Oops we forgot to get married.. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 12-26-2015, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oops we forgot to get married..

My man and I have been a couple for half our lives now. We moved out together at 20 to finish college. I walked the aisle 7 months pregnant to accept my bachelors. That was a hard year working ft and going to school ft but now those days are long gone. Fast forward 11 years, we have two school age kids and I’ve been a sahm for 7 years.

Been officially engaged since 2010 and I’m thinking now that ship may have sailed. It's the one thing left that we "should do", yet I know we don't have to do anything. In another 11 years our oldest will be 19! Crazy to think about..

Knowing what I know now, there’s a reason why love comes first, then the carriage. Once kids arrive, life changes…everything gets real and raw.



At 22 marriage was still a few years off, now it makes more sense. I care about being married now that our youngest is about to turn 5, but I don’t, then again I do. Does that make sense?

Part of me feels like there’s no point now though and that the ship has sailed, especially when my man says things like “the best way to never get divorced is to never get married”. At any point we can untie anchors and sail away on separate ships, but I know that's not a good way to look at life.



Last edited by whoami; 12-31-2015 at 06:48 PM. Reason: rethinking this issue
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#2 of 8 Old 12-26-2015, 01:00 PM
 
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Some couples just never get married... That's okay. Honestly I think weddings are overrated. We got married because my husband wanted to adopt my son, and it makes taxes, our business partnership, life insurance, etc less complicated. If you haven't found a compelling reason to do it in all this time, why bother? Obviously the commitment part is there without the big party or a piece of legal paper...
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#3 of 8 Old 12-26-2015, 01:59 PM
 
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Have you guys done any estate planning, or thought about what would happen to the survivor if one of you died? That's the thing I'd be really concerned about taking care of with small children.

Marriage is a legal agreement that makes it easier for the two of you to take care of each other. If you're doing fine at taking care of each other without marriage, and you're both contented with the situation, there's no need to run to the courthouse. But I have seen some people get seriously screwed over by acrimonious family after a partner died, so please look at wills and things.
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#4 of 8 Old 12-26-2015, 02:12 PM
 
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I'm on the same page as Meepy Cat. You guys need a will together and clear wishes on who is the guardian of your children if you should both die together on a date night. Also, having power of attorney and healthcare power of attorney for each other is a must. Otherwise, another family member can swoop in and take over once one of you is incapacitated.

Also, depending on your state, you may already be considered "common law marrieds" which means if you do ever part you will need to split assets, arrange custody, child support payments and visitation rights and so on.

So no, it doesn't bother me that you don't have a "piece of paper" between you but you may be setting yourself up for heartache if you don't take the time now to cover your bases legally.
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#5 of 8 Old 12-26-2015, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Estate planning has definitely been a topic we've discussed many times but have not made that happen either. We don't own a home, rent from his mom, own 3 cars, all are in his name, have no debt. The will and estate planning is something we would need to do even if married though, so I/We need to make that a priority for 2016. We had a situation earlier this year where I felt like we could have all died, or been seriously injured in a car accident. Luckily we escaped being hit but if we had been, it would have been my dh fault, and if anything happened, he would have never forgiven himself. I suppose this is one of those things too.
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#6 of 8 Old 12-27-2015, 01:56 AM
 
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Good points... A will is essential when children are involved, regardless of marital status (or lack thereof). Good to hear that's on your radar now...
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#7 of 8 Old 01-02-2016, 10:59 AM
 
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I strongly feel that every woman needs her own separate bank account in her own name, in case of emergency. It could be a health emergency, loss of partner...or it could be a divorce or affair. If it doesn't get spent on the emergency, then it's there as a bonus in the future. It concerns me that you have 3 vehicles, all 3 in his name. Does he have other significant assets, that have been accruing in value since the beginning of your partnership, that do not have your name on them as well? If anything happens to his health, you need legal access to all those assets.
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#8 of 8 Old 01-02-2016, 12:56 PM
 
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Marriage just makes things easier to navigate (and harder, if you break up) because the legal pathways are there. Queer couples and poly mulples have been navigating this for ages. Very doable.

I don't know when we would've actually gotten married if we hadn't needed to cross an ocean to be together.

I actually think that knowing you two could walk away at any time is valuable. It helps keep you from taking each other for granted. My partner and I have not infrequently broken the "never say you want to divorce" rule,because we've both genuinely gotten to the point of considering filing for divorce- and that's made us realize how seriously we needed to change things.
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