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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » the practicality of marriage

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Author Topic: the practicality of marriage
Member # 26390

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Nailo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This isn't something urgent or that would happen in the next few years, but I'm just curious. My boyfriend and I have always said that we don't really care about marriage as a symbolic act, in the sense that we don't believe marriage safeguards anything (ie. "if only we got married then we'd be happy") or will make people love each other more. In fact, I even think it's more of a challenge to keep the relationship strong and healthy when outside of marriage (as opposed to people who have told me marriage is the utmost commitment), because you don't have to go through all the paperwork of divorce to leave. This is just my opinion, and I'm not out to say anyone is wrong if they want to get married for emotional reasons. In my case, married or not, my boyfriend and I want to spend the rest of our lives together.

However, recently we've thought that in the future, getting married wouldn't be a bad option for practical issues. For example: I want to change my name and getting married would be a pretty easy way to do it. He doesn't have a U.S. citizenship and I do, so getting married might make it easier for him to stay in the U.S. working. As for insurance and the rest of it, I don't really know! Are there any other reasons like this to get married? And in your opinion, is it worth it?

Posts: 410 | From: Dallas, TX | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 33869

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Well, for us, marriage is also a matter of practicality. We didn't really care when it happened, though we did want to get married as a matter of making a public commitment to each other (not that there are not other ways to do this, of course, but this is the way we chose to do it, and the way our families are happy that we are doing it). I'm an American and he's a Canadian. Being married will make it significantly easier for us to live together without eternally needing to worry about this visa or that permit.

It will also make my graduate studies significantly cheaper (near $15,000/semester without a perm. residence card vs ~$5,000 with). We'd also like to have children in a few years. I'm pretty sure, red tape wise, that will be easier if we're married (especially in regards to the citizenship stuff).

I do think they are valid perks/reasons to get married, rather than living common law (which we already, there also aren't a lot of rights for us, even if we were working full-time). For us, it is worth it. We're getting married next summer. I don't expect our relationship to change, though. It's more just a matter of paperwork and practicality.

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt; sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth." ~Mark Twain

Posts: 59 | From: Canada | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 27196

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I think that it is important to separate the legal and spiritual aspects of marriage. The Federal government didn't even regulate marriage licenses until 1923, so this whole idea of marriage as one bundled legal/relationship change is pretty recent.

There are some significant practical/legal questions:

-What happens if there is a divorce? Should you have a prenuptial agreement? As improbable as this seems now, people change and modern US marriage have a divorce rate of around 50% IIRC, so it's worth considering at least.

-How will it affect your taxes?

-How will it affect any children you might choose to have/adopt?

I have no idea what the answers to those questions might be; this is why God invented attorneys and accountants.

The flower that smiles to-day tommorow dies.
All we wish to stay tempts then flies.

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Posts: 25 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 26390

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Beckylein- wow, that's a big improve on the cost for college! I had no idea something like that could even be a consideration. Best of luck to both of you [Smile]

Well, emotionally, I don't think marriage or common law makes much difference to children, so long as the family is loving and supportive. I hadn't thought of the citizenship thing though... our children would have double citizenship, like me. My boyfriend and I are both Costa Ricans, but I also have a US passport. Would us not being married stop them from having two passports? Well, on this point, I don't even know when or where we'll be having children. I guess it depends on where we'll be.

With regard to taxes, I really have no idea how things work...

Posts: 410 | From: Dallas, TX | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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