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House or engagement first when kids are involved?

(24 Posts)
Jhthh Tue 14-Nov-17 08:40:37

So I started a new relationship around 18 months ago. We both have a child from a previous relationship and we both own our own properties. We both want the same things from the future, get married, buy a house together and have another child together. However, we have a difference in opinion on the order. Due to my previous partner suddenly walking out on me, commitment is extremely important so I feel I would want to be at least engaged before buying a house together and moving my son. My new partner however doesn't want to make that commitment before we've lived together. We spend most evenings already staying at one another's houses. I just wouldn't want to move my son out of his home and then need to move him back again if the commitment isn't there. What are people's thoughts? House or commitment first when children are involved?

Brokenbiscuit Tue 14-Nov-17 08:42:45

I don't think engagement is much of a commitment tbh. It isn't legally binding in any way.

Justbookedasummmerholiday Tue 14-Nov-17 08:43:29

Buying a house is harder to get out of than handing a ring back. Rent, ring, marry /buy house.

yowerohotesies Tue 14-Nov-17 09:13:04

Engagement is meaningless legally speaking. If you want actual commitment before living together it would have to be marriage to be any binding commitment.

As pp said actually buying together is a really quite big commitment and if you sell up and buy together then it doesn't work out you will both have lost a huge amount of money.

If both your homes are in good condition for this: perhaps consider a 1 year trial where you just rent a place together, each renting out your own homes meanwhile. If after the year you are all happy then you can sell up the separate properties and buy together, and marry too. If it doesn't work out then you can each return to your previous homes without having lost anything. (Assuming you aren't unlucky with the pitfalls of landlording but that's another thread)

Desmondo2016 Tue 14-Nov-17 09:38:42

Yep engagement is meaningless. Just a prelude to marriage. I would buy the house and get married later on.

formerbabe Tue 14-Nov-17 09:47:41

Another one saying engagement is meaningless. Being engaged doesn't necessarily mean committment.

Cricrichan Tue 14-Nov-17 10:01:41

If he's not committed enough to get married then don't uproot your son. Keep living separately or like pp suggested, rent together first if he wants a trial.

KarriPotter Tue 14-Nov-17 10:07:57

I’d rent or move into the bigger of your two properties first. I agree, a ring means diddly squat.

Goosegrass Tue 14-Nov-17 10:50:22

Rent to see if you can live together. Marriage not engagement then buy a house. Anything else would be very foolish.

ElspethFlashman Tue 14-Nov-17 11:24:50

If he doesn't want to get engaged without trying you out, then he doesn't want to marry you without trying you out.

So after 18 months he's still not sure whether he wants to marry you, no matter what words come out of his mouth.

I would hesitate over buying a house with someone who isn't sure about me.

TammySwansonTwo Tue 14-Nov-17 11:42:46

I wouldn't buy a property with someone I wasn't married to (unless we were opposed to marriage but together very longterm). Live in one property and rent the other out, make sure it's right before making such a massive financial and complex commitment - engagement means bugger all.

Pantygirdl Tue 14-Nov-17 11:52:36

I think he's being rather sensible. You need to be 100% sure when there are kids involved. At 18 months you will still be in the honeymoon period, living together will throw up some more tests to your relationship. I agree with pp's, renting together first would be the smart move. I had the commitment of marriage, didn't stop my exH having an affair and leaving me when pregnant.

mindutopia Tue 14-Nov-17 12:02:34

Engagement is no commitment when children and finances are involved. I would not be buying a house with anyone, especially if I already had a child to protect, who didn't feel sure he was ready to commit to me by marriage. If he isn't sure, now is not the time to be entangling yourself financially with him until he is.

2rebecca Tue 14-Nov-17 14:07:53

Living together with kids from previous relationships is hard. Rent first and decide if your relationship can cope. If it's fine then get married then get a mortgage. The marriage is the important bit, engagements are pointless unless a date and place have been agreed. Make sure you and your children are happy living with this man first though before giving up your independence.

SandyY2K Tue 14-Nov-17 16:41:57

For me I'd want marriage before a child.

A compromise would be moving in with him or him moving in with you, while the other rents their house out.... or both rent your respective properties Out, then ren't a place together.... see how it goes/set a timeframe in your mind ...then engagement..marriage and child to follow.

Ellisandra Tue 14-Nov-17 17:26:06

Just slow it all down.
You've only known him 18 months, and you don't have to live with him.

First - do nothing. Get to know him better as things are.

Then...Who has their child least nights?
That person should move in with the other person on all their child free nights. Properly in - sharing housework and bills (with allowance for own house - so, paying half (?) the electricity but not paying council tax).

No disruption to children at this stage.

If that works OK - no niggles over housework and finances! - then the person with their child least moved in with the other - full time and the child stays there too. Their house stays empty (or AirBnB if it's a useful area). After say 6 months, that house can be let out. After however long it takes - combine getting married with selling or permanently letting the other house. Or selling both and buying.

Even if the long term plan is to buy a new place, or live in the house of the person with child the least nights, start off with that person in the home of the person with child the most.

Only when all this is done, consider having a child together.

butterfly56 Tue 14-Nov-17 18:05:36

Yep agree with SandyY2K Rent one or both houses out and try living together in a couple of years time.
You need to slow things down and see how things go between you

Jhthh Tue 14-Nov-17 18:25:32

Thanks for your comments they're all really useful. We are moving things slowly we're just looking at future plans. He's very adamant he would want to buy a house before any commitment of engagement or marriage. I've proposed the idea of looking at renting before getting married and then buying but he seems very opposed to this too. It seems unless I agree to buy a house first we won't ever progress. Tricky one!

Mrskeats Tue 14-Nov-17 18:27:57

I wouldn't buy a house without marriage or a legal agreement to protect your investment.

Brokenbiscuit Tue 14-Nov-17 19:50:42

Then don't progress with it, OP. I can understand him wanting to see how living together works before he commits to marriage, but if he is refusing to rent together in order to do this, I'd be quite wary.

Would you be putting equal amounts of capital in if you bought? Sharing any mortgage payments equally?

Jhthh Tue 14-Nov-17 21:27:38

Although I have more equity in my current property I've insisted that I will only put in equal to what he can

butterfly56 Tue 14-Nov-17 21:48:27

He's not one for compromising with you OP which is a Red Flag.

I would tread carefully going forward and have your "business head on" when he's talking about what HE wants to happen in the future.

If you are doing all the compromise then it's not a balanced relationship

yowerohotesies Tue 14-Nov-17 22:13:29

Hmm. I think this is a red flag here.

- he's deliberately putting you in an impossible dilemma on the hopes that this will keep you just where he wants you, not too committed and focusing on fun times now till he's ready to move on
- he's too naiive to realise this is an impossible dilemma and doesn't realise how much damage could be done to your kids' emotional wellbeing and your finances with this plan which shows a certain selfishness and idiocy that would certainly put me off.
- he is acting malevolently and hoping that you are too naiive to see the danger and is planning some scam that will leave you penniless with no marriage to protect you

SandyY2K Tue 14-Nov-17 22:27:26

I had the commitment of marriage, didn't stop my exH having an affair and leaving me when pregnant

But you have financial security in marriage. Of course you can't prevent a cheater cheating .

OP.. I wouldn't give up your home without security of marriage.

He's not compromising... it would be my cue to really think if this is something to invest more of my time in.

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