Marriage Questions ??

Discussion in 'Money makeover' started by Philip Phunds, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Philip Phunds

    Philip Phunds Registered User

    Age: 44

    Partner's age: 42

    Annual gross income from employment or profession: €48k. Private Sector

    Annual gross income of spouse: Ordinarily €45k - Public Sector (But currently part time so ~€32K)

    Monthly take-home pay: Me ~€3k Partner: €2.8k but currently ~€1.9k

    In general are you:
    (a) spending more than you earn, or
    (b) saving?

    Saving a small amount into credit union for rainy days

    We are overpaying mortgage by €20 per week (Paid off in full in 10-11 years)

    No assets or investments at all unfortunately.

    Rough estimate of value of home: €300k

    Amount outstanding on your mortgage: €60k.

    What interest rate are you paying? 3.3% Fixed for next 10 yrs.

    Other borrowings – car loans/personal loans etc: None.

    Do you pay off your full credit card balance each month? Yes.
    If not, what is the balance on your credit card?

    Savings and investments: €3k credit union (This fund gets raided when the washing machine breaks/car purchase required/holidays etc)

    Do you have a pension scheme? Yes - Me paying 200 monthly into a private pension. Partner pays 100 + 100 contribution a month into hers.

    Do you own any investment or other property? No

    Ages of children: 11, 8, 5

    Life insurance: Whatever is on Mortgage only.

    Heath Insurance: No - Last company covered the 5 of us but currently out of cover. Not entirely comfortable here but going on argument that as we've no childrens hospital they'll get the same care publicly etc.

    What specific question do you have or what issues are of concern to you?

    We're not married - Just never quite got around to it yet due to life, career, house purchasing and baby arrivals taking precedence.

    We’re both not really pushed about a big fancy wedding now at this stage in our lives but also not really sure what the actual degree of tax relief we are missing out on? ie are we nuts not to just go to the registry office and sign a form or whatever?

    Occasionally I worry about my lack of protection if the relationship did [hypothetically] go south – Am I carrying a stupidly unnecessary risk burden regarding my rights to my home and access to my children if say in 5 years time things went sour?

    I don’t mean to sound dramatic here but reading through Ask About Money and other similar sites gives you plenty of opportunity to see that sometimes couples part and then the results can be bleak.

    I think I’d prefer to marry and split with a fighting chance than to be summarily spat out the side of a legal process due to having a very poor standing in the eye of the laws of Ireland as an unmarried father with much the same rights to the house and children as the family dog?!?

    Does this make sense? Not suggesting this is necessarily the way it will go - But I've come across enough separated couples in my life to know that I should at least fully know and assess the risks and factors involved.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. RedOnion

    RedOnion Frequent Poster

    It's not really a financial decision. There is a small amount of your partner's lower tax band not currently being utilised. It's 2 or 3k per annum, so you'd save about 600 income tax (roughly - I haven't calculated pension impact exactly). It'd be more beneficial if either if you were unemployed for any reason.

    However, lots of legal reasons to get married. And don't forget about love!

    You didn't ask, but if you don't have health insurance, I'd be trying to build up a little fund for unexpected emergencies.
  3. gnf_ireland

    gnf_ireland Frequent Poster

    agree with Red Onion there - the bigger issue is around next of kin if anything happened your partner, or if any thing happens your kids, where do you stand legally...
    I would make sure you are fully registered as a legal guardian of the children - no matter what else
    There would be advantages in terms of inheritance tax etc to being married or at least a civil union

    So lets not focus on splitting up being the reason for getting married - maybe look at the other reasons first ! Think about those and maybe come up with an idea of going on a holiday and getting married there - just the 5 of you !
  4. ReesesPieces

    ReesesPieces Registered User

    Agree with others about the benefit of marriage if you die - have posted about this before, but I was shocked after we got married to realise the benefits it gave if one of us died. Inheritance tax, but also the benefits which work out at 800/month for the surviving spouse assuming both of you have been paying PRSI. Given you have pensions, etc, I think its worth looking into what would happen if one of you was hit by a car tomorrow and I would be surprised if you don't find you'd be considerably better off if married.

    Personally, I think marriage protects both partners: that is basically the point of it. It is a legal recognition of the fact you view yourself as a family unit. Regarding splitting up, I think the main thing to consider, rather than whether marriage gives you any benefit, is whether you're happy with the way you have arranged your life now. By the sounds of it, your partner is part time to enable her to do more childcare. I assume that works for you both now. However if you split up, that should be recognised, and its unlikely you'd suddenly get 50/50 residence if that wasn't how you had decided to divide care of the children when together. If you would want 50/50, then consider going part time now, and establishing the same caring relationship - if you'd be happy with reasonable access but not split residency, then don't worry about it.

    What frustrates me is how often you see people who have made the choice that one partner - usually, but not always, the mother - will stay at home, take a cut to their earning power, and do the majority of the childcare. Then, when the relationship breaks down, suddenly there is a total shift in attitude and a sense that she is freeloading and should be out earning immediately, despite the fact that after a decade out of the workforce (and often limited access to childcare for after school etc) you're talking about a vastly reduced earning power that its hard to even recover from. If I was your partner, I'd be wary of working part-time as she is less well protected regarding maintenance for herself (though she would be eligible for maintenance for children). However in general, you seem to be more or less equal earners, so I would focus more on the risk if one of you died rather than a breakup and consider getting married.
  5. michaelm

    michaelm Frequent Poster

    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
    Unless you're expecting an acrimonious break-up then you getting married is a no-brainer. Handy that neither of you are pushed about a big wedding, just give the required notice (maybe it's 3 months?, but a judge can waive this) and get down to a registry office. It will afford many protections to your family.

    Also, you should get life assurance today . . a dual (or joint) convertible term life policy (with or without indexing for inflation) for a minimum of 13 years (when the youngest will be 18) should not be too expensive . . is a good place for quotes (no connection).

    Your argument for no health insurance is weak. If you can afford it you should get some, at least basic, private health insurance.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  6. MrEarl

    MrEarl Frequent Poster

    Agree 100%

    The original poster could also consider combining it with a holiday and getting married abroad, maybe just the couple and their children ?

    Spending money on a "traditional Irish wedding" is just madness and the last thing anyone should ever consider doing, imho.
    rob oyle likes this.
  7. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep Frequent Poster

    I'm just wondering what's stopping you or are you talking yourself out of it. You seem to be already married in all but name.
    As neither of you seem to need the big white job with all the trimmings why not book the Registry Office' and arrange a nice day out and maybe an overnight somewhere on your own. No need to inform anyone. Probably most of your friends/colleagues don't even know if you're married or partners.