by Damon Carr, For New Pittsburgh Courier
I recently came across a question and answer Column in the “Market Watch.” The title read,
‘I am angry’: I’m an unmarried stay-at-home mother in a 20-year relationship, but my boyfriend won’t put my name on the deed of our house. Am I unreasonable?
The article goes on to say:
I have been in my relationship for almost 20 years. For personal reasons, we are not married but we have a 10-year-old child. When our child was born, we decided that I would be a stay-at-home parent because my low-paying job didn’t cover the costs of child care, and at the time, we were stretched. I have been an at-home caregiver and homemaker for a decade.
Through my labor as a homemaker, which includes meal preparation, cleaning, laundry and home maintenance— not to mention 24/7 childcare—I feel my role as a “stakeholder” in this family should include legally owning my home. Am I wrong?
To me, not being on the deed is a direct correlation to how I am devalued for my time and labor. I feel like I am considered “less than” simply because I am a woman, an at-home parent, and a homemaker. I am angry about my situation. Am I being unreasonable?
I shared this article on my Facebook page and asked my followers to weigh in. I shared some of their comments below. I’ll also weigh in.
I’m soooooo sick of “adults” playing house, living like a married couple without serious conversation!!!
I’ve seen so many people die, leaving their unmarried longtime partner penniless because the family of the deceased says—YOU WEREN’T MARRIED—Your name isn’t on anything!! It’s terrible to witness! I can’t imagine being on the other end of that.
She should be angry AT HERSELF!! After the first discussion, if nothing was done, she should have made some moves. If that man dies or leaves her today—her and her child are on the streets!
Congratulations! You played yourself. You chose to be pregnant and broke.
I stopped reading after “20-year relationship.”
Her biggest mistake was not getting that little piece of paper called a Marriage Certificate.
Listen! I’m mad at her for being in a committed relationship for TEN YEARS WITHOUT MARRIAGE? Who does that?!? Then she has the nerve to have a child after that. Then she stayed with him for another ten years and counting?? He never really cared about this woman for real and he NEVER will!! This lady has already lost 20-year of her livelihood to this man. She needs to leave the relationship and just coparent!! 20-years WASTED!
Putting her name on the deed is irrelevant! Why is she asking now? She’s missing the point of her side chick responsibilities! It’s obvious that he’s already married hence her “personal reasons” for him and her not being married.
Get married! 20-year relationship?? Please!!
If she is in a common-law state, she may have legal rights to the property. This is her fault by being over dependent on a man she’s not married to. She clearly loves him but her expectations of him are off.
She is an absolute fool! How in the heck do you discuss becoming a stay at home mom but do not discuss the pros and cons of her leaving her job with no marriage and no safety net? She sounds like a glorified, unpaid housekeeper who got pregnant by her boss.
She should’ve kept this idiocy to herself. She already knows how dumb she is. Why hear it from people you don’t know?
My mom who is resting in Heaven used to say “Never depend on a man financially! Always be able to buy your own box of Kotex.” She’s my Shero! One of the greatest thinkers to grace earth.
~ P. Michelle
“Now” that “You’re “ AWARE/AWAKE of your situation ~ CHANGE IT OR SHUT UP! . “You” ALLOWED HIM to put “you” in this situation .. “You” can change it or continue as is.
Damon here: There was one blurb in the article that defines his perspective. “I want to continue to fight for my name to be added—to fully own BOTH properties. But my partner is still making me sound completely unreasonable, to spend thousands of dollars just for a “piece of paper.”
To him both a marriage certificate and warranty deed is simply a piece of paper. To him not having either one in place gives him complete power, control and influence over her. He controls the money, he owns the house and other properties. He didn’t leave her barefoot and pregnant. He kept her barefoot—no income, no security, no savings, no say-so while she raised their child, cleaned his house, and prepared food for the household. He rewrote the meaning of the expression, it’s cheaper to keep her. One could say she got free room and board. I’d say, he screwed her in more ways than one but she’s the one who kept laying down. She sacrificed her job, her values, her wants and desires to appease him and to continue a 20-year relationship in the name of love, I suppose. What did he sacrifice?
I wrote an article a while back titled “Avoid shackles when you’re shacking up. No matter what term of endearment you use to describe yourself, if you’re not married, you’re single. If you decide to live with your significant other while you’re unmarried, you’re roommates. One should act and move accordingly when it comes to serious financial matters.
This woman has not worked in 20-years: 20-years of no Social Security credits. 20-years of no retirement savings. 20-years out of the workforce which means she more than likely lacks marketable skills. By not being married to her, he’s not obligated to make her the designated beneficiary on his 401(k), IRA, or Life Insurance policies. He’s not obligated to mention her in his Will to inherit property. If he were to die today, she risks getting nothing other than mention as his special friend and mother of his child in his obituary.
Yes! You should be angry! But you fighting more about putting yours and his name on a deed instead of putting yours and his name on a marriage certificate gives me pause. If you’re seeking compensation or equality as you stated for your time and labor as a homemaker, ask for a salary not your name on a deed. Getting yours and his name on a marriage certificate gives you a vested interest in everything that he owns.
(Damon Carr, Money Coach can be reached at 412-216-1013 or visit his website at www.damonmoneycoach.com)