(Closed) Marriage or babies? Is it either or?

posted 4 years ago in 20 Something
  • poll: What would you rather?
    Babies first : (5 votes)
    2 %
    Marriage first : (201 votes)
    98 %
  • Post # 46
    1011 posts
    Bumble bee

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    FutureMrsHoneybee:  That is exactly my thought. I see people all the time who are with someone, get pregnant, have the baby and then later he proposes. Now their status goes to “engaged”. So they stay engaged for years, but never actually get married. I fully agree. To me, a child together should be an even bigger commitment than marriage. I say this as someone who was married and divorced, but we had no children. Once the divorce was finalized, we have had no reason to be in contact with each other ever again. I know nothing about where he is now, even if he’s still alive. He could be dead for all I know, but my point is, we had no ties to make it necessary for me to know. 

    I also agree that I think many are disillusioned that by having a baby and “showing” baby daddy how good of a mommy and housekeeper and yada yada yada she is, he’ll all of the sudden want to get married. 

    That being said, I’m also a firm believer that no one should get married BECAUSE they’re pregnant. Those days are gone. In some cases, ok. My cousin and her husband were engaged and had a wedding planned. Then she found out she was pregnant. They moved the wedding up a month, got married, had the baby, a few years later had another and they’re all happy. Her kids are now 23 and 18, btw. But in that case, they were already planning to get married regardless. 

    Someone I went to school with was dating this guy a few years ago (5 years maybe?) and he’s a good deal older than her. At least 15 years, if not more. Pretty sure it might be more. She and I are 33, so he’s late 40s. Anyway, she got pregnant. I want to say he was in the military, not sure what branch, but he was told (and this is just what I heard from her, so I don’t know all the details) but in order for her and the baby to move with him, they had to be married. So they got married. Shortly after, he cheated, got another girl pregnant, and the divorced. Since they, they found out he has several other kids, and a grandkid on the way. I never knew marriage could be required in that, but I don’t know much about all that. 

    I know I have a lot of contradictions, but it makes sense in my head. 

    Post # 47
    917 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2015 - Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception / Courtyard Marriott Legacy Ballroom

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    futuremrsc2016:  I think it depends on what type of benefits they receive. I read somewhere that marriage will not affect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), but it could effect Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because in that case, a portion of the spouse’s income and assets is deemed part of the diabled person’s income and assets while SSDI is based soley on the disabled person’s employment history. So if the spouse is earning a high enough income, it could reduce the amount of benefits or cause the benefits to stop altogether by putting their income over the SSI eligibility limit (based on income and resources). I think DH’s friend is the latter case because I doubt he’s never been able to keep a qualifying job for the required amount of time it takes to get SSDI due to his mental disability. I know another lady who’s engaged but in a similar situation – she’s always had her disability, so she’s never been able to hold a full time job that contributes to Social Security and therefore is not able to collect SSDI. I’m guessing she and her Fiance will not be getting married unless he can earn enough of an income to support their family by himself.

    Post # 48
    2398 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2016

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    missmagpie:  Yeah I don’t think it’s an either /or. Sometimes people get pregnant, sometimes people aren’t interested in marriage. Some couples never marry and stay together forever. I think it’s just that times are changing and people aren’t so rigid about “the rules” anymore. I say do whatever is right for you. 

    Post # 52
    12837 posts
    Honey Beekeeper

     To me, once there are children in the picture, priorities change dramatically and the idea of an expensive wedding is a ship that’s sailed. An exception would if a family member  is offering to pay for the wedding and not allowing any other option for the use of the money.

     There would be no need to save up for “one or the other” in that case. 

    Post # 53
    532 posts
    Busy bee

    It’s expensive to do both! I’m writing this as someone who fell pregnant after booking a wedding  (I’m due 6 months before the wedding) and whilst I feel like I want to get married even more now (to share the same name as my little one) I keep having serious second thoughts as to whether it’s a good idea to spend all that money on a wedding, now we have a family to provide for. 

    Priorities are different now, stability and investing in my little ones future seems so much more important than a wedding. I don’t feel that we offer any more stability as a family by being man and wife. And whilst we’re fortunate enough to be able to afford to do both, the wedding is way less of a priority now!

    maybe that’s the case for others too… If we didn’t have the wedding booked, I think the money would be going on a downpayment for a house instead! 

    Post # 54
    149 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: August 2016

    My fiance and I had our happy accident baby a little over a year ago. (: At the time we were unable to get married because he was attending a service academy. Now we are finally planning our wedding! If I could have chosen, I would have chosen to be married first, just because of the hassle that it is to have a baby when you’re unmarried. My fiance wasn’t allowed to make any medical decisions for our son until after I had signed paperwork saying that he was the father. It felt kind of upsetting because it was so clear that what we were doing wasn’t “traditional.” They also put my last name on our son’s hospital bracelet even though our son’s last name is my fiance’s last name. So I didn’t even really want to save it because it doesn’t even have our son’s actual name on it.

    Post # 55
    200 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2017

    If I have a baby, I want to be married first. For me, I think the relationship that makes the baby should be the strongest foundation possible, and if someone wouldn’t commit to marrying me, I wouldn’t consider them to be able to commit to raising a baby with me either. 

    I think my viewpoint comes from seeing my cousin’s recent history. He got his girlfriend of 3 months pregnant – she told him she was infertile and he believed her and didn’t protect himself in any way – they got engaged during the pregnancy and broke up when the baby was about 2 months old. He got back with her a couple of months later and surprise – she was pregnant again (she told him that she got a contraceptive implant, but apparently this didn’t happen). They were at war the entire time she was pregnant with the second and he finally left a couple of weeks before baby #2 was born. They lawyered up, she claimed there was emotional abuse (knowing my horrible cousin, I don’t doubt this) and he couldn’t see baby #1 or even meet baby #2 for more than six months. A couple of months after baby #2 was born, he was already shacking up with another girl… who had a son. He played ‘daddy’ all over facebook for a few months, then dumped her for another girl who had a kid, and the same story played out. He had serial girlfriends for a while until he met his current girlfriend who already had a daughter, and lo and behold, she was pregnant about 2 months after they started going out. 

    Nowadays, between them, they have four children (though if you ask them, he will say “I have three and she has two”… they don’t even consider themselves a family). There has been a revolving door of visititations, problems with lawyers on both sides, kids becoming friends with each other and then never seeing their faux-half-siblings ever again because he would serially break up with the mothers that he dated. 

    Seeing the way he handled things and how unsettled things are for all the children involved, I absolutely would want to be married first. Not to say that things can’t go south if you are married, but if I had a kid, I would want to give them the best chance of living as part of a family that they could actually identify and rely on. I’d want them to have some constancy and stability. 

    Post # 56
    124 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2016

    I have a girlfriend who says she is planning on TTC with her current boyfriend (of about a year) but is not interested in marriage yet. She’s in her mid-late 30’s and I think she’s worried about her biological clock. It’s a weird dynamic because if you want kids but think you’re coming up on the end of that possibility biologically, what do you do?

    She could get a sperm donor but she has a current boyfriend and he probably wouldn’t appreciate the idea. The sperm donor would be more expensive but on the other hand she wouldn’t have to share rights to the child if she went with the donor. Her and her bf have been together too short a time for her to be confident about marriage. Who’s to say he’s a worse option than a donor, anyway?

    I really wonder if this mentality is increasing for working professional women who put off having kids until later in life. I’m seeing more pregnancies from unmarried friends in their 30’s but it’s hard to tell if these are planned or just an oops. I’m not seeing it in my friends in their 20’s, though.

    Post # 57
    223 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: February 2016

    I think this happens because it’s easier to convince a man to “Not try not prevent” than get married. “Let’s just see what happens!” is much less of a decision… it’s the whole sliding vs. deciding thing. It’s a lot easier to stop using BC than it is to buy a ring and plan a wedding.

    Of course, the end result is an even BIGGER commitment but it’s psychologically less of a decision.

    Post # 58
    173 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: April 2017

    i have a couple of friends who’s own houses with their boyfriends and the men are desperate for them to have babies, but won’t propose / dont want to get married.. 

    Doesnt make sense to me, but everyone is different x

    Post # 59
    1011 posts
    Bumble bee

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    queenie88:  In those cases, they probably look at it is if things go sour and they break up, while they’d still have to provide for the child(ren) I don’t think they can get lawyers involved like a divorce? Unless its commonlaw. Otherwise, I think anything they own would have to be figured out on their own. I don’t have any experience in that, but I don’t think that in the event of “just” a breakup (and I’m not minimalizing it, just saying its a breakup vs divorce) there’s no dividing things up. I guess they could get a lawyer, but at the same time, they wouldn’t be entitled to any of the other persons. Again, I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t know all the details. But I *think* it works like that. 

    I actually found this article on a legal website. Here is the gist: 

    Laws governing married couples who divorce (generally labeled marital or family law) do not usually apply to unmarried couples who separate. Exceptions include unmarried couples living in a state that recognizes common law marriage who qualify under their state rules, or those who qualify as domestic partners in a few states.
    Each unmarried partner is presumed to own his or her own property and debts unless you’ve deliberately combined your assets–for example, by opening a joint account or putting both names on a deed to your home. This differs from married couples, for whom any debt or asset acquired by either spouse during marriage will usually be considered jointly owned in the event of a dissolution—unless the parties signed a prenuptial agreement modifying these rules.
    The legal presumption of independent property ownership of unmarried partners can generally be overcome by a written agreement to share assets. In many states, a proven oral or implied-from-the-circumstances agreement to share assets can also be enforced by the courts (although this can be extremely difficult to do if there is no written contract).
    Where it’s established that an unmarried couple’s assets are jointly owned (for example, when both names are on a deed), the assets are considered to be owned in equal 50-50 shares. The exception would be if there is proof of a different agreement or, in some instances, where one partner clearly made a greater contribution and can prove it.
    The property aspects of your dispute will generally be handled by the ordinary business section of your state’s civil courts, just as though you were going through a business dissolution. This means in most places you aren’t entitled to any special mediation services or expedited hearings, which are common in divorce court, unless you have child custody or child support conflicts (these will most often be handled by the family law division of your local court).
    In most states, neither unmarried partner is entitled to receive any alimony-type support after a breakup unless there is proof of a clear agreement to provide post-separation support. In some states this must be a written agreement. The fact that one of you supported the other one during your relationship or that you signed wills providing for each other upon death generally is irrelevant to a claim for support unless you can prove that a contract to provide support after separation existed. For married couples, on the other hand, if either party has been financially dependent on the other, or if one person earns significantly more than the other, the judge can order the higher earner to pay alimony (spousal support or maintenance).
    If you are jointly raising children and you are both legal parents, you normally have the opportunity to work out a joint agreement without court intervention. But if you end up in court, the issues of custody, visitation, and child support will be handled just as they are for married couples. If only one of you is the legal parent (because the other parent did not adopt the child), in most states the nonlegal parent will have no right to future custody or visitation of the child, and will have no duty to support the child.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by  futuremrsc2016. Reason: added detail
    Post # 60
    60 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: April 2018 - Karlstejn Castle and we have not found a reception venue yet

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    missmagpie:  I have noticed it too. While I personally would not have a baby before marriage if it makes them happy then great. I just think that a marriage is a stable base for having children and I feel it would be short-changing myself if I had a baby with someone who was not prepared to marry me first, being a parent will never stop. In the people I know having a child has caused great instability, broken up relationships (both married and unmarried) and made life for them incredibly difficult but with good times too. Having children is a valid path and in no way do I judge people for it, but no one can deny that having a child is a lifelong burden and a tie that will never break, it will only ease as they age.


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    topeonyornottopeony:  You are totally right there. The other day, after going to a wedding fair and reading wedding magazines, I was made to feel bad because my dress was not a designer and cost no where near the price tag of designer dresses. My dress is precious to me and I cannot wait to wear it, sod the wedding industry, but I don’t think it is right to push so many high price tags on brides, I think the wedding industry in a way relies on brides/grooms wanting to impress people and so pushes lots of unneccessary things on them. It does get me a bit when I hear of people spending £5000 on a dress when my whole wedding costs less than that.

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