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Marriage before birth - is it important?

(25 Posts)
Pops78 Sun 27-Sep-09 17:01:47

Hi All,

I am hoping you all may be able to help me. I am 31 and 20 weeks pregnant with baby no.1 at present. Incredibly excited and nervous of course! My fiance and I have been together for 4 yrs and were booked to get married next June. Now that we are lucky enough to have got pregnant, for both financial reasons and because I really want to get myself together for my wedding and not have a teeny baby to worry about we have decided to postpone the wedding till June 2011. The big issue however is that a few of my friends and my sister who has 4 kids have told me that there are all sorts of reasons to at least legally get married before our baby is born. Names on birth certificate, who can go to register birth, tax credits, all sorts of things though not really clear on any of them (more info very appreciated). I think my main reason for leaning towards it is that if something happened (god forbid) to either of us I wouldn't want there to be any doubt about who is the others next of kin/babies guardian. My fiancee's parents reject me entirely they are really not nice people and as the mother of their sons baby I don't want them to have any reason to say I was just the mother of his child, reject our child etc.. Thought if we did it we would do it very quietly, I wouldn't call myself by his name until after our actual wedding and most people would not even know we were married. The actual wedding would then be in a Catholic Church, it's not same service but essentially same according to priest. My fiancee is Catholic so this means a lot to him, what means a lot to me is celebrating our union with/in front of all our closest family and friends so this is why when we can I do want to do the biggish affair. Sorry if this seems like a silly issue but I am really confused about what is best for us and baby. Very interested in people's views, especially those who are in a similar position or have been. Thank you so much for any help. Sorry if this is a bit long...

blondiep14 Sun 27-Sep-09 17:15:28

Not sure if this will help!
I'm not 100% on the legalities of everything but I'm not married and expecting baby 2. My partner was present at the registration of DS and is on the birth certificate as his father. (Same will go for baby2). I think the main difference here is that if you aren't married the dad has to be present at the registration, if you are he doesn't. Again, I think this is the case but not certain.
I think it is sensible to both make wills before the baby is born setting out your wishes financial and otherwise - see a solicitor and check they're legally binding etc. I think they should be.
If you really feel you should be married first then do it, we've chosen to wait until the babes are big enough to join in now but you have to go with your gut I think.

blondiep14 Sun 27-Sep-09 17:16:04

Cngrats by the way!!

sarah293 Sun 27-Sep-09 17:16:20

Message withdrawn

sarah293 Sun 27-Sep-09 17:17:37

Message withdrawn

Pops78 Sun 27-Sep-09 17:20:46

Thx blondie and Riven, both very useful comments. Will defo get the wills sorted and I guess life insurance would be good! V. interesting about tax credits as several people have told me you get more if married. Any more opinions or info would be very welcome.

Bucharest Sun 27-Sep-09 17:23:08

Riv- I'm in Italy with an illegitimate child shock and there was no issue with the church when she was christened- (dp's wishes) I think they see it as one more on the books, whatever the provenance wink

OP- I'd have thought your dp's family would have more "rights" etc if you were married tbh...(ie your point about something happening to you) it certainly would be like that here...which is the principle reason why I ain't never going up no aisle in a meringue frock!

thumbwitch Sun 27-Sep-09 17:26:05

Depends a lot on your situation - I got married to DH at 17w pg because he is Australian and it simplified issues in terms of getting citizenship for DS so that we could emigrate to Australia. We were going to get married anyway, I hasten to add, but there was no point in us waiting until later - too complicated.

Don't know about tax credits - have you looked on the tax credit Govt. website? I doubt there is any discriminatory advantage to being married, tbh.

COngrats on being pg!

Pops78 Sun 27-Sep-09 17:45:56

Thanks all, yes I don't think there is any issue with christening of child if we are not married and in this instance as we would be getting married in a registry office initially not sure that would make a difference to the church. Find tax credit govt website very diff to comprehend, perhaps just my fluffy pg brain :-). Oh I'm so confused as to what to do. I so want a proper wedding but at this point soooo want to be married to dp, for love - and security, not because I doubt his commitment just want to be his wife, especially as mother of his baby even if secretly, god I sound old fashioned. We have already been engaged nearly 2yrs.

paddyclamp Sun 27-Sep-09 17:46:31

Doesn't make any difference at all...we got married when our youngest was 18 months old..there was no way i'd have got married when pregnant..wanted to enjoy my wedding!!

Legally a child born out of wedlock becomes legitimate if you marry the father at a later stage..if dad is named on birth cert he has full parental rights

If it was me i'd wait

sarah293 Sun 27-Sep-09 17:47:54

Message withdrawn

Pops78 Sun 27-Sep-09 17:56:21

Thanks paddy I appreciate your frankness.

Riven - that is basically where I am leaning - just worried I am being silly and impatient and will detract from final big wedding by already being married legally but also want to be sure if there is anyway it will affect my baby negatively - not being married - we have done it..

LadyoftheBathtub Sun 27-Sep-09 18:07:22

We're not married, but have made a will that says if one of us dies the other gets all the assets and custody of DC. Cost £120. To put your mind at rest, get the will done and then you can put off the wedding. Birth certificates weren't a problem, DP came along and is named as the father.

Pops78 Sun 27-Sep-09 19:17:44

Interesting stuff - think I am starting to lean towards just waiting then for the big day, my panicing is subsiding with all your sane comments.

Mama2b5 Sun 27-Sep-09 23:04:43

Hi pop78 i thought i would add my 2pence in! whilst pg with my 2nd child i was engaged, and due to finance didnt get married but i knew my partner was there for us for life! (a gut feeling and knowing him as a person) grin
we got married in 2006 - twice once in the registry office and then the big one done by our pastor for all the family who all chipped in and done alot for us my DH is african descent and my fam is Jamaican a big day was a must to please all parties!im so glad now to have all my notes and everything in my DH name ( silly i know) but it makes this pregnancy so much more hmm ermmmmmm right!!! (not passing judgement on anyone please dont be offended) Also im so glad now i did it for my mum passed in march this year sad and i would of been so gutted if she wasnt around to see her baby get married!i found out i was pregnant soon after she passed and it was so bitter sweet!

Only you can make that choice i hope whatever u do your happy - good luck and do your research on your right, hold close family that supports you and just grin and bear the other side there in your life forever! wink

weewoman Mon 28-Sep-09 00:08:30

Also just wanted to add my comment. As myself and my now DH are both from traditional Irish catholic families we had actively decided against starting a family before getting married, despite having been together 11 yrs and engaged for 6. As it turns out I went up the aisle this June, unknown to ourselves, 3 wkd pg opps hehe. We are both naturally delighted as are our immediate family- tho it has raised a few eyebrows among those who have thought to count. However, we have just decided that those who are small enuf to think bad of this miracle are not worth worrying over!!!

willowstar Mon 28-Sep-09 08:23:18


don't know if this helps but we did exactly what you are contemplating. Found out I was pregnant at about 8am one Sunday...OH asked me to marry him about 9am! Our situation different...I didn't want to get married but it was important to him. So. Same as you...started thinking about it and realised that if I was going to do it I would like to have family/friend there but they are spread across the globe and the whole thing would require a fair bit of planning and most importantly, money which we just don't have with the new baby coming and also we were just in the process of house hunting.

Thought about just leaving it until next year sometime but with buying the house as well as having the baby, it just made sense to make everything legal between us and marriage seemed like the most watertight way to do that. I don't get on with his family all that well and that was an issue because if anything happens I am now legally his next of kin (they are catholic - against organ donation and a whole host of things that I am now in charge of should he die!). ANyway, bottom line...we went to a little reg. office far away from our home, dragged two complete strangers off the street to act as witnesses and had a lovely lovely wedding weekend which was just about the two of us. AND No-ONE KNOWS to this day! It really is just a legal thing for us. Maybe next year we will have a big party or something but for us we realised it was just something for us.

EightiesChick Mon 28-Sep-09 08:37:32

Any legal issues are probably not the big thing here - and people have posted ways to get round themn anyway. You've said that you 'really, really' want to be married to your DP but that you want the big do. I do think that waiting for years more to have the ideal wedding may not be the best way. The pressure to have the perfect wedding is insidious - what about just getting married now because you both want to, you love each other and to celebrate your soon-to-be-parental status, regardless of any legal stuff? What if something else crops up between now and 2011 that you really need money for and you feel then you can't justify the wedding expense, and you put it off again? There will always be other money pressures and problems. But by the same token there will always be a reason to have a party later on - think of all your DC's birthdays and your wedding anniversaries you'll be able to celebrate! So, not for legal reasons, but because it seems like it would make you happy, I would say get married now, in whatever way you can afford and with whoever can make it, and take the pressure off worrying about having to have the perfect day later.

valbona Mon 28-Sep-09 09:08:45

obviously no idea what you're planning down the line, but what if you found yourself pregnant again? it might always be hard to find the perfect moment to have the perfect big day.

legally, as everyone's said, said it makes zero difference whether you're married or not, but emotionally it might? not saying marriage is best for everyone - but if you personally want to be married and have already been engaged for a while, I'd focus on the getting married and not on the wedding itself.

and smaller registry office weddings can be just as magical as big white ones ...

Pops78 Mon 28-Sep-09 15:46:29

Wow I am so torn, really appreciate all your comments they are so helpful. We're going to our 20 wk scan tomorrow so think we will be sure that all goes well and then make a decision as to what is best for us and baby afterwards. Thanks so much.

MyNameIsInigoMontoya Mon 28-Sep-09 16:34:49

Haven't got much to add to what everyone else already said on the wedding side, but just a comment regarding wills as some people have talked about that:

Just be aware that if you make a will before you marry, it will automatically become invalid when you do marry. Also when you are married, it is still much better to have a will (each) rather than just assume it will "go to the right people anyway" as it isn't always that simple - especially once you have children and might want to consider things like guardianship, and what you want done if something happened to both of you at the same time. So ideally, when you marry you should both make new wills again. Hope that helps... (There was a very good thread on this some time ago if you are interested).

NKfffffffff6a9f42dX122f1629a69 Mon 28-Sep-09 16:40:35

I discovered I was pregnant when I had only been with my lovely now-husband 4 months. We were very madly in love and excited about the baby despite being in complete shock. We were keen to be married before having the baby but I also hankered after the big do with the gorgeous dress etc etc and did not see how a bump would fit in with that. After much consideration we decided it meant more to us to be married than to have a big fancy wedding. We had a resgistry office do with 20 friends and family when I was 7 months pregnant, and then a gorgeous meal in a fantastic restaurant. I got a lovely maternity wedding dress (sounds grim, I know, but they do exist!) and had the best day ever. We were so pleased to be marrying eachother and so glad to be already married when our daughter was born, it more than made up for not having the big traditional do. At the time we said we would have a big party later on, but as time goes on that seems less important. We had our closest friends and family with us while we made our lifelong committment to eachother, what more could we ask for?? Now when we go to big weddings we just keep thinking we are so glad that we got married the way we did, and are convinced that actually a big day would be the last thing we would want. Once your lovely baby arrives you will be so focussed on him/her that you likely won't have the time/energy/inclination to plan a fancy wedding. And if you do still have some time/energy, I would recommend you do what we've done - get pregnant again. Expecting second child in 5 weeks and can't wait. Things don't always turn out the way you expect them to but sometimes that really can be for the best. Good luck!!

thumbwitch Mon 28-Sep-09 20:52:38

I have a friend who was engaged when she found out she was pg, so they postponed any thought of marriage until after the baby was born (she too wanted to be able to enjoy her wedding day, presumably by drinking). After the baby was born, the money was somehow never there to get married, and just when they thought they might, she fell pg again. Now her DC are 8 and 4 and she and her DP still aren't married!

FWIW - it took me 7 weeks to arrange a half-fancy wedding - registry office & meal for 50 people and then an evening do for dancing. All for under £5k as well. We just stripped off all unnecessary extras, such as flowers, bridesmaids, best men (no presents required), did homemade favours, no cake (the favours were mini cakes), hired the clothes etc etc. But I started 10 weeks ahead of you so wasn't very big - in fact half the wedding party didn't know until we told them in the speeches! (the other half knew beforehand)

bluespix77 Wed 30-Sep-09 11:11:50

Sorry I haven't had time to read all of the posts, but I believe there are some issues at hospitals if you're not married. If I am correct and your child is ill and needs a parental signature for an operation, only the mother can do it, if you're not married.

Can someone confirm or deny this?

annamama Wed 30-Sep-09 12:02:52

Pop - it doesn't make any difference to tax or tax credits, but I think it USED to...

My DD was born as illegitimate, the hospital wrote her name as "Female Infant (my surname)" but I thought that was just cute. Me and her dad went toghether to register the birth and we gave her his surname on the birth certificate, no problems. We are now married and we have gone back to have her birth certificate amended, why I'm not completely sure but they told us at the time to come back if we get married...

As for wills... this is quite interesting... good post from MyNameIs! DH used to have a will saying everything goes to me if he dies. Now that we're married I'd get everything anyway... We were thinking of writing a new will about what should happen to DD if we both die. But we can't agree so we've decided to leave it up to our families to decide. (oh horrible thought)

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