Post # 1
My fiancee and I are getting married in May because I am still in college and wanted to have the entire summer to adjust to married life before starting class again. However, I recently learned that I cannot update my marital status on my FAFSA after it has been submitted. I am still considered my parents dependent on the FAFSA because I am not over 24, so by filing as married I would get a significant increase in tuition assistance (which I need). Unfortunately the priority deadline for this to be submitted is March 1st (the sooner the better). So I was considering possibly getting legaly married before the wedding. It would simply be whatever the requirements are to sign our marriage license, and our real wedding would still be in May. We would be paper married but would not live together or change my name or consider ourselves married by Biblical standards until after our May wedding.
What are y’alls opinions? Should we go ahead and be legally married or wait until the real wedding? will it make our actual wedding less special even if we aren’t considering ourselves married until then? Also, I in no way am trying to discount court house weddings so please don’t take offense!
Post # 2
Married is married, no matter where you live or how your name appears. If it’s okay between you two, then I say go for it.
Post # 3
Sallie Mae is a b*tch. Whatever you can do to lower your tuition cost, do it. 🙂
That being said, still check with both sets of parents. At this point, it’s a matter of months so I don’t see the big deal.
Post # 4
Make sure any guests you invite to your wedding know that you are already married. It is the kind of thign that most people are very understanding of, if they know in advance, but if they think they will be seeing you get married and you’ve been married all along, they might be very upset. They might feel like you’ve decieved them.
Post # 6
I say go for it. I know how rough it is to file your FAFSA and desperately need money and not get any because your parents make too much.
Post # 7
It sounds like for you (and probably most of your guests) religion is a very big part of marriage and you wouldn’t be married in their eyes until it’s official before the church. You also wouldn’t present yourselves as a married couple, wouldn’t live together or anything. I wouldn’t hide the fact that the legal paperwork is done from your guests, but I don’t think it’ll make it less special.
I’m all for doing whatever you can to get extra tuition assistance!
Post # 8
Your legal marriage is a wedding. Follow up with a reception for friends and family, but don’t pretend that it is something it is not.
Post # 9
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
It really depends how your SO feels about it.
Personally, I would do it, in fact I tried to get my husband to sign the marriage certificate about 7 months before our July wedding because if we’d gotten married in the same year we bought our house we would have gotten about $8,000 back in taxes (almost the entire wedding budget!) but he didn’t want to, it was important to him that the marriage actually started on our wedding day.
So, we forewent the tax benefits and signed our marriage license on our wedding day.
Post # 10
I agree with this 100x. Personally, Fiance and I are not religious, so our ceremony will be legal when our officiant finishes his paperwork. However, considering how religious the two of you are and that you will not be living as a married couple, I don’t see any kind of problem with this, especially as it is to fulfil a legality about six weeks before your wedding.
Also as an edit–I would have no qualms about listing yourself as married on the FAFSA paperwork and just holding off until the May wedding. As the FAFSA will not go into effect until the 2015 school year starts (fall semester) then I think as long as you would be married by then, it would be fine.
Post # 11
Do you live on your own or do you live at home with your parents when you’re not in school? If you have your own apartment (i.e. live away from home for more than half of the year, except when living in a dorm) and job (paying for at least half of your expenses), your parents cannot claim you as a dependent, regardless of your age.
EDIT: my apologies, this all refers to taxes, but there’s a chance it could translate to the FAFSA as well. I’d speak to someone really knowledgable. I wouldn’t want to get married before my wedding day, even if we weren’t going to act married until after the wedding, but I understand that you want to maximize FAFSA funds.
Post # 12
Are you sure you won’t be able to update your FAFSA? https://studentaid.ed.gov/fafsa/next-steps/correct-update#updates
If you’re sure, I’d go ahead and get married now. I don’t see anything wrong with trying to save on tuition.
I would NOT suggest listing yourself as married before you actually are, though, as PP suggested. If your financial aid counselor has any suspicion that you are not being 100% truthful, they are required to report it and you will probably be required to supply documentation to support your claim.
For financial aid purposes, this isn’t the case. As long as she is under the age of 24, the government considers her a dependent student unless she is married or has a child, with the exception of a few other specific cases.
Post # 13
Your legal marriage is THE marriage whether you want it to be or not. If you do that, you need to tell everyone invited to your “wedding” that it’s actually a vow renewal, because unless you get divorced in between, it will not be a wedding and you will not be a bride. You’ll be a wife. Sounds harsh, but those are the facts.
Post # 14
This is a super personal question and you’re going to have people with really strong opinions on both sides of the fence. I see absolutely no problem with signing a paper now and having a full-blown wedding ceremony, celebration, reception in May– I know tons of people who have done this (my DH is military and it seems to be much more common among military) and in the *vast* majority of cases it has caused no problems and no conflict and their family and friends have still been thrilled to be a part of their wedding. In my personal opinion, a wedding is about the celebration and making vows in front of family and friends, not the legal piece of paper (a lot of people who do destination weddings, for instance, have to sign the paper at a different time). But obviously there are people who are offended by it, as you can tell from this thread.
In the end, you have to think about what you and your fiance feel and what will make you happy. Will you feel less special the day of your wedding if you are already legally married? Would your families be upset?
Post # 15
Here’s hoping that you see this! It’s very interesting to me that the FAFSA would consider someone to be a dependent just because of their age. I am in grad schoo, 23, and living on my own. I will be paying for grad school. It would be cruel of the government to assume that my parents are footing the bill for my life…and not very good for me financially! Is this the case? Do you have any links?