When considering the benefits of getting married, there are both personal and legal considerations.
Please note, this website is all about helping individuals realize the personal benefits of getting married by teaching the relationship skills and good habits that create happy marriages.
While I’ve briefly summarized the legal benefits below, I don’t pretend to be an expert on the legal aspects of marriage. To make up for this deficiency, I have included links in the “Legal Benefits” section to two sites that will help you learn more about this.
Now back to my main topic of interest!
It is difficult to put a value on any of the personal benefits of marriage, but as any happily married couple will tell you, the benefits of a happy marriage are astronomical.
It used to be that the personal benefits of getting married were purely a matter of conjecture. Social scientists have done marriage advocates a huge favor by studying marriage and providing scientific proof about some of the benefits of getting married and being happily married. These measured, proven benefits are the tangible benefits. All the unmeasurable benefits are lumped under intangible benefits.
- Emotional intimacy
- Regular sex with a loving partner
- Someone who understands you
- Someone who accepts you just the way you are
- Someone who believes in you
- Affection and love
- A true partnership
- Shared dreams
- Romance, if you’re lucky!
- Someone to share the workload of providing shelter and making it a home
- Someone who wants to make you happy
- Someone who loves you so much they have tied their entire future to yours
- Someone to talk with
- A permanent cheerleader
- Safety and security
- A partner through times of crisis
- Someone to help you up when you are feeling down
- Someone to laugh and cry with
- Someone to share the good times
- Someone to play with
- Sense of belonging
- A partner in the difficult task of raising independent, self-sufficient children
- Giving your children a good role model of marriage
Scientists have discovered that happily married couples enjoy the following tangible benefits, when compared to individuals who remain single, are divorced, or unhappily married.
- Better health
- Greater job success
- Increased financial security
- Secure children more likely to succeed and less likely to be obese
- Superior quality of life
- Longer life
Getting married in and of itself doesn’t provide you with these benefits. You must develop the relationship skills and create the good marriage habits that underpin happy marriages.
If you are interested in creating and sustaining a happy marriage that will reward you with these benefits, please check out the links on this website. How to develop many of the relationship skills and good marriage habits are included here.
There are more than a thousand legal benefits of getting married according to the US Government Accountability Office Rights (GAO). Benefits are far-reaching including:
- Discounts on insurance
- Combining credit power
- Inheriting part of your spouse’s estate
- Beneficiary rights on insurance and retirement plans
- Receiving Social Security, Medicare, military, and disability benefits for spouses
- Receiving wages and retirement income for a deceased spouse
- Receiving a portion of the property as well as financial support if you divorce
- Qualifying for insurance under a spouse’s plan
- Hospital visitation rights when your spouse is ill
- Consult with medical staff on spouse’s care
- Obtaining work permits and immigration for foreign spouse
- Preferential treatment in adoption and foster care placements
- Visitation rights at penal institutions
- Right to make funeral arrangements for a spouse.
Some of these “benefits” may be liabilities as well. For example:
- If your partner is a poor insurance risk you may find that your auto insurance rates go up despite the married discounts.
- If your spouse comes into your marriage with poor or bad credit, you may ultimately have less buying power if you want to make a major purchase together.
- You may be responsible for debt acquired by your spouse during your marriage: i.e., if you file your taxes jointly, you will be responsible for the full tax burden even if your spouse is the only income earner.
- You not only get to plan your spouse’s funeral, but you must also pay for it.
Unfortunately, we live in litigious times and convoluted family structures. Especially when it comes to money, your rights may be challenged by children, step-children, ex-spouses, parents, or other interested parties who may believe they have a superior claim to those assets. While you may ultimately win, you may incur legal expenses to enforce your rights.
Despite any protection provided by law to you as a spouse, it is always smart to have the legal support of:
- Written will which specifies the distribution of assets upon the death of a spouse
- A durable power of attorney for health care that designates anyone you choose to assume responsibility for your care in the event of our incapacitation.
Medical directive or Declaration that spells out the wishes of your spouse and facilitates your decision making in the event of the need for end-of-life decisions.