying to have back to back mat leaves.
I think you just have to weigh up the risks and decide what you want yourself, no-one else can do it, they can only share their experience.

NotReadyForThisX2 Fri 15-Mar-19 16:30:48

Sorry that was replying to @Sitdownstandup

NotReadyForThisX2 Fri 15-Mar-19 16:30:25

I can and was planning on looking at reduced hours even with one Dc. It's not ideal for my job though and work said they'd want some flexibility on my part, which may be tricky to do with two!

Sitdownstandup Fri 15-Mar-19 16:04:57

Straight civil partnerships aren't yet available. I dont think we've had an implementation date yet have we? The law is going to change, but I suppose Brexit has put a lot of things on the back burner.

Agree it would be a good idea to consider staying in the workplace, even if married. Is part time an option for you OP?

NotReadyForThisX2 Fri 15-Mar-19 15:58:44

That's what I'm now hoping @Gizzymum. I read my handbook and thought I had to go back after ordinary leave but I think re reading and looking at link posted on here that's to do with pay and if I go back even just for a day, I can go on mat leave again and still have my job back. I think!! Will clarify with with once I'm ready for them to know.

MadameJosephine Fri 15-Mar-19 15:33:51

Could you look into the protection a civil partnership would give you and enter into that as a stopgap between now and getting married?

MimiSunshine Fri 15-Mar-19 15:27:34

If the idea of being a SAH(unmarried)M leaves you feeling just a bit vulnerable then why not get married in secret.

I know you still want the wedding and that’s totally understandable but if I was you I’d sneak off, Grab two unknown witnesses and not tell anyone or change your name (if you were going to).

Then book and plan the wedding you want for next year

Gizzymum Fri 15-Mar-19 15:25:47

I know others have mentioned pension impact etc.

I'm on my second mat leave in 2yrs (I have a 21mth old and a 7mth old so probably have a similar age gap to what you'll have).

I did a full years mat leave, one month annual leave accrued during my first mat leave, and then onto my second mat leave. I haven't had to quit my job so would this be an option for you? Yes your career would pause for a while but you'd have a job to go back to after DC2

Good luck with the 2 under 2. It's, er, "fun" but worth it. 😜

NotReadyForThisX2 Fri 15-Mar-19 15:25:40

To be fair @Kennehora I wasn't asking if I should get married. I was asking if I should stay home if we aren't married. I said in my first post I didn't want to get married while I'm pregnant.

I've taken people's responses on board I'm not sure why some posters seem to insist I haven't just because I've not booked the registry office for next week.

I think hearing from others I'm more vulnerable not working or having a job, rather than it being about being married. Which is why I'm going to see if it's possible to not give up my job. If not then I'll look at things again before we decide what to do.

We're getting married though, just next year!

Kennehora Fri 15-Mar-19 15:18:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sitdownstandup Fri 15-Mar-19 15:13:25

Assuming and raising outcomes as a possibility are two quite different things. Also, how can you have reliable current evidence of how someone in a relationship might behave when the relationship ends? The whole point is that people dont necessarily do what you expect, especially when circumstances change significantly.

BlingLoving Fri 15-Mar-19 14:59:42

I am all for being risk averse, but some posters on this thread are ridiculous. They're assuming that (contrary to all current evidence) you rDP is going to secretly change his will/insurance/pension AND then he's going to die leaving you in the lurch.

Realistically, there are two separate worst case scenarios, not the merged one above.
1. he IS a good guy but he dies/ suffers significant disability etc. In which case, you're right - you get the house, with a paid up mortgage, whatever's in his pension pot and any other assets he may have in his own or joint names.

Worst case scenario 2: Your relationship goes bad and he turns into a complete dick who then starts trying to hide assets and/or change pension etc. Even in that case, you'd still have your half of the house (as you would in a divorce). Other assets might be trickier, true. But as neither of you believes he'll be a dick about it, take him up on the offer of moving your existing savings into an account in your name only for that added security. Or half of them (because of course, he might also want security that YOU won't turn into a dick down the line).

You could also insist that you always see his pay slips etc os you know exactly how much he's earning and agree that if he is earning enough for savings, a certain percentage go to your personal account, a percentage to his account and the rest to the joint perhaps.

NotReadyForThisX2 Fri 15-Mar-19 14:55:24

I'm sorry @HelenLaBloodyAnnoyed, that's horrible. You mention finical abuse though, did you have full access to all money at the start? Did you know he was putting £400 into his pension? Did you jointly own the house?
I have access to all Dp's money, all wage slips, pension statements, everything. If he suddenly started adding more into his pension or savings I'd be like wtf you playing at.

The joint savings is going into my name and we'll hopefully still add to that and I'm hoping to just take mat leave so even I I'm not being paid anything I should have a job to go back to should I want to.

HelenLaBloodyAnnoyed Fri 15-Mar-19 14:40:28

I worked full time until I unexpectedly became pregnant with DP six years ago. DD turned out to have SN and I became her a carer. I also fell pregnant again when she only a few months old. Like you, I didn't want to marry when I was pregnant - we had no money for a wedding as I was now just a carer and I felt secure as DP spoke about wanting to marry more than I thought about it. We wanted to wait until the DC were a bit older so they could be part of the day. Fast forward a few years and one more DC and we separated after eventual financial and sexual abuse, and him having disengaged completely from us all.

For six years he built up his career and was promoted twice. He put £400 pm into his pension and saved who knows how much. When we separated he gave up his house and so must have saved or blown around £80k since. Meanwhile, I'm left with no career, no pension, no ability to carve a career or a life for myself because of my caring and childcare responsibilities. He doesn't see the children at all and I can barely afford to eat. If I were you I'd get married at a registry office then organise a proper celebration at a later date.

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