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Should we marry? (legal reasons only)

(34 Posts)
MoominIsGoingToBeAMumWaitWHAT Mon 03-Feb-14 22:16:23

My boyfriend and I are having a baby, due April 28th. I'm a generally nervous person, like having backup plans in case things go wrong, and I'm a bit nervous about what happens if I'm really ill/die during childbirth. I want my boyfriend to be able to make decisions about the baby's care etc without it having to go through courts, like I read about a case happening a while ago (at the hospital where I'm due to give birth), especially if something awful has happened, but he'll have no PR as we wouldn't be married.

We were planning on getting married in the next few years anyway, we've been together three years and friends for longer. We'd basically see this as signing a contract to make sure he has PR too just in case - our 'wedding' would be a blessing a few years down the line when we have the money to make it what we really want it to be.

Will it be easier for us, legally, to get married at a register office so that he has PR in case something happens? We're really looking at it as an official thing, just the same as signing a contract etc - rather than a shotgun wedding for any 'moral' reasons grin

NumTumDeDum Mon 03-Feb-14 22:19:33

He will get PR when you register the birth, provided you put him on the birth certificate.

MoominIsGoingToBeAMumWaitWHAT Mon 03-Feb-14 22:27:17

I'm worried about something happening in childbirth - either me dying or being too ill to go and register the birth.

mel0dy Mon 03-Feb-14 22:37:37

I'm more or less anti-marriage, certainly for myself, and now I'm preggo even I've considered whisking OH awayfor a secret one to cover off legalities! So if you're planning on getting wed at some point anyway, I say go for it.

Rockchick1984 Mon 03-Feb-14 22:39:34

Personally I wanted to be married when DS was born for various reasons - the immediate PR was one of these, the fact that I didn't want to have to re-register the birth if we got married at a later date in order to have my married name on the birth certificate, and also to ensure my financial protection (we decided early on that I would become a SAHM). That's only the legal reasons, obviously there were other reasons (not least the fact that I love him with all my heart) but wanted to stick to what you asked about.

anapitt Mon 03-Feb-14 22:58:55

highly unlikely to die in childbirth / be too ill to register.
you are over thinking things

MoominIsGoingToBeAMumWaitWHAT Mon 03-Feb-14 23:03:42

ana but highly unlikely doesn't mean it won't happen. I'm classed as high risk. It'd put my mind at rest.

hoppinghare Mon 03-Feb-14 23:04:59

It may take away from the 'blessing'. You'll already have been married for a few years so it will just be a party. If you want a wedding but aren't ready to have it yet I would wait and get married the way I wanted to.

MoominIsGoingToBeAMumWaitWHAT Mon 03-Feb-14 23:12:12

hopping But what do I do about PR if something goes wrong?

scaevola Mon 03-Feb-14 23:19:20

In practice, if he was present for the birth and acknowledged by you (before the doom scenario that is on your mind actually occurs) he will be treated as the father in all practical senses (especially if your family, who would be the NOK in the closest known relatives sense) back this up.

PR can be formally granted after DNA testing, which I should imagine would be expedited in circumstances where the right arrangements are blazingly obvious.

Littlebean13 Mon 03-Feb-14 23:29:10

What about writing out a will instead where you can put in official writing that you want your dp to have full PR should anything happen to you?

MoominIsGoingToBeAMumWaitWHAT Mon 03-Feb-14 23:31:00

Would that be accepted and ok Littlebean? If so I think I'd rather do that smile thank you!!

I know it's silly to worry about this kind of thing but several people we know have died young the past few weeks and it really does worry me.

Littlebean13 Mon 03-Feb-14 23:41:27

I totally sympathise with you! I've never been interested too much in marriage but since being pregnant I've seriously considered it for the same reasons as you.
Like somebody further up posted, your dp would get pr once he's registered on the birth cert.
If something was to happen during childbirth or anytime after that and you did die before you get chance to register the birth I believe that anything you write in your will gets taken extremely seriously in a court of law. Any judge would take your last wishes very seriously and I think it's only in very extreme cases would they go against them. Probably best to do more research as I'm not an expert on the case but I'm sure it's a better way to do things than getting married and it's something I'm going to look into myself smile

GraceK Mon 03-Feb-14 23:46:03

If you're not married before the birth, then I would definitely advise getting wills written before the birth. Even if the birth goes well,you should still have your legal affairs tidy once you have kids. You might 've hit by a bus on the way to the Registry Office! Whilst society is increasingly finding marriage out dated,the law has yet to catch up & ignorance is no defence. Good for you for thinking about both your child & partner's legal position.

IdaClair Tue 04-Feb-14 00:00:03

Marriage doesn't always offer financial protection in the way you might think. Those statements often assume the female is the financially vulnerable one.

I would stand to lose a lot were i to share my assets with a husband and could lose out massively in divorce. PR is really not an issue with an engaged couple of long ish standing acknowledged by friends and family and living together as if married.

You will need a will though. But you will then need to make another if you get married as they are voided by entry into a marriage contract. So immediately after marriage you can be vulnerable legally until getting back into the solicitors to redraft . Just the time when people like to go off on honeymoon and hire cars and go jet skiing , that kind of thing.

MoominIsGoingToBeAMumWaitWHAT Tue 04-Feb-14 00:05:10

Thanks everyone! Going to speak to OH about us both making wills instead; think he'd prefer it that way. The financial protection isn't a huge thing to us right now as neither of us have huge amounts in that sense, it is more the PR, but if common sense applies, my nerves have been soothed grin

TeacupDrama Tue 04-Feb-14 00:12:28

if a will is made with the purpose and intention of a marriage soon, it is not invalid on marriage

IdaClair Tue 04-Feb-14 00:17:51

Mine is invalid on marriage. I imagine you could word it right and try and future proof it but i would look into what trumps what very carefully first.i

smileyjess Tue 04-Feb-14 01:06:04

i'd say definitely do a will and keep you wedding the special wonderful day it should be.
If your worried about it being legally binding had a chat to a soliciter and they can give u advice. A lot of soliciters do a 'first consultation free' service.
Remember its very very unlikely to happen and if you keep yourself health u reduce that risk even further.
Keep you chin up and don't let it spoil this exciting time.

Snowlet Tue 04-Feb-14 10:10:31

My DP and I are in exactly the same situation, and we are making wills. As long as you name him as the legal guardian of your unborn child (in the event that anything happens to you) he will have full PR. I haven't actually spoken to a solicitor about this, but that is what all of my research has told me.

I think it's a perfectly reasonable fear. It was something I looked into straight-away, because I never would want DP to have any trouble taking full responsibility and rights for the baby. I think it's sensible to look into things.

We found a deal with the solicitors that handled our house buy, so if you've ever used a solicitor in the past, might be worth going back to them and asking if there is any offer for returning to them for will writing. Good luck!

Ah, also, they can write you a will keeping in mind that you are to be married in the future. That way, when you do get married, it doesn't invalidate the will. This is what we have done.

Snowlet Tue 04-Feb-14 10:12:25

Sorry, I should say, I only looked into this in the past week, when it dawned on me it could be an issue. We're in the middle of gaining permissions from family members for who would care for the baby if we both died, which is why I've yet to speak to the solicitors about this particular issue. But I'm pretty confident in what I've read.

Kaekae Tue 04-Feb-14 10:16:06

I have been with my DP for 17 years, we have two children and are not married. He has PR because he is on their birth certificate and we have a will. I am not against marriage, we've just never got round to doing it!

Foxeym Tue 04-Feb-14 13:58:41

If you aren't married and something happens to you the responsibility actually falls to your next of kin which is usually your parents (DCs grandparents) and not the father. This fact isn't known by a lot of people and I didn't know until I was told by my family lawyer!

mandbaby Tue 04-Feb-14 14:09:04

MoominIsGoingToBeAMumWaitWHAT: From what I've read, it seems that nothing will take away that fear that you have of something happening during childbirth. No amount of reassurance or rational thinking will change it (this is not a criticism). So I say, go for it! What's holding you back? People thinking it's a shotgun wedding? If I were you I would gather your closest family and best friends and go and do it in a beautiful location, wearing a beautiful dress, and make it a memory rather than simply doing it for the paperwork. I know you said you'll have a blessing in a few years, but a beautiful wedding doesn't have to cost a fortune.

SteamNewRomantic Tue 04-Feb-14 14:35:44

There's nothing wrong with a "secret" marriage.

DP and I have done this (I've name-changed for this posting). We had the non-legal ceremony so family and friends can celebrate (but not get confused about calling me the wrong name), but also had a legal ceremony with just his DM and one other person to witness, so she doesn't "pull rank" over me about what should happen to his assets/funeral/me if he should go first, because, frankly, we couldn't trust her as far as we could throw her with an anvil tied on.

If you want to protect yourself/DP, you go right ahead.

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