Military Brides

JOP, fafsa

Hi ladies. We've already got a date for an actual ceremony and reception next spring, but we are considering eloping early for the benefits. He is stationed at Camp Lejeune though and I'd stay in PA for another year to finish my degree. We probably won't announce this to anyone until after the actual wedding. We are thinking of doing this over Easter weekend when I go down there to visit/take engagement pictures. Does anyone know a magistrate open on the weekend and exactly how we go about this whole thing? We're completely lost! Also if there are any student military brides here, I've already filed my fafsa for the year. Should I refile it after we get married?

Re: JOP, fafsa

  • Honestly, I don't think that anyone should ever elope "for the benefits" - ESPECIALLY if you are going to be lying to your nearest and dearest family and friends about being married. What would be the point of eloping while you are a student and I'd assume covered under your parents benefits? What benefits would you even get that you don't already have? I totally understand the wanting to be married like right now. But if you can't be together until after your wedding nest Spring, then why not just wait? My husband and I were long distance for nearly 5 years before we were married because we wanted to have the wedding of our dreams at one time and be able to have all of our family and friends there. Being patient is worth every second of having your wedding that you want. Plus, once you go to the JOP, you are married and a wife and will no longer be able to have a "Wedding", because those are for bride's and you would have been a bride at your JOP.

    Anyways, if you still decide to lie and keep secrets from your family and friends, no you do not have to re-file your FAFSA. They ask you what your marital status is as of the date you are filing. So since you were single when you filed, there is not a need to re-file. 
  • Please, for the love of God, don't do this. There's nothing more aggravating than someone that marries "for benefits". Truly, this is akin to a contract marriage, typically a situation where two people get married to collect benefits and do not act like or tell anyone they're married. The Navy and Marine Corps Times both posted articles about this in the past month. They do not like it and they are going to start cracking down. They don't like spending money on dependents who are pretending their not married, especially as their budgets are being cut. If you do go the JOP route, I would hope it's about more than benefits, for example: you prefer a JOP to a big fancy event. Again, if you choose to JOP, tell people. Don't keep things from your family and friends. My family would have been devastated had they not been told DH and I planned to get married by JOP. Well, my grandma still got her panties in bunch because she wanted big extravagant events for her granddaughters but that's a totally different thing. In the end I'm trying to say 1. If you JOP don't do it for benefits 2. If you JOP please don't keep it from your friends and relatives. Neither of those situations are truly honorable in my opinion and isn't that a quality of a SM?
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  • ok We are getting married anyway because we love each other. We are looking to get a little extra BAH since I will be graduating in the fall and moving down there next spring unemployed and about to start grad school. He will be done with his tour in December 2014 if they don't push him out earlier due to budget cuts and he will then be unemployed and hoping to start school since he no longer has the option of using TA while he's still enlisted. So really any extra money would be extremely helpful. I know I will still feel like a bride on my wedding day since wwe won't be living ttogether or acting husband and wife until a little before or after the wedding.
  • Sammy0709Sammy0709
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Comments 25 Love Its
    member
    edited March 2013
    Regardless of whether you are going to get married no matter what or not, you are still marrying by JOP for benefits.  Seriously wait until your planned wedding day.  I'm sorry, you can come up with any reason you want that you a special snowflake but getting married by JOP and lying to people so you can have a pretty princess day is wrong no matter how you slice it.  That is the case simply because of the lying.  The benefits you are talking about receiving are for families who are married and intend to portray themselves as such from the day they are married (that will be your JOP day).  Also, you can say now that you'll feel like a bride on your wedding day but that doesn't make you any less married already.  What happens when someone in your family finds out that you have been lying about being married?  You think that won't get around?  You think other people won't get upset?  How would you feel if your parents lied to you about a significant event in their lives for months?  Probably not very good.  There are other ways to save money and there is other money that your husband can use for school.  He could get a college loan like civilians do, he could use his GI Bill, there scholarships and grants available.  Seriously, to blame the military for taking TA is really lame.  What you are talking about doing just isn't right, sorry.

    ETA:  Why don't you ask the etiquette board what they think of this because, honestly, it's an etiquette issue, not a military one as much as you want to think it is.
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  • Please listen to what these ladies are telling you.  Is your family that horrible that you feel the need to lie to them about being married?  Are you ashamed of being married at the JOP?  Why else would you lie about it?  Will your family not pitch in for your pretty princess day if you are already married?  Maybe that's why you feel the need to lie about it.   
    Either way, your wedding day should be one of the happiest days of your life.  It shouldn't start off as a secret.  It's wrong to marry for benefits.  It's wrong to marry and keep it a secret (BTW, some units have been known to charge the service member with fraud for marrying in secret for benefits.).  It's wrong to lie to your family.  As a soldier, I promised to uphold the Army Values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Inegrity and Personal Courage.  Having a secret marriage and lying about it to your family goes against every single one of those values.  


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  • In Response to Re: JOP, fafsa:
    Please listen to what these ladies are telling you.  Is your family that horrible that you feel the need to lie to them about being married?  Are you ashamed of being married at the JOP?  Why else would you lie about it?  Will your family not pitch in for your pretty princess day if you are already married?  Maybe that's why you feel the need to lie about it.    Either way, your wedding day should be one of the happiest days of your life.  It shouldn't start off as a secret.  It's wrong to marry for benefits.  It's wrong to marry and keep it a secret (BTW, some units have been known to charge the service member with fraud for marrying in secret for benefits.).  It's wrong to lie to your family.  As a soldier, I promised to uphold the Army Values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Inegrity and Personal Courage.  Having a secret marriage and lying about it to your family goes against every single one of those values.  
    Posted by iluvmytxrgr
    This. Thank you.
  • Ladies please. I did not mean to ruffle any feathers. I am young and have obviously never done this before. If you want to give me advice, do so. Please don't attack me. We are not ashamed. We are afraid of judgement, specifically me of my father. I know it's dumb but it is what it is. We would not keep it a secret from our families obviously but we are not sending out wedding announcements. The money is not to pay for the wedding, it is to live off of after we get married. My fiance will not be able to provide for me then as he would if we were to get married now.
  • In Response to Re:JOP, fafsa:
    Ladies please. I did not mean to ruffle any feathers. I am young and have obviously never done this before. If you want to give me advice, do so. Please don't attack me. We are not ashamed. We are afraid of judgement, specifically me of my father. I know it's dumb but it is what it is. We would not keep it a secret from our families obviously but we are not sending out wedding announcements. The money is not to pay for the wedding, it is to live off of after we get married. My fiance will not be able to provide for me then as he would if we were to get married now.
    Posted by laurajk1022
    The bolded should be 100% your indication that this is plan of yours is a bad idea.  Honestly, if you don't have the courage or confidence in your relationship to be honest with your father then I seriously question if you are ready to be married.  Nothing I have said is to attack you or be mean.  It is the honest truth.  Same goes for the things that TX has said to you.
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  • In Response to Re:JOP, fafsa:
    Ladies please. I did not mean to ruffle any feathers. I am young and have obviously never done this before. If you want to give me advice, do so. Please don't attack me. We are not ashamed. We are afraid of judgement, specifically me of my father. I know it's dumb but it is what it is. We would not keep it a secret from our families obviously but we are not sending out wedding announcements. The money is not to pay for the wedding, it is to live off of after we get married. My fiance will not be able to provide for me then as he would if we were to get married now.
    Posted by laurajk1022
    No one here is attacking. We are just offering advice to a situation that we have all seen far too often that has almost never turned out the way you plan. It might sound like a good idea to you both right now, but trust us - it is not. If you are young and afraid of the judgement from your father, then maybe that's your conscience telling you that you shouldn't follow through with this. 

    Here's some honest questions that I think you should really consider...So since the money is not to pay for the wedding and for your fiance to provide for you after the wedding...why can't you provide for youself?  How would getting some extra money now be useful to you in over a year from now? What will you do when that money runs out? If your fiance will not be able to provide for you in a year and a half from now as he would be able to now, then what happens? 
  • lisabeatslisabeats
    100 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    member
    edited March 2013
    My post disappeared apparently... sorry if it reappears..

    I'm sorry if this came off as harsh, I don't think anyone was trying to attack. I know I wasn't, and I'm not sure where you got that impression. It's all pretty sage advice with reasoning.

    However-- and I'm not saying this is why you are getting married -- but money alone is never reason enough. Trust me, I understand, being a student and "military fiancee" myself. One of the benefits of a longer engagement (even though more challenging) is being able to work on your relationship and figure out difficult things before making an irreversible commitment.
  • Do your parents currently claim you on their taxes? If so, you're probably going to need to tell whoever claims you about this as your soon-to-be hubby and your parents can't both claim you as a dependent.
    As far as TA goes, the email that I read said it was only being cut off from March 11 thru then end of September when the fiscal year ends.

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  • It is, and I'm sorry if this is harsh but it's true, basically stealing from the Marine Corps to take benefits for being a married couple when you are not representing yourselves as such. Either get married now, let EVERYONE know, or get married as planned next year. Those are the only honorable choices. 

    And people will find out if you try and hide it. They will be hurt, and the two of you will look like liars, because that's what you'll be. Again, sorry if that's harsh, but if you can't even take a little harsh truth on a message board, then you're not ready to get married.
    I hate Dave Ramsey
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    edited March 2013
    In Response to Re: JOP, fafsa:
    It is, and I'm sorry if this is harsh but it's true, basically stealing from the Marine Corps to take benefits for being a married couple when you are not representing yourselves as such. Either get married now, let EVERYONE know, or get married as planned next year. Those are the only honorable choices.  And people will find out if you try and hide it. They will be hurt, and the two of you will look like liars, because that's what you'll be. Again, sorry if that's harsh, but if you can't even take a little harsh truth on a message board, then you're not ready to get married.
    Posted by WishIcouldbeinthe'stan
    Yes. You're either lying to your guests or lying to the military. You think the truth is harsh, while I think lying and cheating are dishonest. Weigh dishonest against the truth. Which side wins? Will you lie to your pastor as well?
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    Btw, your wedding day is the DAY YOU GET MARRIED. It is not the day you have a party to celebrate the marriage.
  • In Response to JOP, fafsa:
    Hi ladies. We've already got a date for an actual ceremony and reception next spring, but we are considering eloping early for the benefits. He is stationed at Camp Lejeune though and I'd stay in PA for another year to finish my degree. We probably won't announce this to anyone until after the actual wedding. We are thinking of doing this over Easter weekend when I go down there to visit/take engagement pictures. Does anyone know a magistrate open on the weekend and exactly how we go about this whole thing? We're completely lost! Also if there are any student military brides here, I've already filed my fafsa for the year. Should I refile it after we get married?
    Posted by laurajk1022
    I copied and pasted my response to a young lady on the CC board who just went to the JOP:

    I think my H and I should serve as a warning to all young couples to NOT do this.  We were planning to have a traditional wedding for Oct. 1988 and had placed deposits on the venue, dress and DJ.  My then fiancé was in the Navy and a married couple we whom we socialized mentioned that they had eloped several months before their big wedding in order to receive the higher pay provided to married military.

    My then fiancé and I (very young and apparently, not so bright) let that seed take root.  We spoke to other military couples including H's older brother who all did the very same thing.  Our 20 year old selves think this must be how it's done and why not?  We could certainly use the extra money!

    So, in March of 88, wearing jeans and t-shirts, we go to the JOP and get "married" thinking nothing of it since, well, we're actually getting married in October!  What could go wrong?  Everyone else did it and it worked out great!

    One month after eloping, I found out that I was pregnant.  We then had to break the news to my very Catholic parents (who were paying for our planned October wedding!) that I was married AND pregnant.  The reactions of our family and friends were exactly what the ladies here predict.  Our LIE hurt our family and friends deeply and the "wedding" was cancelled, of course. 

    Ultimately, all worked out as we are still married with 2 beautiful children!  However, I have no fond memories of our wedding (because I really didn't think the JOP ceremony would be my "wedding")  We hurt people we love and embarrassed ourselves.  If I could turn back the clock, I would never have done what I did (and I would have been much more careful about birth control!)
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  • In Response to Re:JOP, fafsa:
    Just a side note, but if you need the "extra money" to live off of, you shouldn't be spending money on a wedding.
    Posted by StageManager14
    Thank you!  


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  • O honey...im actually not really opposed to two ceremonies but many are and your reasoning kind of sounds bad....I hope you re think eloping if these are truly your reasons.
  • When FI and I first got engaged we thought oh the benefits we could get now if we get married on paper and then have the real wedding later. Our parents being military themselves having expereienced this happen with others even asked us if we would be getting married on paper before the actual wedding but I am soo glad we did not. We sat down and looked at the benefits and the extra money we thought we'd get, was really nothing in comparison to the huge lie we'd be telling especially with the GI Bill because he only gets so many months of tuition and BAH that using it now or later did not make a difference because we got the same amount of money either way.

    Something your FI should also look into in, after he gets out, is if your state does an unemployment training benefit which for my FI they are giving him for 3 years while he goes back to school to help pay for living expenses on top of his GI bill.
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