I’ll be the first to tell you that marriage is hard as heck. Is it rewarding? Umm, sometimes. Is it beneficial to you? If you marry the right person. Isn’t it just a piece of paper? No. It’s more than that.
Think about it. The Declaration of Independence is more than a piece of paper. How about the U.S. Constitution? Pieces of paper matter to everyone. A piece of paper gives you a driver’s license. A passport. Paper matters.
So, why would a marriage license only be a piece of paper? It’s not. It’s more than that.
I’ve known people who never got married. They had children and bought houses and believed that paper didn’t matter. Until one day they realized it did matter. When did they realize that? When the person they loved died.
I know of a woman who believed that her parents were married all her life. Her dad died. Her mom tried to get the life insurance company to work with the funeral home to do an assignment of benefits so they could bury him. Guess what happened?
Her parents were never married. Her dad left his life insurance policy to his former boss. Her mom had no legal leg to stand on to contest the policy because she wasn’t the spouse. They had to pool together to find money to bury her dad. The former boss didn’t help nor care.
Let me break it down simpler for you. If you are a legal spouse, most states will say that a spouse has rights to the insurance regardless of your husband changing it to someone else. You could go to court and fight the beneficiary form. It matters.
A friend told me that years ago a woman she knew was with a man for many years. They bought a house together, loved each other and created many memories. He got sick and she was there taking care of him and never leaving his side. Coordinating with his children over care and all things with their dad. He died.
His children put her out of the house that their father owned because they weren’t married and her name wasn’t on the deed. Disappointing. Yep. Disturbing. Absolutely. But, what rights did she have? None. She wasn’t the spouse.
I believe in the institution of marriage. I believe that once you’ve gotten to the point that you’ve decided that there is no one else that you would rather be with then you should definitely consider marriage. Legal documents can be contested once you’re dead by family members or children. The law will never take it away from the wife. Remember that.