• Images
  • Text
  • Find a Couple + Registry
GO
Ceremony and Vow Ideas

Does a marrige have to be legal?

My boyfriend and I have been discussing getting married.  We would like to have a church wedding.  We want to be married in the eyes of god, not the government.  We don't want to take on each others debt/credit, we don't need any tax breaks, there is no work benefits to share.  Is there a way to have a wedding without having a marriage license?  My parents aren't to happy with us just living together, and I don't want to wait seven years to have a common law husband.  Any Ideas?

«1

Re: Does a marrige have to be legal?

  • Why don't you want to legally be married?? You know there are a lot more benefits than those you've listed, right?

    image
    melbelleup
  • What about when one of you is in critical condition and you aren't the next of kin?  You won't be making any decisions, your families will be.  

    Can I ask why you want to be married in the eyes of God but not the government?  I have to be honest and say that my first reaction when I read your post is that you want a "wedding" but you don't want to be married - meaning you want the pretty party without the responsibility.  Can you offer some more info on why you feel this way?

    I am a Christian so this is coming from a Christian perspective:  I can't imagine a Christian church agreeing to go along with this, but I have been wrong before.
    doeydojaprincess24
  • You do realise that if you become common-law spouses, you will be de facto legally married, right?

    Also, not all jurisdictions still have CL, so I would check on that.

    I ditto PPs; there are many benefits to marriage you don't seem to be taking into account. It reads to me like you're trying to appease your parent and/or you partner doesn't want a legal marriage ('I don't want to wait seven years for a common-law husband.')

    I know some branches of Protestants will do religious 'blessings' of non-legal marriages, but it's usually for older couples who don't want to lose a deceased spouse's pension.

    It sounds like you want the party without the commitment, and that's doing things wrong way round.
    Anniversary

    image
    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • gk3080 said:

    My boyfriend and I have been discussing getting married.  We would like to have a church wedding.  We want to be married in the eyes of god, not the government.  We don't want to take on each others debt/credit, we don't need any tax breaks, there is no work benefits to share.  Is there a way to have a wedding without having a marriage license?  My parents aren't to happy with us just living together, and I don't want to wait seven years to have a common law husband.  Any Ideas?

    You'll have to check with your pastor or priest. Most will not perform the ceremony if you aren't being married in a legal fashion. It's a waste of their time and most reputable officiants won't want to (and cannot) perform a phony ceremony.

    How old are you, and why do you care if your parents are upset if you're living together? Aren't you an adult?

    Dreamergirl8812doeydo
  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    So if your bf is in a terrible accident, you dont want to be able to see him and make decisions on his behalf? There are alot more benefits to getting married than a tax break.

    I would check about common law, we dont have it in Illinois.

    BabyFruit Ticker
  • You're going to have to research if it's possible in your local area. This is an international board.

    I wish you the best of luck on your wedding.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Sorry, I can't help you with this.  A wedding that isn't legal, but where you're holding yourselves out as "married," can a) result in the government treating you as "common-law" married if you live in an area where that's recognized; b) result in you not getting treated legally as "married" for purposes of inheritance and making medical decisions about each other; and c) whether or not it passes muster "in the eyes of God" doesn't mean anything to people who don't believe in God.
    melbelleup
  • I don't get it. 

    The government is already involved in your personal relationship no matter what you do. If you don't get a marriage license you have no rights that a wife has - so the government is limiting you.
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    melbelleup
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    The debt/credit thing really makes no difference.  I have terrible credit and my H has spotless credit.  I'm working to improve mine, so right now all things are being put into H's name since he gets the better interest rate.  Even when we go to buy a new house next year, the mortgage will be in his name and the deed will be in both our names.

    And as PP said, there are much more important government benefits than tax breaks.  Also, your parent's pressure to marry, just because you two are living together should not be a deciding factor in anything.

    doeydomelbelleup
  • The government is more involved in your relationship when you aren't married than when you are.
    When you're married, the 1,000-something benefits are optional.
    When you aren't married, the government blocks you from having any options.

    I'm not saying you should get married, though. I'm just helping you be more informed.

    How come you're okay with a common law marriage in the future, but not a legal marriage now?

    It's possible to be married just in the eyes of the Lord, but not many religion leaders will take part in it.
    image
  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    Um, start liking women and move to Texas?



    Anniversary
    image

    image
    WonderRedlibby2483melbelleupjaprincess24
  • I'm curious about your reasoning behind wanting a wedding-like religious ceremony without the legal-binding portion.

    P.S.  Now even I am getting paranoid about all of these 1-shot new posters with potential hot-topic questions.
    Formerly known as flutterbride2b
    image
  • Its illegal in ca or nv to have a wedding without a marriage license. You are going to have a hard time finding someone especially In a church to do this. You can have a commitment ceremony but they will not say the words marriage, bride, groom, or husband and wife. Be prepared to get asked all the questions pp's have asked.
  • Fran1985 Fran1985 Narnia member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    gk3080 said:

    My boyfriend and I have been discussing getting married.  We would like to have a church wedding.  We want to be married in the eyes of god, not the government.  We don't want to take on each others debt/credit, we don't need any tax breaks, there is no work benefits to share.  Is there a way to have a wedding without having a marriage license?  My parents aren't to happy with us just living together, and I don't want to wait seven years to have a common law husband.  Any Ideas?

    I ditto the PPs that there are a lot more benefits to being married than the ones you have listed but wanted to point out that you don't have to wait seven years to be common law married if you are in the US- that's a myth, there is no time requirement. But if you are a common law married, you are married in the eyes of the government. 

    image
  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    @gk3080, do you support federal legalization of gay marriage?



    Anniversary
    image

    image
  • Another vote for "I don't get it". It reminds me of when we used to play "wedding" in grammar school. I have the fun, princess-y wedding with my little boyfriend. There was always some sort of veil made out of whatever's around. All of my best girlfriends walk down the aisle as my bridesmaids. We get one of our friends to officiate. Then we break up a week later and it's like it never happened. Oh, wait, we're adults, right? Ok, back to "I don't get it".
    doeydomelbelleup
  • image

    I don't understand. I'm not a biblical expert or anything, but I'm fairly certain that biblical scripture touches on our obligation to honor and obey governmental law, which means if you want to be married, you would do so legally. You could do a commitment ceremony, but I'm not sure that'd cut it if you're worried about the whole "marriage according to God" thing. Also, IMHO, commitment ceremonies for anyone other than same-sex couples is silly. 
    image
  • @boston2823 what's the difference between common law marriage and legally getting married?

     

    As for the OP, would your parents know this wasn't a "real" wedding (ie: not a legal wedding)? Because putting on a pretend wedding just to make them think you're really married is a terrible idea. But hopefully that's not the case. I know you can be legally married without religion being involved, but I don't see how you can have a religious "marriage" without being legally married as well. Not in the US at least.

    What is the big deal over the benefits? How could they hurt anything in the situation you've described?

    After 6 years and 2 boys, finally tying the knot on October 27th, 2013!

  • mimiphinmimiphin member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited August 2013

     I don't get it. So you want to be common law without the 7 year wait? Why not just sign the piece of paper??

    imageimage

  • Marriage is a legal contract so yes, in order to be a marriage, it has to be legal.   If you live in one of the 13 common law states you can skip the hoopla, move in together, jointly declare yourselves married and publicly hold yourselves out as such by filing your taxes together or adding each other as a spouse for insurance purposes.  (There is no waiting period for common law marriage and it doesn't just happen because you live together, much to many people's misconceptions)  Or you can have the ceremony and file the paper work with the state. But without one of those things taking place you aren't married.

    Frankly, if you live in a common law state and you do the big hoopla, you may well be legally  married, like it or not, depending on your state's finer nuances in the law,  and should anything go south down the road your BF could decide to exercise his rights as a married man and there would be nothing you could do about it.  I've handled cases where it's happened.  They're ugly.

    Either get legally married or don't but the half way thing... yeah, I just wouldn't go there.
  • @gk3080 "We want to be married in the eyes of god, not the government"
    That is a religious question. You should ask your church/religious leader what constitutes "married in the eyes of god" in your particular religion.

    Other that that, you are not married, if you dont get legally married, as far as the government is concerned.
  • You can have a commitment ceremony, but depending on your faith, they may or may not allow you to do that in your church. If you would go that route, just make sure you are inviting everyone to a commitment ceremony and not a wedding. To me it wouldn't seem right to tell everyone it's a wedding when it's a commitment ceremony, which is like a big lie to everyone & then lying in a church really seems wrong to me.

    I totally get the reasons you don't want to legally be married but think of this as a spouse you

    -Get a say in emergency medical treatment

    -Aren't restricted to visitation or access to medical information as just the girlfriend/boyfriend

    -You get no say in anything  in the event of death (unless you get wills drawn up then it won't matter)

     

  • I don't get it either.  If you want a wedding and to be considered married, why wouldn't you make it legal?  The stuff you mention are all optional benefits of marriage anyways.

    Me thinks you are very young, not ready for that level of commitment, but want to appease your parents for not 'living in sin'.  If that's incorrect, then please come back and explain....
    Dreamergirl8812melbelleup
  • SKPMSKPM member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer

    You can have a commitment ceremony, but depending on your faith, they may or may not allow you to do that in your church. If you would go that route, just make sure you are inviting everyone to a commitment ceremony and not a wedding. To me it wouldn't seem right to tell everyone it's a wedding when it's a commitment ceremony, which is like a big lie to everyone & then lying in a church really seems wrong to me.

    I totally get the reasons you don't want to legally be married but think of this as a spouse you

    -Get a say in emergency medical treatment

    -Aren't restricted to visitation or access to medical information as just the girlfriend/boyfriend

    -You get no say in anything  in the event of death (unless you get wills drawn up then it won't matter)

     

    Not only that, but it (obviously) goes both ways: your parents would remain your next of kin, not your partner. There are certainly ways to circumvent this (see a lawyer regarding wills and power of attorney/advance directive). But I guess I don't see why you wouldn't want the legal aspect as well. It isn't as if the government is going to force you to take advantage of your rights. Not to mention the millions of same-sex couples who are literally lobbying to get the legal rights of marriage.

    photo fancy-as-fuck.jpg
  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    gk3080 said:

    My boyfriend and I have been discussing getting married.  We would like to have a church wedding.  We want to be married in the eyes of god, not the government.  We don't want to take on each others debt/credit, we don't need any tax breaks, there is no work benefits to share.  Is there a way to have a wedding without having a marriage license?  My parents aren't to happy with us just living together, and I don't want to wait seven years to have a common law husband.  Any Ideas?

    These are not mutually exclusive. And how would the government acknowledging that you are married (in the eyes of God) lessen the commitment?



    Anniversary
    image

    image
    southernbelle0915japrincess24
  • Erikan73 said:

    You can have a commitment ceremony, but depending on your faith, they may or may not allow you to do that in your church. If you would go that route, just make sure you are inviting everyone to a commitment ceremony and not a wedding. To me it wouldn't seem right to tell everyone it's a wedding when it's a commitment ceremony, which is like a big lie to everyone & then lying in a church really seems wrong to me.

    I totally get the reasons you don't want to legally be married but think of this as a spouse you

    -Get a say in emergency medical treatment

    -Aren't restricted to visitation or access to medical information as just the girlfriend/boyfriend

    -You get no say in anything  in the event of death (unless you get wills drawn up then it won't matter)

     




    All of this. And even if you have powers of attorney, wills, living wills, etc drawn up to try to get some of the protections that marriage would give you, your families could still challenge these. There's a chance a court would disregard such documents. Even if you eventually won and the legal document was upheld, you'd be wasting a lot of time and money.

    Don't worry guys, I have the Wedding Police AND the Whambulance on speed dial!
  • I'm sorry, all of this just seems ridiculous to me.  I can safely say I that I agree with PP's. 

    Also, FYI: just because you are married doesn't mean you are taking on the other persons debt.  I have more debt than my fiance but I do not expect him to take any of it.  I accrued the debt prior to us getting engaged so I am taking responsibility for it.  I know other people have different views on that so it really just depends on how you want to handle it.  But just so its clear to you, just because you are married does not mean you have to share debt.  That is a conversation that you will need to have with one another.

    I do not understand that point of having a church "wedding" but not making it legal. To make your marriage legal you need a marriage license. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • It depends on where you live, and I urge you to research your state's common law marriage statutes before making any decisions. For instance, here in Texas, common law marriage only takes 6 months of living together OR simply referring to each other as husband and wife in public - like say, at a Church ceremony.  :) And whether or not there is a license on file, community property laws are attached to common law marriages, in the states where they apply.  So basically, what I'm saying is, sorry - but there's no "marriage lite."  :)

    Of course, you can have a commitment ceremony anywhere, with any Officiant who will perform them, but generally, a church doesn't do that sort of thing. They are usually reserved for legal unions and require premarital counseling within the church. But talk to them and see what they say. They might help you figure out what it is that you and your boyfriend really want to accomplish, and the best way to achieve it.

    Goo luck! :)

     

  • You can probably get married then file separate returns /file some kind of legal document about the debt etc - that way you are not making each other responsible -keep insurance bank accounts separate -
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards