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Show ALL Forums  > Relationships  > What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?      Home login  
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 misterbigg
Joined: 2/21/2010
Msg: 1
What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?Page 1 of 32    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32)
Alright before I get going, I would like to point out there are two aspects to marriage:

1) Ceremony, exchange of vows, and religious rites

2) Legal formalities, including blood tests, getting permission from the state, government records, per-state laws regulating dissolution (i.e. divorce)

So, the reasons for getting married in the sense of #1 should be obvious. What I would like some thoughts on, are reasons for #2.

Specifically, what are the benefits and down-sides to getting married (i.e. "legally and financially entangled") in the sense of the equivalent of signing a binding contract that is legally enforcable by the government?

Open questions:

How does the man benefit?

How does the woman benefit?

Can these benefits be obtained without getting financially and legally entangled (i.e. formal marriage in the legal sense)?
 ForRumOnly
Joined: 3/16/2009
Msg: 2
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What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/3/2010 10:04:36 AM
Some of the legal advantages of marriage can be duplicated by other legal arrangements and documents, covering hospital visitation, medical power of attorney, and inheritance. However, only marriage makes you eligible for social security survivor benefits and spousal social security retirement benefits. Some other pensions may have restrictions on beneficiaries (at least in terms of automatic assignment) if not married. Health insurance is often only available to the spouse of an employee, unless state law allows for domestic partners, and that usually requires cohabitation for two years or more to qualify.

A disadvantage for a man if he's married and then divorces due to her infidelity, is that he is still liable for child support if his wife got pregnant by someone else while they were still married.

Really, there are few real advantages for men to marry, and some major potential pitfalls. I think it's sometimes better to cohabitate unless you live in a common-law marriage state.
 Rarebird76
Joined: 5/10/2009
Msg: 3
What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/3/2010 10:28:52 AM
I saw it on a rom com.
 motown cowgirl
Joined: 6/30/2010
Msg: 4
What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/3/2010 10:31:51 AM
the benefits of the formalities that come with legal marriage are the protections that are inherent with having any binding legal contract. of course, the downsides are there for exactly the same reason.

people tried to get all the benefits without the legal entanglements (partly because somebody always wants somethin for nuthin), when they started living together. however, as you may recall, there was a fairly famous palimony case involving lee marvin and his live-in domestic partner which ended in him paying her, too.

of course, domestic partner/palimony laws vary by state, how good your lawyer is, and how much money you paid him.

don't get me wrong, i am neither for nor against marriage or living together. the short answer is that regardless of the arrangement you want to make, i think the benefits are fairly obvious to both the man and the woman but the downside problems are usually not anticipated. which explains why lawyers were invented and i am single.

vvv typically, a share of the retirement/pension benefits (and often health benefits) are also not available to domestic partner arrangements. you can't contract for those because the contract is between you and the health care provider and retirement plan administrator, and they make the rules about who can be a beneficiary or dependent. but if you are going to set up all those contractual arrangements, why not just get married and call it a day? what's the difference??
 justwant2no
Joined: 11/14/2007
Msg: 5
What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/3/2010 10:33:03 AM
I'm with ForumOnly - to the best of my knowledge - WITH PROPER LEGAL DOCUMENTS a couple can replicate nearly every legal aspect of marriage - with the exception of SSI survivor benefits. Most companies recognize 'domestic partners' nowadays (even mine!). My SO and I have bantied about the idea of marriage, but I can't come up with any real legitimate reasons to do so. . . I suppose if I were religious, the fear of eternal damnation might be one...
 SpecificTruths
Joined: 9/19/2009
Msg: 6
What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/3/2010 10:46:31 AM

Married people are healthier, happier, wealthier, have more sex and don't walk around the house talking to themselves and their animals.
Where did you get that from? Is that statement in comparison to single people living alone or co-habitated people who aren't legally married?

I won't argue about the talking to animals part, though
 venndiagram
Joined: 10/29/2009
Msg: 7
What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/3/2010 11:31:09 AM
I think the best reason for getting married is if you are going to have children. Other than that, I can't see that it makes any difference. JMO
 forumrum
Joined: 5/25/2009
Msg: 8
What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/3/2010 12:10:14 PM
It's a dying institution. Common law couples have much the same legal rights and obligations. The better question would be why the hell anyone would ever get married in 2010?
 mr.evil
Joined: 11/14/2009
Msg: 9
What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/3/2010 12:13:30 PM
I concur on the children part. A man up until age, say 45, contemplating children should consider marriage. Any man not considering children, should NOT get married, no point, too much liability, too much risk.

There are more than enough ways to deal with all issues, outside of th draconian way the SS dept looks at things, for you to live happily together without a piece of paper.
 Sabrosura089
Joined: 11/29/2009
Msg: 10
What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/3/2010 12:19:51 PM

What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?


1. You want to make it "official" in the "Eyes of Lord" (for religious folks).
2. You want to have a family.
3. LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
 *army mom*
Joined: 6/9/2009
Msg: 11
What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/3/2010 12:35:52 PM
So we can wear the big puffy dress, silly ...
 WalksOnWater2
Joined: 5/19/2009
Msg: 12
What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/3/2010 12:57:55 PM

1) Ceremony, exchange of vows, and religious rites

2) Legal formalities, including blood tests, getting permission from the state, government records, per-state laws regulating dissolution (i.e. divorce)

There is only ONE good reason to get married. Love.

Since different people seek different kinds benefits from their marriages, the list would be quite long.
My kind of benefit would be, having a next of kin, whom I would trust to pull the plug if needed.


 moraima
Joined: 6/26/2005
Msg: 13
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What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/3/2010 1:02:11 PM
Blood test?

I have lived in several countries, but not of them required a blood test to marry.

Legal protection in case of terminal illness and death would be huge benefit.
 carolann0308
Joined: 12/9/2006
Msg: 14
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What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/3/2010 1:14:12 PM
For Love, it is the only reason. You have to actually want to giddily declare it in front of everyone you know and make your relationship 'official'.
If you don't care what your Mother thinks, have no plans for children or have so much self confidence you don't need a piece of paper to validate your relationship then don't bother.
 beehearnow
Joined: 9/28/2007
Msg: 15
What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/3/2010 1:14:42 PM
ForRumOnly:


<div class="quote">Really, there are few real advantages for men to marry, and some major potential pitfalls. I think it's sometimes better to cohabitate unless you live in a common-law marriage state.

I agree with you, but am amused at what appears to be an insinuation that it is the man who holds the health insurance/retirement benefits to share. Many women hold these benefits, and in some cases are the only one in the marriage to do so. Social security can actually be less if you are talking about two fairly equal benefit receivers

At any rate, I'm ambigious about marriage to the point that I've often said it confers social acceptibility, a larger tax burden (in some cases), responsibility for someone else's debt load and the right to intensive care visits. Plus those health care benefits which alone could be more than worth the piece of paper
 ForRumOnly
Joined: 3/16/2009
Msg: 16
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What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/3/2010 1:27:04 PM
Oh well, I guess "spouse" and "employee" mean "man" to you, whereas I intended my first paragraph to be gender neutral. The next part does mention men, but that paragraph should stand on its own. Anyway, no biggie, and you are entirely correct that women often have the health insurance benefits, and that social security can actually be less for those with comparable incomes. Good point about debt, too. Anyway, I think the key issue for some may be the health insurance, especially if the spouse without such benefits can't get private coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
 ItsMargo
Joined: 4/24/2007
Msg: 17
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What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/3/2010 2:22:36 PM
I really don't think I ought to post in this thread. I've been ambivalent to legal marriage for ages and am now engaged. WTF?

Living together felt great/natural/right and once we were living together over a year (and over three years together) I realized I ought to re-examine my resistance to marriage. My stance seemed out of alignment with our commitment. He clearly wanted to marry me, "felt" married to me and, not wanting to impose on me, accepted my resistance with good grace. Gosh, that is so freeing. I suppose that is a huge part of my reversal in this: his ability to be fully committed and accept my need NOT to marry, gave me the 'no pressure space' to examine just what was going on for me.

The only good reason 'not to' is to keep the government's rigid cookie cutter approach to the financial dissolution of common law and, most especially, legal marriage out of our lives. aka "equalization of assets" (note: in Ontario, living with someone is virtually the same as marriage with the *only but significant* legal distinction being how property is divided on dissolution).

I have paid dearly - both financially and emotionally - when prior relationships ended (when, as my good friend Capitano says "it's all about the luuuuuuuurve on the way in and all about the money on the way out" - where is Capitano lately?).

^^ That's the *huge* stumbling block for me and will be handled with a pre-nup.

Another reason 'not to' is I am practically allergic to merangue dresses and all the frou-frou crap that weddings involve.

^^ Although he teases? scares? me with mooting not one but TWO friggin' wedding receptions in two provinces... I shall be brave and suck it up. Perhaps we really WILL go to Vegas and get married by Elvis.
All I ask is that we keep it to minimal fuss. I'd be happiest if it was just him, me and the kids - but it is not all about me, so I imagine the numbers and 'fuss' will creep up.

I asked him - oh probably 6 months or a year ago - why being married was important to him and he said it is declaring an intent and living your life through it. That resonated with me. Declarations are powerful things. The longer I thought about it (and I did think long and hard and live with my thoughts and feelings for months before I asked him to marry me) I realized my stance had 'one foot out' and was *surprisingly* feelings at odds to the way I thought/felt about him. I've always said you don't need marriage to have a commitment. This is a bit nebulous: it became important to me to have my actions be in alignment with my intent; to fully join him without reservation on this journey together.

The bottom line to all of this is I love him and am stepping into 'us' fully. I guess the 'other' bottom line is I'm no longer afraid. OK, I'm a little afraid when he talks about wedding receptions and stuff like that.
 Helen0426
Joined: 6/2/2009
Msg: 18
What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/3/2010 3:15:58 PM
Apart from the emotional, here's a fairly full list:

- employment assistance and transitional services for spouses of members being separated from military service; continued commissary privileges
- per diem payment to spouse for federal civil service employees when relocating
- Indian Health Service care for spouses of Native Americans (in some circumstances)
- sponsor husband/wife for immigration benefits
-- Larger benefits under some programs if married, including:
- veteran's disability
- Supplemental Security Income
- disability payments for federal employees
- medicaid
- property tax exemption for homes of totally disabled veterans
- income tax deductions, credits, rates exemption, and estimates
- wages of an employee working for one's spouse are exempt from federal unemployment tax
-- Joint and family-related rights:
- joint filing of bankruptcy permitted
- joint parenting rights, such as access to children's school records
- family visitation rights for the spouse and non-biological children, such as to visit a spouse in a hospital or prison
- next-of-kin status for emergency medical decisions or filing wrongful death claims
- custodial rights to children, shared property, child support, and alimony after divorce
- domestic violence intervention
- access to "family only" services, such as reduced rate memberships to clubs & organizations or residency in certain neighborhoods
- Preferential hiring for spouses of veterans in government jobs
- Tax-free transfer of property between spouses (including on death) and exemption from "due-on-sale" clauses.
- Special consideration to spouses of citizens and resident aliens
- Threats against spouses of various federal employees is a federal crime
- Right to continue living on land purchased from spouse by National Park Service when easement granted to spouse
- Court notice of probate proceedings
- Domestic violence protection orders
- Existing homestead lease continuation of rights
- Regulation of condominium sales to owner-occupants exemption
- Funeral and bereavement leave
- Joint adoption and foster care
- Joint tax filing
- Insurance licenses, coverage, eligibility, and benefits organization of mutual benefits society
- Legal status with stepchildren
- Making spousal medical decisions
- Spousal non-resident tuition deferential waiver
- Permission to make funeral arrangements for a deceased spouse, including burial or cremation
- Right of survivorship of custodial trust
- Right to change surname upon marriage
- Right to enter into prenuptial agreement
- Right to inheritance of property
- Spousal privilege in court cases (the marital confidences privilege and the spousal testimonial privilege)
- For those divorced or widowed, the right to many of ex- or late spouse's benefits, including:
- Social Security pension
- veteran's pensions, indemnity compensation for service-connected deaths, medical care, and nursing home care, right to burial in veterans' cemeteries, educational assistance, and housing
- survivor benefits for federal employees
- survivor benefits for spouses of longshoremen, harbor workers, railroad workers
- additional benefits to spouses of coal miners who die of black lung disease
- $100,000 to spouse of any public safety officer killed in the line of duty
- continuation of employer-sponsored health benefits
- renewal and termination rights to spouse's copyrights on death of spouse
- continued water rights of spouse in some circumstances
- payment of wages and workers compensation benefits after worker death
- making, revoking, and objecting to post-mortem anatomical gifts

All of the above benefit both spouses. No other way to get all of them.
 daynadaze
Joined: 2/11/2008
Msg: 19
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What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/3/2010 3:28:24 PM
It would depend solely on each individual's wants & needs.
 Codeguru
Joined: 9/29/2009
Msg: 20
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What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/3/2010 6:28:10 PM
The man doesn't benefit unless there is a contract involved which there should be every time. Don't let your emotions let you make bad decisions in this lefty male-hating society...

Codeguru
 Codeguru
Joined: 9/29/2009
Msg: 21
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What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/3/2010 6:30:16 PM
It's a dying institution.


Bitter doomsaying lurkers, gotta lov'em...

Codeguru
 valenciacityx
Joined: 3/10/2009
Msg: 22
What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/3/2010 6:40:18 PM
That convertible in the garage... how much do you love it?

Now imagine it stolen, wrecked, or stripped.
Why would you ever get married indeed?
now go ask yourself that question about every asset you own, every account you hold, every piece of property you hold onto, your boat, your RV, ......

you might as well just sign it over to the IRS

oh she would never leave me, ..... 50% of marriages are ending in divorce, you want to take that chance ? you are a braver fool than I .
 Montreal_Guy
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 23
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What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/3/2010 8:17:26 PM
Perhaps in the case of having children, and maybe not even then (depending on the location), at least in my case.

I really don't need a piece of paper to tell me I'm with someone to stay. Up to now in my life, it's taken a pretty major issue to end any relationship I've ever been in. That level of issue would end it just as finally if I had a wedding license, with the only difference being how much money the lawyers would make eating off the corpse.
 az109
Joined: 7/3/2010
Msg: 24
What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/3/2010 8:33:40 PM
The reasons are optional and together compose your rationalization for avoiding not being married. The legality is important because illegal marriages are crimes that could land you in jail, where when you have to explain that you're in for illegal marriage you automatically wind up at the bottom of the jailhouse pecking order. You don't want that.
 beehearnow
Joined: 9/28/2007
Msg: 25
What Are The Reasons For Getting Legally Married?
Posted: 9/4/2010 6:25:57 AM

Blood test?

I have lived in several countries, but not of them required a blood test to marry.


California requires a blood test for a regular marriage license to screen for some conditions. It's possible to get around it if you attest to living together for a year. If you do this, your marriage license records are sealed rather than an open record as with a regular license.


The legality is important because illegal marriages are crimes that could land you in jail


huh? There are only a few states these days that outlaw cohabitation, and of those at least one (Idaho) only outlaws the fornication part of cohabitation. So it's not the illegal marriage (cohabitation) it's having sex that can get you put in jail although generally they just go after the parents of welfare babies for that one. If the marriage is fraudulent, as in the case of someone who is already legally married lying to get a license to legally marry someone else...well, yeah, that person could land in jail...for fraud.
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