So you have been asked THE BIG question. Well either that or perhaps you have done the asking. Either way a major decision needs to be made. There is no doubt that marriage is a clear and public showing of a couples love and commitment to each other, but what are the wider reaching implications of entering into matrimony?
Some areas to consider are discussed below. Please note we are not giving legal, social or financial advice here, this is just a general discussion on potential matters that may be affected. If you wish to establish the true facts relating to any of these subjects please take independent, tailored legal advice.
Taxation Benefits: You may be able to claim marriage tax allowance. This is specifically aimed to help married couples make better use of their tax allowances. As UK individuals who are working each of you are entitled to earn so much before you pay tax. This is called your personal tax allowance - it will be advised to you each year by the tax office (and will normally be shown on your payslips). In tax year 2018/2019 it stands at £11,850.
Now, in many cases one of the couple to be married will be a higher earner than the other. If the lower earner pays no income tax or earns below £11, 850 they can usually transfer up to £1190 of their allowance to their spouse! This could save you circa £24 per month NETT (i.e. cash in your pocket) as a married couple. Better still if you are already married you can back date this claim to 2015. Please note that the larger wage earner must be paying the standard rate of tax and not be a high rate tax payer to be eligible.
Consolidation Of Dwelling Costs: If you are currently living apart you may both be paying council tax, water rates, gas, electricity, broadband, TV package and of course the ever present TV license. By moving in together into a new home (or into one of your properties) when tying the knot, the savings here could be huge. The impact on council tax may vary but the obvious negative outcome is you lose the 25% discount for those who live alone, however you will only have one bill to pay. As for the water rates this will simply be one bill instead of two - whether or not you are on a water meter will impact of course. The rest are pretty much going to be a large overall saving, for example; even if you use more energy combined, the standard charges will be the same and you will only have one set of them.
Time & Travel Options: Once married and living together you will be surprised how much time you save in going to each other`s pads and of course travelling usually costs money - unless you live within walking distance. It may also be worth looking at your vehicle scenario, do you both have a car? If so do you both still need one? If you do, use the cheapest to run car as much as possible. If you don`t need both then maybe it is time to sell the most expensive one (provided you can agree on that and the one you keep is reliable!….).
All in all marriage has proven time after time it can be a great institution. If the relationship is nurtured and you treat them well, your spouse could become the loving partner and soul mate that brings you both a happy, eventful and fruitful life.
The Big `D` Word:So this is a difficult one to bring to mind when looking at going ahead with your marriage, but if anything knowing that it is such a major commitment will help to make both spouses work super hard to avoid the relationship ending in divorce. Getting married is a legally binding contract between the two parties agreeing to support each other. Therefore this contract often requires legal intervention and court approval to be dissolved once established. Therefore changing your mind down the road can be very expensive for one or both of you - and of course it may be an extremely stressful time.
Adjusting To Being A Pair: Whilst we are by nature herd beasts, there is no doubt most of us enjoy solitude and the freedom to do as we please with our time. Being a married couple is likely to significantly reduce your sole activities and / or time available. Even battling for the TV programme that takes priority can be a new debate to master. A decent TV package with recording ability and / or a second TV may be a good investment if you are set on your viewing habits.
Regular nights out with friends, popping to the pub for a few glasses of wine or a couple of pints after work with colleagues and / or friends may have been the norm - but this needs to be balanced against supporting your spouse and sharing the daily chores of living. Perhaps a useful way to approach these complex areas is to try and see everything from your partner`s perspective, then make a balanced decision.