Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. Free legal advice is available from a Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the Law Society can supply a list of local solicitors.

Marriage, pros and cons when you have children together

(26 Posts)
Bibblebo Wed 07-Aug-13 11:25:56

I am soon to have 3 children with my partner. His mother keeps asking us when we are going to be married. He asks me too. Am I missing something? I have no idea what the benefits of marriage are other than a nice celebration. I assume its to do with money, inheritance and children. Don't worry, you won't patronise me, I think I need to know but don't have the money for a lawyer!

Bibblebo Wed 07-Aug-13 11:32:37

Forgot to mention that I have two step children (his from his prev marriage).

CheeseFondueRocks Wed 07-Aug-13 13:22:27

Assuming you don't have watertight wills in place, without being married you are not your DP's next of kin. His mother is. You won't inherit if he dies. You will not have access to his accounts if he dies. You won't be able to make decisions for him if he is in a life-threatening condition or dying etc.

If you separate, you will also be in the shit financially as he has no obligation to you.

Chubfuddler Wed 07-Aug-13 13:23:37

What cheese said basically.

CheeseFondueRocks Wed 07-Aug-13 13:29:35

And in case you are a SAHM (which is likely with 3 young DC?), you are especially deep in the shit should anything happen to your partner or you separate.

Signing that piece of paper is a really good idea.

Viviennemary Wed 07-Aug-13 13:30:06

I can't think why anybody would have children without being married unless they are wealthy in their own right. Especially SAHM's. What the others have said.

Talkinpeace Wed 07-Aug-13 17:08:19

Wills are around £200 if drawn up by a decent solicitor

weddings are more expensive

only get married if you really want to

get the wills done ASAP

Bibblebo Wed 07-Aug-13 19:54:50

Thank you all for that information. I am a SAHM at the moment. I love my partner and have winced at the idea of marriage my parents broke up.
I am definitely thinking about it now.
Any more advice most great fully received.
I feel pretty stupid by why might I be in the shit if we break up?
Can we still leave each other everything in a will if not married?

Thank you all!confused

Talkinpeace Wed 07-Aug-13 20:17:36

Yes, if the will is properly drawn up.

You can leave anything to anybody
so you could protect yourselves (that is what a "pre nup" is after all)

TBH, if you agreed a fee (and doubled it because of prior kids) with a good local solicitor
(Eric Robinson are the one round here, you need your local equivalent)
you could probably resolve a lot of your marriage and CSA worries for less than the price of a wedding dress

winners all round

(my parents split up V V V acrimoniously : hence why DH and I did not marry for years)

Poosnu Wed 07-Aug-13 20:35:11

If you are married and get divorced, a financial settlement would be agreed in which your DH would most likely transfer assets to you (depending on your respective wealth), in part compensate you for loss of a career and earning potential as a SAHM.

If you are unmarried and separate, there is no mechanism by which you would be compensated financially for being a SAHM. (Your partner would, of course, be obliged to support your children but that is a different thing). Have you thought how you would support yourself and your children if you separated?

Also if you have significant assets (over £650k between you), getting married also allows you to escape Inheritance Tax if one of you were to die. If you are unmarried, even with a Will, 40% tax is payable on assets over £325k.

Those are the two practical reasons why I wanted to get married. Otherwise I wasn't too bothered about it.

Chubfuddler Wed 07-Aug-13 20:54:19

Spouses don't pay inheritance tax though, unmarked partners do. Can make a huge difference.

Viviennemary Wed 07-Aug-13 20:58:43

I'd never thought of that Chubfuddler but good point. I wonder what would happen if a house is jointly owned. Would inheritance tax be payable if the two people weren't married and one partner left their share to the other. I expect not everyone will have realised this.

Talkinpeace Wed 07-Aug-13 21:00:20

IHT is an issue, but for OP the CSA other kids is the bigger one.

As I say, get the wills sorted, understand wher each of you stand in terms of loyalty to / financial protection for / the kids from various relationships and then you can skip happily into marriage if you wish, or pay the extra £2000 (still less than the booze bill at a reception) to sort a trust fund

TiredyCustards Wed 07-Aug-13 21:02:41

I recently got married, we have 2 small dc, I realised I'd be, as pp said, in the shit financially if we split (sahm).

We have life insurance and wills but it's only marriage that makes dh obligated to me if we split.

Lots of people say 'but so many people get divorced' but imho once there are children and one partner has given up/scaled back work to look after them, it's better to be married in case you split up, rather than marriage necessarily keeping couples together.

Chubfuddler Wed 07-Aug-13 22:42:52

Yes Vivienne it would, if the 50% of the property put the estate over the IHT threshold.

Viviennemary Wed 07-Aug-13 23:50:02

Thanks Chubfuddler. I expect that is not so uncommon when we hear about the huge prices of houses in London and surrounding areas. But it's not something I would have immediately thought about.

JacqueslePeacock Thu 08-Aug-13 11:15:38

Good advice about the wills etc, but a will isn't going to help you if your DP runs off with someone else. A marriage certificate will.

EagleRiderDirk Thu 08-Aug-13 11:29:31

Blimey, glad me and OH are getting married soon - I never thought about this at all. I just thought, hey we have wills that'll do.

Bibblebo Thu 08-Aug-13 13:51:23

This is great, thanks for all the advice. I wonder if keeping my name would make a difference to anything. My kids have his name. I quite like my name but would change it for practical reasons if need be.

JacqueslePeacock Thu 08-Aug-13 13:54:12

You can keep your name when you marry and it makes no difference to anything. In fact the default position is that you keep your name; if you want to change it, you have to let people (banks, utilities, passport etc) know.

Talkinpeace Thu 08-Aug-13 15:02:10

I've been married 20 years and have two names (and two CRBs, bank accounts and passports)

Bibblebo Thu 08-Aug-13 16:23:15

Talkinpeace... You mentioned the CSA and his other 2 children (they don't live with us).. If we married would the CSA charge us as a household? His wealthy ex would be overjoyed whilst we would probably (remain) poor if I start working further down the line.

Talkinpeace Thu 08-Aug-13 16:43:55

I have to admit I have no idea : I've never had dealings with them
but there are experts on various boards who know the ins and outs ...
it might be worth starting a specific thread with CSA in the title to pick them up smile

meditrina Thu 08-Aug-13 16:53:05

You also need to check pensions and insurances - some do not pay out to unmarried surviving partners, only to spouses and children.

You also are ineligible for state bereavement benefits if not married.

And although NOK is pretty nebulous in UK (and unlikely to be any problem unless your partner's family deliberately seek to exclude you), it's a much stronger concept in some locations, including popular holiday destinations.

EagleRiderDirk Thu 08-Aug-13 17:39:24

bibble AFAIK they don't. A friends new Mrs' ex tried to have dfs earnings attached to the claim. CSA told ex where to go. ex's kids ate still ex's responsibility even if there's a wealthy new step dad (and in the case, a not so wealthy step dad)

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now