(Closed) Probably the weirdest wedding situation EVER. Anyone else in my boat??

posted 8 years ago in Legal
Post # 62
Member
9129 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

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@crayfish:  It will cost more in the longrun to deal with the extra legal protections you will need over the years when a $50-100 marriage license will cover it all.  Not having a license could end up costing you more over the length of your faux marraige than the potential for a messy divorce is worth.  There are a lot of automatic benefits that kick in when you sign that license that you truly do not even know about until your spouse is sick or dead.  If he has children with someone else those children could prevent you from seeing him in the hospital if he were to become sick.

My FH made a good point to me when we were discussing marriage (I am divorced); he said you’re either in it or you’re not.  There is nothing wrong with celebrating your love for each other with a huge party but when you add marriage vows in a ceremony to that and you don’t have a valid marriage license, it just seems like you two are not totally committed.  I would have a bug party but hold off a ceremony/vows until the fear of a messy divorce goes away.

At the very least go talk to a marriage/divorce attorney to find out if it’s really cheaper (and financially safer!) to forgo the marriage license.

Post # 63
Member
11736 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Just to clarify – you’re having a wedding but not getting legally married?  If that is the case, you will have to do a legal name change through the courts.  A friend of mine did this and it was a pretty involved and lengthy process and quite costly – maybe though because she was under 18?  Not sure, but good luck!

 

Post # 64
Member
3 posts
Wannabee

I’m not going to comment on your decision to have a wedding but not a marriage other than to say that you may be losing out on tax benefits and (possibly more importantly) tax benefits on inheritance issues.  Please note that one of the most recent cases  on the Defense of Marriage Act related to inheritance benefits (cost the non-spouse a LOT of taxes because they were not married).  The decision on whether or not to get married or have a wedding is a personal one.

 

Now, changing your name – you will need a court order to do this and may need to pay an attorney.  The judge may ask you why you want to change your name (mostly just to prevent fraud, or people evading creditors).  No matter what, DO NOT LIE to the judge.  I’m not giving you legal advice but advising you to talk to an attorney.

Post # 65
Member
3041 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

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@lochnessy:  I don’t see how what I said was hurtful? I was honestly confused. I read your post through 3 times & no where in it does it clearly say you’re not legally getting married (except you used the work “faux”) & yet you’re talking about all the things of a wedding – dress, tux, bridal party, spending $18k, a LOT of money. That’s why I was confused… & sounds like quite a few other bees were confused as well.

Post # 66
Member
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

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@rosie32:  This is a really good point.

If you add a non-spouse’s name to a deed on a house that you own, in most jurisdictions in the US it would be potentially subject to a gift tax. That can run up to 41% tax bracket, on half the value of the home.

If you add a spouse’s name to a deed, no tax.

If you keep the home in your name only, and you die, the home is subject to inheritence tax when it passes to your spouse.

If your spouse’s name is on the deed, no tax due (because at that point, he already owns it by way of his name being on the deed).

Post # 67
Member
1375 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I agree with PPs that something in your reasoning to not get married doesn’t add up, but I won’t speculate.

What I will say is that if you are indeed leading your faux-wedding guests to believe that they are witnessing a marriage/wedding ceremony, that is very underhanded.  Maybe you aren’t registering or expecting gifts, but some will still get you something, because they think you’re getting married.  People may take the day off to see your wedding, whereas they may not have if they knew it was a name-change ceremony – that could be lost income.

If I came to this event and thought it was a marriage/wedding (I’m using both words, even though in my mind they are one and the same, because you seem to think they’re very different), only to find out a few months later that was not the case, I would be hurt.  I would feel lied to and betrayed.

Go ahead and throw yourselves a party.  But please, don’t mislead your guests as to what you’re celebrating.

Post # 68
Member
3120 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I can think of a lot of gay and lesbian couples who wouldn’t understand this decision.  

We just got married in June.  You don’t HAVE to join insurance or change anything if you don’t want to.  I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to be married…

Post # 69
Member
9080 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

Anyone else in my boat?”   Going through all the trouble and expense of a wedding except for the licence, then going through a bunch more trouble and expense to do all the stuff that the licence would have automatically taken care of for you? … That boat?  Nope. Pretty sure nobody else is in that boat. 

Also, one benefit of marriage that I haven’t seen mentioned is Social Security. I knew a couple who were together for almost 20 years. They had a child together and lived as husband and wife. But they weren’t husband and wife, so when he died, she was SOL. Their kid recieved SS benefits, but his “wife” of 20 years got nothing. So anyone who is counting on being recognized as “common-law” better make sure that law really is common where you live. 

Post # 70
Member
5658 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Honestly I don’t see why everyone is so offended by a couple’s choice to have a wedding when they aren’t actually legally marrying that day, it’s not your wedding so why does it matter? People get up in arms about this on the bee all the time.

What I AM curious about is… what are you so afraid of? If it’s “just” a piece of paper, why not sign it? What difference is it going to make? If your relatoinship is so wonderful, it should be able to withstand signing a peice of paper. And if it’s going to break down, it’s going to break down wether you are legally married or not.

Post # 71
Member
1489 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

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@MsJ2theZ:  this exactly. If I were a friend or family member and I loved you I wouldn’t hesitate to attend the wedding or care at all what you call it. I wouldnt feel lied to. i wouldnt care whether some legal paperwork were involved or not. I would be enough that you intend to be together for the rest of your lives and want to celebrate.

But, I too am confused about the legal thing. Seems more of a hassle to manage your life together legally than to legally plan fora divorce which may never happen. But whatever. It’s your choice!

Post # 72
Member
624 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@lochnessy:  I typically reas through all the posts before I comment, but these got a little repetitive for me. Anywho, I had a friend get married recently and her husband wanted to change his last name before they got married. He wanted his mom’s maiden name bc he didn’t want to carry on his fathers to his children. He said it was a pain in the butt and expensive (about $800) but he did it. You will have to fill out a million forms and go to court of course and I know some states require you to publish the name change, but I see no reason why you can’t do this. Like some others have said, just tell the truth! Hope everything goes okay for you, good luck! 

And By The Way I don’t see why you can’t throw an awesome party to celebrate your love and commitment. Maybe if you have your name changed by then you can be celebrating that too!  

Post # 73
Member
3637 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

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@sept22insf:  

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@MsJ2theZ:  

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@Wonderstruck:  

@Bostongrl25:  

@cmbr:

I agree with these Bees: OP if you are having a wedding and getting married in your own eyes (and your friend’s and family’s eyes) then why not just sign the piece of paper and be legally married too? 

It would save a lot of hassel down the road for you. 

Post # 75
Member
9129 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

I would not shun my friend or family member for having a wedding without a marriage license but I would be concerned for her rights to be protected in the longrun.  So long as you have cleared your plan with an attorney and financial planner and ensured you are both protected, I say you should be fine and it really is nobody else’s business why you are choosing not to legally be married.

I just know from my line of work as an attorney that no matter how prepared you are with documents, nothing beats the solid unquestionability of a marriage license.  Why do you think interracial couples fought for the right to legally wed in the 50s and 60s?  It’s the same reason GLBT couples fight for right today; a marriage license covers and is refenced across so many areas of the law that no contract could adequately protect a couple’s legal rights in the same way.

But yes, you could be married in the eyes of your partner, your community and even your church without a State issued marriage license.  The only issues that would crop up are when the legality of your marriage is at issue.  And it does not mean it would make it less complicated to get separated; some States do recognized long term partnerships (not just as common law marriages) and Courts will enforce sharing of assets when those couples separate especially if one were to become homeless and dependent on State resources as a result of the separation.

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