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Getting married in a church but not legally

nightwalker75

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Hello everyone, recently, while watching the Fresh and Fit podcast, Myron Gaines made an interesting statement. He suggested that if you really like a girl, it's okay to go through the motions of marriage – like getting a ring and having a wedding or religious ceremony – without actually legally marrying them, considering the high divorce rates. Has anyone ever done this? Engaging in a symbolic or religious ceremony without the legal aspect? If so, what are the pros and cons of such an arrangement?
 

Slag

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A friend of mine got married recently. The officiant was a close friend. There was a ceremony and everything (not in a church, though), but they didn't get legally married. His wife even changed her name. I don't know all the legal advantages for him not signing a marriage license. Presumably he will have less to lose in the event they "divorce". They have 2 kids together though, so he'll be on the hook for child support at the very least.
 

BackInTheGame78

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A friend of mine got married recently. The officiant was a close friend. There was a ceremony and everything (not in a church, though), but they didn't get legally married. His wife even changed her name. I don't know all the legal advantages for him not signing a marriage license. Presumably he will have less to lose in the event they "divorce". They have 2 kids together though, so he'll be on the hook for child support at the very least.
Maybe, but I wouldn't be surprised in some places it would be upheld in court that it counted the same if there was a divorce.

Also something people don't consider...the tax advantages for being married are pretty significant, at least in the US. Would be interesting to see how much people made in extra income from tax avoidance by being married over a period of say 20 years versus being single.
 

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The Duke

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You would need to check your state laws and seek legal advice.

In some states living together for "x" amount of years constitutes as legal marriage.

In my state you have to "agree" to be married and that constitutes marriage under law, the fact you live together doesn't constitute legal marriage. I'd think a symbolic/religious marriage would be enough to pass the "agree to be married" test.
 

EyeBRollin

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Judge is going to call bullshvt on the whole “arrangement,” consider the intent to be a legal marriage, treat it as such, then call the guy an idiot for missing out on years of tax benefits.

I think men need to understand that intent matters and this will just be viewed as a piss poor version of fraud.
 

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BackInTheGame78

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Yes, I recommend marrying under religious law over civil marriage. The repercussions of a civil divorce is too costly.
Tax benefits every year are pretty nice tho...would be interesting comparing 20 years of being married and the tax benefits versus the costs in a divorce. Might be surprised to find in some cases the tax benefits would exceed the losses in a divorce, especially in situations where the incomes are similar.
 

Mertz09

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You would need to check your state laws and seek legal advice.

In some states living together for "x" amount of years constitutes as legal marriage.

In my state you have to "agree" to be married and that constitutes marriage under law, the fact you live together doesn't constitute legal marriage. I'd think a symbolic/religious marriage would be enough to pass the "agree to be married" test.

Here in Texas if you live together as "man& wife" it is considered "common law" and is the same as being married at a church or by a Civil proceeding.

The law reads: A man and women who:

  • agreed to be married”; and
  • after the agreement they lived together in this state as husband and wife”; and they
  • represented to others that they were married
 

Mertz09

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Here in Texas if you live together as "man& wife" it is considered "common law" and is the same as being married at a church or by a Civil proceeding.

The law reads: A man and women who:

  • agreed to be married”; and
  • after the agreement they lived together in this state as husband and wife”; and they
  • represented to others that they were married
In Texas there are no time stipulations as to how long the "marriage" is.
 

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Slag

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Maybe, but I wouldn't be surprised in some places it would be upheld in court that it counted the same if there was a divorce.
I wouldn't be surprised, either. Between the 2 kids and the fact they live together, she's pretty much got him by the balls whether he wants to admit it or not.
 

BackInTheGame78

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I wouldn't be surprised, either. Between the 2 kids and the fact they live together, she's pretty much got him by the balls whether he wants to admit it or not.
Some states recognize common law marriage even if you aren't married legally. Usually after a period of time where you live together consecutively and act as if you are married(ie, refer to each other as husband or wife).

In many of those states it's as little as 1 year living together.

In the US there are 20 states that recognize this. So at the end of the day, it may not matter whether you got married or not, your actions may make you married anyway depending on where you live.
 

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