Post # 1
Ok, here’s the deal, bees! My fiance and I have already been living together for over a year, our finances are all shared and we have a shared bank account/savings. Health insurance is not an issue because he has a special plan that he was grandfathered into and it would actually cost more for the both of us to be put on a family insurance plan. The childrens’ insurance policies are already taken care of so we don’t have to worry about that. Essentially all the financial perks of being married aren’t there. We were both married previously and the only thing either marriage yielded was a lot of heart break and headache, not to mention ridiculous lawyers’ fees. We are pretty much doing everything that a married couple does in every way except for signing a piece of paper and telling the court that it’s official. I even do our taxes and budgeting while he does the laundry, dishes, cares for the kids, and vacuums the floors, haha. He proposed to me in a very sentimental and emotional way with a gorgeous traditional ring and there is nothing in our life that suggests this will be one of those disintigrating relationships that ends up torturing us down the line.
We are both insanely excited to host a wedding celebration for us, our families, and friends in order to commemorate our love for each other. We have both always wanted a huge wedding and now we are planning to do it! We’ve set a date and picked a venue, picked our colors, found our dress and tux, he’s been just as in to Pinterest as I have been (love the guy!!) and already asked our bridesmaids and groomsmen and he and I would love to have my last name changed.
I only have a couple of inquiries: Has anyone else done something like this?? and, Has anyone else ever encountered issues with changing their last name without being married??
People get their names changed all the time for all sorts of reasons so I don’t see why it would be a problem but I would like to make sure. Chances are I’m not going to tell the judge it’s the final step to our “faux” marriage we are spending $18k on but… yeah.
Any of your input is welcome, bees! I can’t find any info online about any similar situations!
Post # 3
Depending on what state you are in, presenting as being married actually makes you common-law husband and wife. I’d look into that for the state you live in. You may find yourselves legally bound even though you don’t want to be.
I’d say the other thing i’d do is, if you have joint retirement savings, or ever buy a house together, etc etc is to have legal agreements drawn up that dictate what happens to that $$$ in case of a breakup. Since you don’t have marriage laws to help with the division of assets, i’d really recommend that you do that with a lawyer.
Oh, and you’ll have to go to court to legally change your name without getting legally married. So, more $$$ there.
Honestly, a DIY divorce costs about $500. I’d rather have the legal protection and not have to pay for contracts/lawyers every time we purchase a home, open new retirement accounts, etc. Plus, if you aren’t legally family, hosiptals won’t tell you what’s going on or give you input into care. There’s a lot of legal benefits you may not have considered. Marriage isn’t a “piece of paper” to me – it’s a legal status that affords many benefits (above and beyond the financial ones)
Post # 4
Not really in a similar situation, but just wanted to say one thing: even though things are fine now, I’d worry a little bit more about when the “in sickness” part comes around There neeeds to be some sort of protection for the two of you when dealing with things like end of life decisions, estates, being able to make legal ageements for one another, etc. I am not sure whether these things can be accomplished without being married, but judging by some stories I’ve heard about gay widows and widowers being denied these rights with regard to their partners, even when they had been together for decades, I would guess these aren’t conferred automatically when you’re in a common-law-type situation.
Post # 5
@lochnessy: I’m a little confused… are you getting married? You said he proposed & you’re having a huge wedding… but that its $18k & “faux”.
Post # 6
It costs money to chang your name … either with the ceremony or with out it. Why not just wait… have the wedding and change your name then.
Post # 7
I think something might be missing from your post. Are you actually getting married? Or only having a party?
Post # 8
Also, I am totally lost on why you are having a “wedding” if you are not being married. Does everyone else know it is “faux”?
Post # 9
Getting married or not shouldn’t be about the financial perks.
Are you actually telling guests that it isn’t a wedding? Personally I wouldn’t attend unless it was called a committment ceremony.
Post # 10
i’m confused also. are you having a “pretend” wedding?
Post # 11
Isn’t that what a wedding is? It’s a celebration of committing your life to someone. It’s a day to celebrate with all of your friends and family the decision to be together forever, that you’re establishing a verbal obligation to love the person you’re with always. Why sign a little piece of paper confirming that the two of you will love each other forever? In fact, the beginning of “marriage” wasn’t always determined by the legal system whether or not it’s recognized. Marriage is defined as an acknowledgement of an intimate relationship between two (or more sometimes) people for legal, social, sexual, emotional, financial, spiritual, and/or religious reasons. Neither of us are religious so it’s not like we have to go tell God about it. Emotionally, sexually, financially, and spiritually we’ve committed ourselves to each other. So all that’s left on the list is socially (ie: a great big party… which can still be huge for $18k thankyouverymuch) and legally. We don’t care about the legal aspect. Neither of us are very materialistic people and the only thing that would concern me is making medical decisions in the future. Also, to legitimize any potential offspring back when that was considered by the majority to be sinful.
As a follow up question because I’m sincerely curious: For what reason are you getting married if not for the same reason we are?
Post # 12
@canthugallcats: Ouch 😛 Last I checked, $18k is a lot of green and “faux” was pretty much to be clear about the fact that we’re celebrating spending our lives together and not signing a paper for a court to log away.
Post # 13
@lochnessy: Marriage is all those things, but here in America it’s also very much a legal thing. Saying it’s “just a piece of paper” devalues the fact that at one point, blacks and whites weren’t legally allowed to get married. Gay people still aren’t fully legally allowed to get married throughout our country. The legality of marriage is very much a strong point of WHY the bond is important and why so many people are fighting for LEGAL marriage equality.
I have so many thoughts for how to go about answering your questions but I think I’ll just be rambling if I go any further… so, don’t have a “faux” wedding and not tell your guests it isn’t real. Either get married and have the wedding, or have the big party and call it a commitment ceremony or something.
Post # 14
I honestly don’t care if you want to spend $18k on a party (and I should hope that is enough for a great big party since that exceeds many wedding budgets and even incomes!). I also don’t believe marriage is necessary for a commitment, even a lifelong one. I grew up in a home like that. I am well aware if the history of marriage, too.
What I want to know is are you pretending it is a legal wedding aka do your guests know? I am guessing not. Or else it would be called a “celebration of our life together” and not a “huge wedding” as you both always wanted. Because to some people who may be attending to celebrate and support a legal marriage that distinction IS important.
Post # 15
Why sign the piece of paper?
For the ability to make medical decisions for each other. So that we are each others legal heirs in case one of us dies without a will. For survivor’s benefits if one of us predeceases the other. To make the name change process easier. So we can file taxes jointly. So we are each protected if our financial situation changes between marriage and (knock on wood, God forbid) divorce. So that he is legally presumed to be the father of any children we have together. To make it easier to buy a house together or make other large financial decisions together. So I could visit him in the hospital if he is sick. And so that I can call him my husband, and be his wife.
Post # 16
My fiance and I already have most of the same “perks” you do, but we are missing one that we want… visitation rights and end-of-life decisions! Courts can override any drawn-up agreements if the parents or siblings contest them. Also, the ability to inherit anything belonging to the other without estate tax. Yeah, it probably won’t come into play for a long time, but you never know! There are also some nitpicky things like not being called to testify against one’s spouse in court that I imagine I’ll never have to deal with, but want there just in case, because that’s part of what my interpretation of marriage is.
And be careful if you ever move to a state that recognizes common law marriage, because if you become common-law married in that state you will still have to get a real divorce if you separate. Shouldn’t be a problem if you continue living in Missouri though.
In the end though I think it’s silly to call it “marriage” if it’s neither legal nor religious. That’s not marriage – it’s a partnership. I wouldn’t call him your husband, but your life partner. It just seems very silly to me.