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Source: (consider it) Thread: Common-law marriage
Baptist Trainfan
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The BBC has featured a report into so-called "Common-Law Marriage" which suggests that many co-habiting couples have little idea of their legal position should their relationship break down. It also suggests that some co-habiting couples feel that the legal rights of marriage should be extended to them.

Ignoring any "moral" aspects to do with what goes on in the bedroom, what do Shipmates make of this? Why is there such ignorance on this matter? Should those who choose not to marry benefit from the same legal safeguards as those who do? And why do so many couples prefer not to get married? (I have my own views but prefer not to reveal them at present!)

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North East Quine

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The BBC are wrong to suggest that
quote:
Common-law marriage has not existed in the UK since 1753
unless they are under the impression that Scotland is not part of the UK. Most forms of common law marriage in Scotland were abolished by the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1939, and the remaining forms by the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006.

However, most co-habiting couples didn't fall within the definition of "common law marriage" which required the couple to live as man and wife to the extent that aquaintances (neighbours, the children's school teachers etc) thought that they were married, and the couple themselves referred to each other as husband and wife, and the wife called herself "Mrs Smith" or whatever.

Casting my mind back to lectures in the 1980s, it sometimes applied to couples who thought they were married - the couple who married on the Saturday closest to the bride's 16th birthday, when she was only 15 and 363 days old, and thus underage - that sort of thing. I suspect that sort of honest mistake is less common now.

The difficulty is giving rights to co-habiting couples is the sheer variety in the extent of commitment in such relationships. The couple themselves may have different views on how committed the relationship is. At least with marriage, the couple can be assumed to agree that theirs is a long term, fully committed relationship.

It was a minefield when it existed in Scots Law; there is a reason it was abolished.

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Curiosity killed ...

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Apparently a lot of the problem, so current publicity, is around Sharia Muslim marriages the nikah, which require a civil marriage to make them legal.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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North East Quine

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That is exactly the sort of situation which used to be covered by Common Law Marriage in Scotland, where the couple themselves regarded themselves as married.
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Curiosity killed ...

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One of the discussions I heard around this was that Muslim men were aware that they were not legally married and preferred to remain that way. It's also in one of those articles. A couple of reasons: divorce becomes as easy as saying "I divorce you" (threefold), and more than one marriage is possible.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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North East Quine

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The man and the woman disagreeing was the main issue in Scotland, too. Typically a court case would involve the woman saying that she regarded herself as married and producing various witnesses - the woman in the corner shop, her daughter's Brown Owl, etc, all of whom confirmed they had thought the couple were married, and then the man saying that he had never regarded himself as married, that the woman had called herself "Mrs Whatever" simply to stop people from asking questions and so on.

There were several types of Common Law Marriage in Scotland - declaration in front of witness, promise subsequente copula, and habit and repute.

Promise subsequente copula covered the case of a woman who had had sex on the basis of a promise of marriage; if she fell pregnant the marriage was deemed to exist. It was usually used if a man died before he could marry his pregnant girlfriend - dozens, if not hundreds of children were legitimised in this way after their fathers died in the First World War. Much harder to prove if the man was alive and denying ever having proposed.

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Baptist Trainfan
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This is very fascinating but - at the risk of sounding rude - might we get back to the contemporary questions I posited, as they apply to the "secular" (or even "Christian") majority of the population?

The Muslim answer is one I hadn't heard, or even thought, of - so thank you.

[ 27. November 2017, 11:36: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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North East Quine

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I think the contemporary problems are likely to be the problems that existed previously; a couple can regard their relationship differently during the relationship, or, in retrospect, when they are splitting up. One might claim that they were living together in a relationship both regarded as permanent, were planning to have children etc, the other might claim that it was only ever a casual relationship.

If there is a large disparity in the property each brought into the relationship, if it breaks down then the wealthier partner is likely to want to minimise the relationship.

If either, or both, halves of a co-habiting relationship have children by a previous relationship, then declaring the existence of a Common Law marriage effectively disinherits the children. Some couples choose to live together rather than marry specifically because they don't want to potentially disinherit their children (I gather this is not unusual in the case of older couples who both have property, have been widowed or divorced and have adult children and grandchildren.)

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North East Quine

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I have no idea why there is such ignorance on the lack of protection for co-habiting couples, though.

I do think that should be more widely known.

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L'organist
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This hoary old chestnut is re-cycled roughly every five years, and has been since at least the late 1970s.

Why this crazy foolishness about "common-law marriage" - its not as if there is such a beast as a "common-law divorce" or a "common-law will".

I fear the answer is that people - mainly, but not exclusively, women - fail to apply any sense, common or of another type, to the situation. It should go without saying that if you go through some type of formal, legal, ceremony then you are married - and if you don't then you aren't.

Either later today or tomorrow we'll get the latest manifestation of the "story" which is that there are legions of women who view "marriage" as a paternalistic construct and trap and who demand the right to have a civil partnership. IMO these calls should be resisted at all costs - surely since the widening of "marriage" to include people other than heterosexuals civil partnerships are redundant: after all, does anyone now really care that you can rock up to your local town hall, sign a book and be "registered"?

If anything is to be done about this non-story, perhaps it is to ensure that schoolchildren are informed that common-law marriage is a myth as part of their PHSE curriculum.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Curiosity killed ...

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I think a lot of people start by cohabiting and the big white wedding becomes an unrealistic dream. I have met people who were holding a big baptism celebration for their children rather than a wedding and said something similar.

The big white wedding is such an expensive and unrealistic dream for so many people and it seems to be required to get married, so people put that off. I've come across a few couples who had a small wedding who have had huge celebrations for their silver wedding - a church blessing and reception - to make up for the original wedding not satisfying the photo album.

I also have met people who are comfortable with their cohabiting relationship and feel that marrying their partner will change that relationship, and not for the better. One of those couples has now split up, with the man now with a new partner, the other couple is still happily together.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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It exists in some provinces in Canada. It may be the same as marriage legally or be unrecognized. Depends on where you live.
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L'organist
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Yes, I know, but even in those provinces that recognise some form of "common-law marriage" it doesn't make any difference to the legal position with regards to the split of assets in the event of a breakdown, there is no right to support from a partner, and it doesn't give legal protection to the children of any "common-law" union.

This last in relation to children is especially important everywhere: in the UK it matters not how long you are together if you have children: unless you are named as the father on the birth certificate you will have a very tough time getting access to them in the event of break-up or death of the mother. I know of a chap whose "common-law wife" died after 20 years and 4 children together: within 6 weeks of her death he'd lost his home and access to his children.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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North East Quine

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Out of curiosity, why hadn't he put his name on his children's birth certificates?

There's no advantage for a man in having the father's name left blank on a birth certificate. It means the man has no rights, but he can't opt out of responsibilities, because a DNA test will prove paternity if he is being sued for maintenance.

Obviously, if he was married his name would automatically be included in the birth certificate.

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la vie en rouge
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Either later today or tomorrow we'll get the latest manifestation of the "story" which is that there are legions of women who view "marriage" as a paternalistic construct and trap and who demand the right to have a civil partnership. IMO these calls should be resisted at all costs - surely since the widening of "marriage" to include people other than heterosexuals civil partnerships are redundant: after all, does anyone now really care that you can rock up to your local town hall, sign a book and be "registered"?

The French equivalent of a civil partnership (a pacte civil de solidarité or PACS) is available to both same sex and opposite sex couples. They offer some, but not all the same legal rights as marriage. I’m not sure, but I think that more straight than gay people are pacsé these days: it appeals to people who are not keen on the idea of marriage per se but want to make sure that e.g. their partner wouldn’t end up homeless if one of them died. This seems to work quite well for people who want a minimum of legal protection.

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Rent my holiday home in the South of France

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ExclamationMark
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Whatever allowed people to think there was such a thing as "common law" in the UK in the first place?

Wishful imagination?

As to the big white wedding thing, it isn't necessary. 2 witnesses and a Registrar is all you need. Perhaps it's more about the churches and everyone else seeing it as a money spinner: we do weddings for free!

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North East Quine

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Originally posted by Exclamation Mark:

quote:
Whatever allowed people to think there was such a thing as "common law" in the UK in the first place?

Wishful imagination?

Not wishful thinking but four years studying Scots Law at University, 2 years legal traineeship, and working as a solicitor.

If you want to find Common Law in the UK, head for the northmost part of the U.K, although I understand that the Scottish concept of Common Law differs from the concept in England. In Scotland, Common Law is law that has not been codified, but has developed over the centuries from legal precedent.

[ 27. November 2017, 15:32: Message edited by: North East Quine ]

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Why is there such ignorance on this matter?

Have you met your fellow humans? Ignorance is more a standard than knowledge.

quote:

Should those who choose not to marry benefit from the same legal safeguards as those who do?

Throughout most of human history, cohabitation was marriage. Property and religious control were the main drivers of a formal recognition. To me, the answer should be yes, but NEQ rightly points out the complications of this.
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:

I fear the answer is that people - mainly, but not exclusively, women - fail to apply any sense, common or of another type, to the situation.

I fear the answer is that people, - mainly, but not exclusively, men - fail to apply responsibility, reasonable or any other type, to the situation.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Leaf
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Even in those provinces that recognise some form of "common-law marriage" it doesn't make any difference to the legal position with regards to the split of assets in the event of a breakdown, there is no right to support from a partner, and it doesn't give legal protection to the children of any "common-law" union.

This is incorrect. For example, this link from the Justice Department in Manitoba states, among other things:
quote:
•If a common-law couple splits up, each partner will be entitled to half the value of the property acquired by the couple during the time they lived together, including pensions
•If one member of a common-law couple dies without a will, the surviving partner will receive all, or most, of the deceased partner's property
•If one member of a common-law couple dies, leaving a will that ignores or neglects the surviving partner, the law will override the will to ensure that the surviving partner receives his or her fair share of the couple's family property

The relevant Wikipedia article, citing the Justice Department, says:
quote:
According to Manitoba Justice, "Common-law partners who have registered their common-law relationship with the Vital Statistics Agency, or lived together and have a child together, or lived together for at least three years if there are no children of the relationship have all the same rights under the Family Maintenance Act as legally married spouses, including the right to seek spousal support."[1] [emphasis mine]
I attribute the ignorance/misunderstandings to exposure to media from many jurisdictions with many different rules about common-law relationships.
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k-mann
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It seems to me that if you do not want to marry the solution would have to enter into a civil union, provided that this is open for all (and not just same sex couples). To simply 'assume' that people who live together are 'commonly married' would be utterly wrongheaded (especially if the couple do not have children). How would you distinguish legally between a (romantic) couple who live together and friends who happen to share a house, a flat, etc?

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"Being religious means asking passionately the question of the meaning of our existence and being willing to receive answers, even if the answers hurt."
— Paul Tillich

Katolikken

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Leaf
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quote:
Originally posted by k-mann:
How would you distinguish legally between a (romantic) couple who live together and friends who happen to share a house, a flat, etc?

From the FAQ section of the government link:
quote:
Q I have been living with a roommate for over three years. Does the new act apply to us?

A That depends on the nature of the relationship. The act only applies to people who are living in a conjugal relationship. There is no single legal test to define this relationship, but many factors would be considered, such as:

•whether you live under the same roof


•what the sleeping arrangements are


•whether you have a sexual relationship


•whether you maintain an attitude of fidelity to one another


•whether you share household chores or perform any personal services for one another


•whether you participate in community or neighbourhood activities as a couple


•whether you present yourselves as a couple to others



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orfeo

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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
Whatever allowed people to think there was such a thing as "common law" in the UK in the first place?

Anyone who has a law degree from any of the so-called "common law" countries (basically, the English-speaking world) just spit out their drink when reading this.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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orfeo

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The Australian position is that de facto couples have almost exactly the same legal position as legally married ones.

Having just gone through an excessively painful same-sex marriage debate/survey/exercise in delay here, the question of what marriage is actually for has come up a little (yes, only a little).

And essentially it's about ease of recognition. A de facto couple have to go through a bunch of hoops and (potentially repeatedly) establish that yes, they are a couple. A married couple get to just wave a certificate, end of discussion.

Of course, for many centuries in England the vast majority of people never went through a formal marriage ceremony. Only the nobility did that. The average folk just started living together as man and wife. So in that context, I do find it interesting when people think that legal marriage is necessary to make a couple "real". These things certainly swing over the course of the generations.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Carex
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"Common Law Marriage" is an American term. I can't say why the English are confused about it, but it is easy to be confused in the US because the laws vary state-by-state, and many have changed over last century.

Generally, Common Law marriage required that the couple consider themselves to be married, and live publicly as a married couple. Generally they must also be legally free to marry, but there are some exceptions to this. (In Utah, a married person can be convicted of bigamy if they form a Common Law marriage while still legally married to someone else.)

What varies from state to state is the specific amount of time that the couple must be together before the marriage is legally recognized and various other conditions.

Most states have recognized Common Law marriage at some point, but only a handful permit them today. However, once such a marriage takes place in a jurisdiction that does (or did at the time) recognize them, it becomes a legal marriage, and is recognized by all other states.

This was convenient in less civilized areas, as a couple didn't need to wait for the itinerant preacher to come by to get married, or worry whether the preacher was really authorized, or if the paperwork got filed correctly.


I remember hearing various bits of folk lore about Common Law Marriage when I was single, in spite of the fact that California had stopped recognizing such marriages prior to 1900. But several states didn't stop recognizing them until this century, and about 9 still permit them, so friend-of-a-friend stories can keep circulating, and might be true in some states.


However, virtually every state requires that the couple agree to be married and present themselves as being married as specific requirements. While the couple might argue as to whether this really was the case, casual cohabitation without those critical parts has (generally) not been a candidate for Common Law marriage in the US.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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"commonlaw" is also a Canadian term.
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Carex
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And Canada is in the Americas...
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no prophet's flag is set so...

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quote:
Originally posted by Carex:
And Canada is in the Americas...

Yankees can pretend to be Canadian when you travel. That's all you get. (only a Yank would post what you posted)

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\_(ツ)_/

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
quote:
Originally posted by Carex:
And Canada is in the Americas...

Yankees can pretend to be Canadian when you travel. That's all you get. (only a Yank would post what you posted)
[Confused] So, Canadians get mad when people say America and excludes Canada and Canadians get mad when someone says America and includes Canada? Alrightly then.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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"Americas" and "America" aren't the same thing.

Americas = North America, and Latin America (i.e., Mexico down to the tip of Tierra del Fuego), plus many islands. IOW, not just the US.

America = The United States of America (USA or US), including all US possessions and territories. (I'm not sure how Native American nations fit into that, because the relationship is complicated.)

The name "United States of America" goes back to our founding documents. "America" is just a short form. TTBOMK, we never kept any other country of the Americas from using "America" in their title.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
The Australian position is that de facto couples have almost exactly the same legal position as legally married ones. wife. So in that context, I do find it interesting when people think that legal marriage is necessary to make a couple "real". These things certainly swing over the course of the generations.

Indeed, under the Relationships Register Act, NSW residents have been able to register that they are are in a relationship regardless of sex since 2010. I don't know exactly the position in other states but from memory it is much the same, perhaps even agreed identical legislation. I can't remember the title of the preceding legislation in NSW, and don't have the time to check, but it dealt with resolution of property disputes between non-married couples. Again, sex was irrelevant, it was the existence of the relationship that gave rise to the claim.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
"Americas" and "America" aren't the same thing.

Americas = North America, and Latin America (i.e., Mexico down to the tip of Tierra del Fuego), plus many islands. IOW, not just the US.

America = The United States of America (USA or US), including all US possessions and territories. (I'm not sure how Native American nations fit into that, because the relationship is complicated.)

The name "United States of America" goes back to our founding documents. "America" is just a short form. TTBOMK, we never kept any other country of the Americas from using "America" in their title.

The use of the word America to mean the US has sparked annoyance from Canadians here on SOF in the past.
Just wondering what yanked np's chain.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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lB--

Yes. I was trying to make that point to several people.
[Angel]

There's definitely been trouble before, and even worse. There was a Hell thread that veered into "America" territory. Someone--IIRC, not even from the Americas--got really upset and insulting. I spoke up, saying more or less what I said here. Also that AFAIK, no other country of the Americas had "America" in their official title, unless on a very old deed or something. Erin piped up and confirmed that. IIRC, some folks were surprised at the truth.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

Posts: 18174 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
# 11770

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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
The BBC has featured a report into so-called "Common-Law Marriage" which suggests that many co-habiting couples have little idea of their legal position should their relationship break down. It also suggests that some co-habiting couples feel that the legal rights of marriage should be extended to them.

Ignoring any "moral" aspects to do with what goes on in the bedroom, what do Shipmates make of this? Why is there such ignorance on this matter?

See above - across the English speaking world there are a number of different forms of common law marriage, which confuses people.

quote:
Should those who choose not to marry benefit from the same legal safeguards as those who do?
In lots of places across the English speaking world they do.

quote:
And why do so many couples prefer not to get married? (I have my own views but prefer not to reveal them at present!)
I gave some reasons above.

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Posts: 13597 | From: outiside the outer ring road | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
"Americas" and "America" aren't the same thing.

Americas = North America, and Latin America (i.e., Mexico down to the tip of Tierra del Fuego), plus many islands. IOW, not just the US.

America = The United States of America (USA or US), including all US possessions and territories. (I'm not sure how Native American nations fit into that, because the relationship is complicated.)

The name "United States of America" goes back to our founding documents. "America" is just a short form. TTBOMK, we never kept any other country of the Americas from using "America" in their title.

The fact that you think it works that way does not mean that everyone else, particularly people in the Spanish speaking part of "The Americas", necessarily agree with you.

In fact even the Wikipedia article on The Americas doesn't agree with you, containing several footnotes within the first sentence to show that what you are asserting is not in any way a universal view.

The whole idea that it's a plural because it's 2 continents is simply not how it's regarded in much of the world.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continent#Number

[/tangent]

[ 28. November 2017, 09:10: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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North East Quine

Curious beastie
# 13049

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From the OP:

quote:
And why do so many couples prefer not to get married?
There are many reasons, and this is one of the problems of common law marriage.

For example, there are couples who are cohabiting as a stage in their relationship, and will marry when they reach the stage of planning or having children. Common law marriage is irrelevent to them as they will probably co-habit for only one to five years before marrying.

Then there are those who don't want to get married until they can have the big wedding, but the years slip on and other things (house deposit, children) take precedence. This is the group for whom common law marriage would be relevent.

Then there are those who are opposed to marriage for practical (e.g. inheritance) reasons, or ideological (marriage is a construct of the patriarchy) reasons, or because a previous marriage ended badly and they want to do things differently next time round. This is the group for whom common law marriage would create difficulties.

Of the co-habiting couples I know, there are several of my children's generation who fall into the first category and one of my generation who falls into the third category (i.e. not marrying to keep the woman's property separate so that her children by her first marriage will inherit). I don't actually know anyone who is in the second category.

Posts: 6379 | From: North East Scotland | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Gee D
Shipmate
# 13815

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quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
From the OP:

quote:
And why do so many couples prefer not to get married?
There are many reasons, and this is one of the problems of common law marriage.
marriage would be relevant.


Of the co-habiting couples I know, there are several of my children's generation who fall into the first category and one of my generation who falls into the third category (i.e. not marrying to keep the woman's property separate so that her children by her first marriage will inherit). I don't actually know anyone who is in the second category.

Under the current provisions of the Succession Act here, which continue the philosophy of the 1916 Testator's Family Maintenance Act, the partner may very well have a claim on the estate. He would have to satisfy various tests to do so, but the failure to remarry
by itself would not bar a claim.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

Posts: 6771 | From: Warrawee NSW Australia | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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Of course I take Delores on this. The term American means USAian. The poster of this knows. Just as I know that England means Wales and Scotland. [brick wall]
Posts: 11181 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Augustine the Aleut
Shipmate
# 1472

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
It exists in some provinces in Canada. It may be the same as marriage legally or be unrecognized. Depends on where you live.

When on the verge of superannuation, I was sent on a very nice 3-day pre-retirement workshop in Montréal (with some excellent financial planning sessions, so I urge everyone to take the retirement course before they are 30). Among many topics was the place of the spouse, and we were run through the ten jurisdictions on the common law question, as it's not entirely identical. In sum, common law exists, and it's more or less the same as married, except in Québec, where the status of common law does not exist. As the notary told us, in Québec, without marriage or civil partnership status, you are just very good friends (although you can go to law to claim spousal property rights). This caused a melt-down in the workshop, as one of the couples there had been under the impression that they were common-law married, verge-of-tears ensued, and we suspended the session while the workshop leader calmed them down.

My clergy contacts tell me that the majority of those getting married have co-habited for several years. A Latin married deacon I know who runs marriage courses in the Archdiocese of Ottawa (married deacons are favoured for running marriage courses in many places) tells me that likely the majority of those in his classes have been living common law for at least two years. He said that there's as much point in being strict on this as there is on rebuking university students for an insufficient focus on maintaining their virginities. He did tell me that many of the common-law couples in his classes are surprised to learn that their status, as far as obligations and rights go in Ontario, do not change with marriage.

As far as the American question goes, there is no solution. Pierre Berton wrote that Canada was the loyal part of America, and the US was the other part. There were 15 colonies and some left; others stayed. Everyone on the planet who is not of Loyalist background thinks otherwise. Nothing can be done about it. It's like the broadcasters speaking of England when they mean Britain.

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Kitten
Shipmate
# 1179

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Of course I take Delores on this. The term American means USAian. The poster of this knows. Just as I know that England means Wales and Scotland. [brick wall]

England does NOT mean Wales and Scotland

[ 28. November 2017, 14:52: Message edited by: Kitten ]

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Maius intra qua extra

Never accept a ride from a stranger, unless they are in a big blue box

Posts: 2316 | From: Carmarthenshire | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Baptist Trainfan
Shipmate
# 15128

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I'm afraid it does to many non-Brits - as in "And what part of England is Scotland in?" [Mad]

(Please note where I'm writing this from, by the way: see below).

[ 28. November 2017, 15:05: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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la vie en rouge
Parisienne
# 10688

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quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
(i.e. not marrying to keep the woman's property separate so that her children by her first marriage will inherit). I don't actually know anyone who is in the second category.

Could this not be avoided by making a will?

FWIW, French inheritance law privileges children over spouses. To ensure that I don’t end up destitute if my husband dies before me, we need specific notarised deeds donating our common goods to the last survivor of the marriage. Failing that, the children of his previous marriage can turn me out of the house. Once we’re both gone, the children still get a large part of what’s left.

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Rent my holiday home in the South of France

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Crœsos
Shipmate
# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
(i.e. not marrying to keep the woman's property separate so that her children by her first marriage will inherit). I don't actually know anyone who is in the second category.

Could this not be avoided by making a will?
Depends on the jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions will invalidate a will that disinherits (i.e. leaves a bequest lower than a certain percentage of the estate) a spouse. It does seem like the kind of thing pre-nuptial agreements were made for, however. The two situations where a pre-nuptial agreement should be considered a necessity are a) where there are children from another marriage/relationship whose interests need to be protected and b) where one of the spouses is a part-owner of a family business.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

Posts: 10502 | From: Sardis, Lydia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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quote:
Originally posted by Kitten:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Of course I take Delores on this. The term American means USAian. The poster of this knows. Just as I know that England means Wales and Scotland. [brick wall]

England does NOT mean Wales and Scotland
Which was an ironical head bang wall pain chainsaw my arms off circumcise my forehead comment wasn't it.
Posts: 11181 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
quetzalcoatl
Shipmate
# 16740

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Irony is a dying art.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Irony is a dying art.

People no longer know what the word means much less it use.

[ 28. November 2017, 16:55: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Carex
Shipmate
# 9643

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This discussion might be better off in Purg since it doesn't address Dead Horse issues.

It may be easier to address the original question if we use a term such as "cohabitation" rather than "Common Law Marriage", as the latter has several different legal definitions, as well as varying interpretations in general use. While the specific laws (current and previous) in England, Scotland, Australia, France, Canada and the various States of the US may all address parts of the issues, each may be based on different assumptions, situations, and legal frameworks.


Why do couples choose not to get married? Usually I don't ask, because I assume it is none of my business, but the following are some of the ones I know of personally, mostly for older couples:

1) A prior divorce impoverished both litigants, and they don't want to go through that again.

2) One high-income couple figured it would cost them $30,000 a year in higher taxes, and they would rather spend that money traveling. That was about 30 years ago, and since then the US tax laws have been changed to eliminate the "marriage penalty".

3) Some source of income (retirement, government benefits, insurance payments, alimony, inheritance, etc.) or property rights would be terminated if a person remarried.

4) One partner has significant debt or potential legal liabilities, and not being married shields the assets of the other partner from possible claims.

5) A spouse of one partner suffers from dementia, mental illness, is in a coma, or has some other condition such that they are in a long term medical care facility and is unlikely to recover. For example, a man whose wife has advanced Alzhimer's may have moved on to a new relationship (possibly with the wife's encouragement as she realized her condition), but the wife is still dependent on his insurance to pay for her care.

By the time a lot of folks are in their 70's and older, they are much less concerned with what others think about their living arrangements, while they are more likely to have long term issues of insurance, retirement, benefits, etc. They are also more aware that any new relationship they establish might not last very long, due to death or ill health rather than lack of commitment. A disabling illness can wipe out the retirement savings of both partners if they are married. For such people there may be little advantage in being married.

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Louise
Shipmate
# 30

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This isn't a Dead Horse and I'm going to have to try to move it to Purgatory on my phone which may not work. Please don't post here till I get it shifted.
Thanks
L
Dead Horses Host.

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Posts: 6906 | From: Scotland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Louise
Shipmate
# 30

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Aha - it worked! Post away.

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Now you need never click a Daily Mail link again! Kittenblock replaces Mail links with calming pics of tea and kittens! http://www.teaandkittens.co.uk/ Click under 'other stuff' to find it.

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Leorning Cniht
Shipmate
# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Carex:

It may be easier to address the original question if we use a term such as "cohabitation" rather than "Common Law Marriage", as the latter has several different legal definitions, as well as varying interpretations in general use.

But it is the legal consequences that are at question.

Basically, the question is how the law should treat me if I set up home with a romantic partner. Should the law treat us as de-facto married, or something similar (and so grant me some kind of automatic inheritance rights, next of kin status and so on) or should it treat us as single (and so not imperil the pension I get from my deceased spouse, and so on.) And should the act of moving in with someone for mutual comfort and regular nookie automatically have legal consequences?

The reality seems to be that, in most jurisdictions, it is some almost random combination of both, which works out either to my favour or against it depending on my particular circumstances.

[ 29. November 2017, 03:50: Message edited by: Leorning Cniht ]

Posts: 4897 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

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Re "Americas" and continents:

I've started a "Continents" thread here in Purg, and copied our discussion over. That way, we won't derail this thread.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

Posts: 18174 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged



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