Post # 31
j_jaye : I understand there are legal ramifications. But we are all grown adults responsible for the choices we make. If someone chooses to go out and get legal paperwork in place in case they break up to protect them paying for their partners education, or by making sure they are both on the house mortgage and deed great! But there shouldn’t be laws in place to force people to do those things when they didn’t ask for it.
When there are so many ways to protect yourself legally, either marriage, or simply some legal documents unrelated to marriage, why would there be laws to force people to do those things when they chose not to? That makes no sense and feels extremely intrusive.
like I said, I am a grown woman. If I choose to live with a boyfriend and contribute to his masters degree and didn’t choose to have us sign anything about that or repayment than that is my fault when or if we breakup and I don’t get that money back. Legal protections in relationships is widely available, but no it shouldn’t be mandatory or forced on people.
but I do believe that if you go out and fill out all the legal paperwork to cover all the things that get covered simply by getting married? That seems like a lot of effort just to avoid the title of marriage. Marriage is what you make of it. It isn’t some angsty authority figure that your sticking it to by not using it. Now that is childish.
Post # 32
minnewanka : in Australia we basically have laws that see you and give you the same legal protection when in an established relationship whether you decide to legally tie the knot or not.
I got married in a church. By the time we actually got legally married, the government would have already considered us an official couple and given us the same rights whether we were married or not. Neither my husband and I considered ourselves married until we said those vows and promised eachother a lifetime commitment in front of God and our family/friends. The legal signing of documentation really meant nothing in the scheme of things because of our laws.
I’m pretty traditional, as is my husband. I value making that commitment to each other in front of God and family and friends. I would never have a child/live as a wife with someone not willing to legally/spiritually commit to me irrespective of whether the law sees us a legal couple. I value that and I would only want to be with someone who sees things in the same way as I do. I would never even Date someone seriously who has a moral objection to marriage. I think long term relationships generally only work if people share similar values, morals and beliefs. You can always compromise here and there but you can’t compromise on every single thing. It just gets too hard to navigate 50 years together if you are constantly having to work to find a middle ground. So no I wouldn’t stay in a relationship without marriage even if I was afforded the same legal rights.
Post # 33
I’m in CA where we have domestic partnerships for same sex couples and cohabitating partners where one is at least 65 years of age. It’s an old hangover from before same sex marriage was legalized but I think it needs to be updated and offered as an option for everyone. I love them and I think there need to be more options available for how people do partnerships and relationship contracts (that have some kind of legal protections).
I read the book The New I Do when we were in the wedding/marriage planning phase and it informed the contract and agreements we created between us. A lot of people go into marriage without explicitly discussing what their expectations are and how they match or differ from the legally binding aspects of the contract you are signing.
I am absolutely firm in the perspective that I don’t think women should legally bind themselves to someone unless it is of practical/financial benefit to them. I believe in prenuptial agreements and post nups. I support domestic partnerships and partner contracts that encourage people to have these conversations that so many people never broach until they’re fighting and looking at dissolving their relationship.
Post # 34
To me, marriage is a spiritual vow. With legal committments.
So, no, it would not be enough for the long haul.
Also, if I wasn’t sure about a guy for long term or ready for marriage, I would not want a boyfriend to have so many legal rights over me either. So that would affect my choices to cohabitate etc.
Post # 35
I agree, if you want legal protections you can sign the paperwork and get them. I think automatic after x amount of time isn’t a good idea.
i think what is more important than forcing legal partnerships on people is properly educating young people about their rights. Lots of people here think there is such a thing as common law when there isn’t in UK law.
Post # 36
Sounds like legislation to protect those who allow themselves to be taken advantage of. More victim mentality, to negate personal responsibility.
Post # 37
Three years is the starting point, you also have to prove that you are an economic and domestic unit (which isn’t terribly hard though).
Lots of people in Alberta think there is commonlaw too. It is kind of interesting because federally you are required to file your taxes as commonlaw, but provincially it doesn’t really exist. We just have AIP legislation starting at three years. It is scary how few people even know about the new legislation coming in/how it will affect people who have already been cohabitating for three years.
The AIP legislation is a hangover from when Alberta was trying to resist same sex marriage. “See? We have something just as good!”
Australian family law legislation is really interesting. They are at the forefront of a new movement to move it more towards collaborative law than traditional litigation. My understanding (and this is just from a talk I went to by an Australian psychologist – I have no actual training in Australian law) is that separating families work with a lawyer, a psychologist, and a financial planner so they are aware of the legal issues, as well as the impact conflict and toxic stress will have on their children.
Post # 38
minnewanka : that transition to collaborative law sounds brilliant. I’m curious how it’s working out. It reminds me of therapists I know who work in a “village model”. I think we need more relational awareness in many of our official aspects of our lives.
Post # 39
I don’t know, I think it makes some sense to establish a domestic partnership with someone you’re not necessarily romantically involved with, like a long-term friend or sibling. You could buy a home together, handle bills together, enjoy the benefits of a two-income household, and not worry about getting shafted.
Would it only be for 2 people?
The idea of it automatically happening without both parties’ explicit agreement is creepy though. What is the burden of proof? Could someone just start dating someone and sleeping over occasionally while having a piece or two of mail sent there and suddenly end up “married” to that person? It seems like it would be easy to exploit a higher earning SO by sneakily “marrying” them without their knowledge or consent.
Post # 40
I think a great spot for this kind of thing to be used would actually be non romatic partnerships. For example, two widowed sisters who decide to move in to one house, or situations like that.
I’m not religious, and our wedding/elopement was not religious, and in Ontario we have some common-law rules in place already (uncertain what exactly they are, in fact maybe it’s only federal also related to post-secondary education?)
The automatic roll over I don’t really care for.
My only thing is that I would think most people who put off/refuse to get married to their partner for one reason or another are also avoiding legally tying themselves to their partner. Yes, a few do it because of the religious slant, but there are many ways to have a secular wedding, and Christianity doesn’t own marriage, people have been getting married for longer than since 1AD.
But for people who are skating around marriage to avoid the committment of it, my guess would be they would similarily avoid an AIP.
To me, since I’m not religious and I didn’t have a wedding, a secular paper signing that we’re married or an AIP basically seems like two sides of the same coin.
Post # 41
Litigation is really terrible for restructuring families – the adversial system is set up with corporations in mind. We do have a small Collaborative Law area in Alberta, but it isn’t Court mandated. Most counsel I know are trying to shift people into parenting coordination and out of the Courts (unless truly necessary).
The problem with friends/long term roommates who become AIPs is that they are then open for partner support as well. It would be unlikely too roommates would be found to be AIPs unless they merged all their finances…
I think with the rollover the Courts are trying to say “if you’re acting like you’re married, we’re treating you like you are married.” Again, three years is the starting point but there is a list of other criteria. When I read the ALRI report they noted a shift in culture that people just don’t get married anymore, but still think they have the same protections since they are common law.
Post # 42
If anyone is interested –
This is an easy to read summary of the recommendations made by the Alberta Law Reform Institute Last year to the government (the majority of the recommendations were followed)