Why get Married?

45 posts in this topic

Hey everyone,

 

So, my long-term girlfriend is pregnant (15 weeks!) and we are very excited. She is German and I'm a German/American Dual Citizen, and we've been living together in Bavaria for a few years, it's looking unlikely we'd move to the U.S. for quite a while at least. The question that follows is perhaps obvious, but I could not locate a good answer with a brief search.

 

The question: Is there any practical benefit for us to become married? Neither of us are interested in it for "Romantic" reasons. Yes, I'm sure. But are there other reasons? More specifically, any reason to hurry and tie the knot (perhaps eloping) before the child arrives? But I am also interested in reasons in the general sense.

 

Although of course I'd want to register the child's inherited dual nationality, as far as I can tell, this is perfectly possible without a marriage certificate, provided I can summon the required documents. We both earn about 30k Brutto, if that is relevant to this question. If it's not plainly obvious, we're leaning towards not bothering with it, or maybe later, but I'm open to hearing other opinions. Vielen dank!

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If one of you stopped working to take care of the baby, being married would help because the working parent could be taxed as a provider of a family instead of as an individual.  Also, the health insurance of the working parent would cover the spouse and baby without extra charges, that is as long as you are in the public system.

 

However, since you are both currently working and will get elterngeld, you don't have to worry about health insurance while you are getting it.  If you want to find out how much, you can find an elterngeld calculator here:  https://familienportal.de/familienportal/rechner-antraege/elterngeldrechner  and you can find a tax calculator here:  https://www.brutto-netto-rechner.info/gehalt/gross_net_calculator_germany.php  and you can play with the numbers and figure out the differences.  The tax classes are explained on there too.

 

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Perhaps the child might want to have 'married' parents later in life? Also, grandparents normally like the chance to go to their children's wedding. Romantic? perhaps.

You don't seem to be suffering too much financially and could easily afford it.

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It helps avoid custody issues e. g. if only one parent wants to travel with the child or if medical treatment has to be decided on.

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There are not many disadvantages to being unmarried with child. Those can be managed with a few steps. I think you need to officially recognised that you are the father (Vaterschaft anerkennen). If you don't then the mother will get sole custody should you ever separate. Also I advise to look into inheritance law. I am not sure if you will inherit from your partner if you are unmarried

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Marriage is a legal / property arrangement recognized by most governments worldwide.  

 

There are rights, privileges, obligations which automatically take effect.   You automatically get them recognized by marrying for a fraction of the cost it would take to draw up a customized contract.

 

Good luck.

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1 hour ago, jeba said:

It helps avoid custody issues e. g. if only one parent wants to travel with the child or if medical treatment has to be decided on.

You don't need to be married to do those things.

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16 minutes ago, catjones said:

at the other end, if you're not married you can't get a divorce.

I found that out many years ago, catjones! We got married in Indonesia in 1987 ( me “ Protestant “ divorcee already and she ( Catholic and Spanish ).

The years went by and we agreed to divorce but found out our marriage was recognised neither by the laws of England nor of Spain!

We had forgotten to inform the respective Embassies in Jakarta that we had got married!😂

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27 minutes ago, yourkeau said:

If one of you is not born in Germany, welcome to hell:

https://adblockplus.org/blog/why-you-should-not-get-married-in-germany

 

 

Since both are German citizens it should actually be pretty straightforward, even if not born in Germany.

 

But yes, I jumped through all the hoops a few years ago as a non-German citizen and it was a pain in the a$$.  In fact, I was lucky that they eventually accepted one of my documents without apostille (even though they didn't have to) since it was impossible for me to get the apostille in my situation - otherwise I wouldn't have been able to get married in Germany.

 

To the OP, there are a few financial incentives (health insurance and tax) as well as inheritance etc.  It generally makes life easier, but it's not going to prevent you from doing the same things as if you were married (it might just be more expensive).

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4 hours ago, LukeSkywalker said:

Main benefit in Germany and read my lips:"No new taxes."

 

If your girlfriend is a Beamtin, the tax advantage of getting married is very generous - several hundred euro per month.

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Marrying a Beamtin sounds like a nightmare to this non-Beamte!😟

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( I would make an exception there, Luke!)

🤗

Could be useful on a good day!

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14 hours ago, catjones said:

at the other end, if you're not married you can't get a divorce.

 

Exactly, when the babies crying starts to annoy you, or the girl friend can't seem to lose those pregnancy pounds you can simply walk out the door scott free. No commitment no hassle. LOL Actually my comment was based on a real story I heard, lady lived with boy friend for my years, never bothered getting married, one evening watching TV guy goes, !I don't want to do this anymore". She got up walked out the door and never saw him again. Said it was unbelievably painful. Even after 15 years of living together he never made the commitment.

 

12 hours ago, mystrg said:

To the OP, there are a few financial incentives (health insurance and tax) as well as inheritance etc.  It generally makes life easier, but it's not going to prevent you from doing the same things as if you were married (it might just be more expensive).

 

Agree It's mostly that it's a legal arrangement but it's one that makes life much easier. Say for example you're traveling and accident happens you rush to the hospital and asked if you are the husband. No, well you need to contact her parents as a family member needs to sign off on the paperwork. Many other examples of people not bothering to get married and, much more importantly not bothering to do the legal paperwork and it coming back to bite them in the ass. I think it was Keith Leger who never married his girl friend and when he died his parents inherited everything. Of course they committed to taking care of the grandson but what does that mean. What if there's a falling out between DIL and grandparents. It was the same with the author of the book "The lady with the dragon tatoo, died and enstranged brothers inheritted everything including the rights to the book. His girl friend of many years got nothing.

 

 

But on the other hand people who live together tend to have much higher divorce  rates are much  higher for couples that lived together first so maybe it makes sense  to just not bother.

 

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13 hours ago, john g. said:

Marrying a Beamtin sounds like a nightmare to this non-Beamte!😟

 

This non-Beamte is quite disorganised so it works for us..

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1 hour ago, Rushrush said:

She got up walked out the door and never saw him again. Said it was unbelievably painful. Even after 15 years of living together he never made the commitment

I can tell you a million of similar stories of married couples. In Germany the father of the child is obliged to support his child: it doesn't matter if he is married or not. The authorities will chase him and confiscate all his salary and assets if he refuses to do so.

 

Also, imagine a millionaire marrying a poor partner. Will they allow this partner inheriting everything? Of course not, so they will sign a marriage contract regulating inheritance.

 

Commitment is not just a signature on the marriage contract.

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2 hours ago, yourkeau said:

I can tell you a million of similar stories of married couples. In Germany the father of the child is obliged to support his child: it doesn't matter if he is married or not. The authorities will chase him and confiscate all his salary and assets if he refuses to do so.

 

Also, imagine a millionaire marrying a poor partner. Will they allow this partner inheriting everything? Of course not, so they will sign a marriage contract regulating inheritance.

 

A father or mother paying child support will get to keep some of their salary in order to support themselves.  They don't take all of it.  Another one to consider though is if you were married and divorce, you could end up paying alimony to your spouse.  If you weren't married, you don't.

 

As for inheritance, there is a legal limit that the spouse and children will get.  In Germany, it's half.  So the millionaire, if he doesn't want his poor spouse to inherit all, he can write a will giving half of his money to someone else.  I don't know any millionaires so I have no idea whether it's common for them to have a will disinheriting their legal heirs of half the money but I assume prenups are more common which limits the split of assets in the case of divorce.  Germany already has rules for private property of spouses before marriage so if you owned a house before you got married, you get to keep it if you divorce.  Marital assets to be split is what you gained or bought during the marriage, excluding gifts or inheritance going to one person only.  

 

People who are living together and not married should definitely think about what would happen if they split up or if one of them dies. I have heard of cases where all the assets were in one name and splitting up meant that one individual kept all and the other walked out with their toothbrush and change of clothes.  There was also a case in the media where the man died, his name was on the condo as sole owner and his minor children inherited the condo. Due to the person appointed as the guardian of the children's assets and inheritance, the struggling mother was forced to pay rent to her children for the condo she had bought with their father.

 

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