Spinoff: How Much Does the Law Affect Your Opinion?

posted 2 weeks ago in The Lounge
Post # 16
Member
1530 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
@minnewanka: If marriage was involved, my opinion wouldn’t change. Children would change my opinion. But if you have two independent adults (no dependents) then I don’t think the woman is owed anything akin to alimony. 

If there’s actual property or other assets that both people own then that should be fairly split. But, from what I saw, she chose not to buy her own property (even though she could have) or move on to a man who wanted to commit so now this guy should pay for her to freeze her eggs? Seems drastic. But if she actually gets him to pay for that stuff then, again, more power to her! It probably wouldn’t be much of a hit to him at all.  But I don’t think he’s under any moral obligation. 

There was another thread though about a woman with a BF making 300k and I did feel like he should’ve financially contributed more to their joint life. But if they broke up I wouldn’t think he owed her anything. I just feel like if you’re actually a partnership, act like it, and don’t drain all of your GF’s money on paying rent. 

Yes, life doesn’t always work out according to plan, but I do think there needs to be an element of personal responsibility. As in, don’t make choices you’ll severely regret later and then expect people to make up for those choices. But, if you do get someone to pay, good for you.  But it’s not owed and shouldn’t be expected. 

Post # 17
Member
311 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: City, State

I’m also in Canada and I posted on the NY thread questioning whether NY recognised common-law relationships. Obviously it is clear that NY doesn’t so she seems to be hooped in terms of having a legal basis for asking for any kind of payout. I agree with you that here in Canada it is very accepted that if you are in a common-law relationship you have a legal standing to ask for payout in terms of property division or support, especially if children are involved. It’s interesting to me to hear that in some parts of the US those types of relationships are not legally recognised. Makes me think that people should be more careful about getting into those long term relationships without something in writing stating what would happen if they broke up. In terms of the NY poster, I don’t think she has a right to ask that he pay for her IVF (which seems kinda ridiculous because she doesn’t even know if she’ll need it and that’s not his fault). But maybe a bit of cash towards moving costs is a different story. 

either way its a interesting discussion OP!

Post # 18
Member
254 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

Laws do affect my opinion, to an extent. There are many laws I would like to see change, and I’m happy when they do. For example, I hate that credit card companies and student loans can charge so much in interest- it’s pretty criminal. That needs to change. But I do think if someone came here and said they were going to sue a credit card company for having too high of an interest rate, I would find that a bit ridiculous. If it’s legal now, it seems like a frivolous lawsuit. That person technically entered of their own free will and ran up debt. I would try to offer advice about negotiating or getting on a payment plan, but I would not support the lawsuit even though I think the behavior on the part of the credit card company *should* be illegal. If we passed a law that limited it to 15% and the company was charging 30%, then hell yes, take them for all they’re worth! Even if the person still *knew* it was 30% when signing up and running up debt. Not sure if this makes sense? But yes, I morally support laws changing, but would generally not support someone in a quest that does not follow the law, unless I really was morally opposed to the law. One area that I would say crosses that line is kids in cages/illegal immigration- in those cases I generally support people doing what they have to do. I have no issues with anyone who comes here “illegally”. So in that case, I guess I see it differently. I also hate predatory hospital bills and would have no issue with someone doing whatever they could to fight a hideously high bill… so I guess for me, it depends what the law is and just how predatory the other party was? I dunno!

I didn’t see the other thread, but now I’m interested in reading it! Anyone have a link or know the title, or was it deleted? My initial instinct is that I would not support the demands, and while I see your point about them living together meaning they are a unit, I’m not so sure. If I lived with a friend and let them stay rent free, then the friendship ended, I would think it shitty to ask them for rent back or other expenses to be covered. If the couple considered themselves married, sure. But I lived with my husband before we got married, and I had my own apartment which he did not help pay rent for. I wanted it to be mine and mine alone, to protect myself in case we broke up. I wanted to know I could afford it alone. I would not dream of asking him to pay me if I broke up with him, even though I also cooked and cleaned (he did too though). He did put me on the titles of all 3 of his cars, which helped us with coverage and helped him get a better rate. But I always considered them “his” cars- if we broke up, they’d go back to him and him alone. In other words, I feel like any benefits you get from your partner are just that- temporary benefits. If we broke up, I’d have to get my own car, but he saved me from needing to pay for that during all the years we were together. I actually feel the same now, even though we’re married. We do have a house we got together, that I wouldn’t have been able to afford without him. I mostly pay the mortgage by myself, so you could argue he’s not entitled to any of the house later. But he pays the utilities, our phone bills, the car insurance, for food, materials and labor to improve the house/cars (which he does a LOT) etc etc. So I would split that halfway for sure. However, I am very split on the concept of alimony on this same basis- I see the point in some very specific circumstances, but in others I think it is very unfair. 

Post # 19
Member
875 posts
Busy bee

In that specific post, it is COMPLETELY unreasonable to ask for money for HER future children when they broke up. It’s just not ok. Yes, they had plans. He failed to follow thru, so those plans that never happened are cancelled. You can get into a lot of sticky territory if you hold people accountable for what was once said in a relationship. What if it was the woman who was the bread winner and the man is the manual labor of upgrades, but then became abusive in some way so the woman wanted out? Would we still want her to be tied to him and financially responsible for what he willingly did for her during the time of their relationship? I sure wouldn’t. Marriage is the part of the law that protects people from dumping their finances into a dead end relationship. We already have that in place as law. If people don’t want to go that route, then be careful not to give too much before a commitment of legal marriage. I feel like people want so much to be given to them instead of being more wise about their actions.
In regards to other issues, the law has little impact on my views. 

Post # 20
Member
600 posts
Busy bee

I don’t know if this answers your question, but as far as I’m concerned, if every adult and child was entitled to equal financial protection, assistance and medical care from birth to death under the laws of my country, I doubt I would get legally married. To me, legal marriage is almost more of a way of protecting yourself and your loved one from the current law of the land (my land, that is), which does not necessarily equally entitle anyone (especially women) to those protections as independent individuals. The current law does not inform my opinion about what is “right”—I think in an ideal scenario the law should be influenced by what is “right”, but that gets tricky when no one can agree on what “right” is. So we vote, we protest, we write letters, and slowly, gradually, the laws start to reflect what we believe is right. But I can’t ignore the fact that for the majority of history, more than two thirds of the population was denied the right to participate in shaping the laws of my country, so I have to acknowledge that the law does not invariably reflect the interest of the people. Law is not morality in itself, it exists to defend what the majority have decided is moral at a particular given time. 

Reading over the thread you mention, I feel a few somewhat contradictory things in response. First of all, a certain amount of disgust at the mention of asking for money for money “in exchange” for a a certain level of emotional investment—I can’t help that, it’s involuntary, discussion of money was kind of taboo in my family growing up, and I think it’s a subject that embarrasses the hell out of a lot of people, whether or not they want to admit it. Then my adult socialist conscience tells me that the OP is justified on a certain level, that those who have excess cash should give it to those who need it, and that there should be nothing shameful about that. Then I start to dissect the OP’s actual need, and the somewhat hypocritical point she made of not asking for the money she was rightfully entitled to by law in her divorce because “I’m not entitled to anything from anyone”, but asking for it now and claiming that it’s not about entitlement, it’s about her partner “helping” her out out of kindness (in my opinion divorce settlements are just a slightly more organized and legally bulletproof method of doing just that—another reason why I’m pro-pre-nup: A fair settlement should ideally be agreed upon out of love, not out of a need for “revenge” or as “war reparations”). Then I eventually came to the conclusion that, regardless of my petty judgements about this woman’s character or whether the idea of her asking for this money makes me uncomfortable, what I actually believe is right in this instance is irrelevant, because if it were up to me, no independent person would have to ask for this kind of “help” from another private individual, because they would be adequately taken care of by the state and therefore have no reason to ask. However, this is not the world we currently live in.

So, in short, no, a person’s lack of legal marital status has nothing to do with what I feel they are entitled to. But there’s no denying that the law can currently be used as a tool to gain certain entitlements and privileges, which, thankfully, is now capable of being taken advantage of by a large and diverse group of people (although not large enough to suit me—poly marriage next, please!), and I think it’s a good idea to do that if you love someone enough to spend your life with them. 

Sorry for the novel….

Post # 21
Member
875 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
@mrssouthernfairytale:  I agree completely. In the case with the man making $300k a year and charging her so much rent, he’s a douche. But she’s CHOOSING to participate in that. Marriage would be her legal recourse for all the things she does for him, so if he’s not willing to be married, she can either keep participating with no legal recourse OR walk away and have a separate life or, at the very least, separate living conditions. I don’t think men (or women) should be held financially responsible for people they’ve lived with but never married. Can you imagine the unfortunate rich guy who finds gold diggers that he then has to pay out when each one of them ends it? It’s not my style, but many people like to live together before marriage to see if they are even compatible FOR marriage. But without that commitment, no one should be held responsible unless it’s for child support for children that they share. In my opinion…..

Post # 22
Member
262 posts
Helper bee

Just to address the question, how much the law affects my opinion. Elections have consequences. If you want specific legislation then vote for politicians who support those legislative goals. Individual opinions mean nothing and are irrelevant unless exercised in the voting booth. Where I am based if you co habit for 5 years and split then it’s akin to a divorce and both parties are entitled to legal protections just like a divorce, that reduces to 3 years if you have kids. My opinion is irrelevant as a substantial number of voters exercised their vote to elect politicians who believed this and enacted legislation to that effect. This is separate to moral compass, where a law may conflict with my moral viewpoint and I become a conscientious objector against the daily implementation of that specific law. 

Post # 24
Member
1799 posts
Buzzing bee

View original reply
@minnewanka:  Fellow Albertan here! I feel so conflicted because on one hand I do support the idea of reparations when a common-law relationship ends just as in marriage, however that thread rubbed me the wrong way and I can’t figure out why.

I’m not sure how I feel about alimony; should a person be entitled to the same standard of living when married as before? Maybe, I don’t know. I think if one person’s earning capacity is severely limited (as a couple, they decided one of the partners would stay at home and take care of the household, or if the couple moved a lot to support one of the partner’s careers over the other) then absolutely the spouse with less income and earning potential should be compensated. When there are children involved, it’s a no-brainer to me, like you mentioned in a previous post, children should be afforded the same standard of living no matter which caregiver they are with.

As far as property goes, if they made the decision to combine households, the couple should split the value of the property increase from when they moved in together proportionally based on contribution (financial, labour including maintenance and house-keeping).

I think someone else pointed out that the OP in the New York post seemed a bit malicious with her intent, but maybe that’s not actually the case.  

Post # 25
Member
1634 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: City, State

Re: the girlfriend who wanted severance- Opting into a non- marriage arrangement and expecting alimony after dumping the guy doesn’t make sense to me.  Most wives don’t get healthy 5 figure settlements (a downpayment on a brooklyn condo could easily be $100k. Egg freezing in NY can cost $20k)… why would a girlfriend?

Re: the  girlfriend who resented paying the rent she agreed to- Expecting someone who is not married to you to support you financially after moving to a job making half as much as before also doesn’t make sense to me. A boyfriend doesn’t have veto rights over a girlfriend’s job change. Why would he have responsibility for helping her pay her bills?

In both cases, the men were extremely clear that they did not want to be married to either of these women at present. In both cases, the women decided unilaterally that they were entitled to more financial support from the men, not because the men weren’t paying for themselves, but because the WOMEN didn’t want to pay full freight for their own upkeep.  A reasonable person could suspect that’s the exact part of marriage these men objected to (the men were happy to cohabit, make joint decisions, have sex in long term monogamous commitments, etc).  

The law had nothing to do with my opinion on these couples.  I also strongly suspect that neither woman would be keen to pay out to men who were unemployed.  

Post # 27
Member
1799 posts
Buzzing bee

View original reply
@minnewanka:  For sure. I would definitely say in my case, yes our laws influence my opinion. I like the example you used with regards to marijuana, I was always pretty open to it, but I think it became a lot more mainstream and accepted once you could buy it legally; especially in stores. 

Post # 28
Member
285 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
@minnewanka:  I wonder if Bees would have reacted differently if she said “We lived in a house in his name. I contributed to the mortgage, renovations, utilities, etc.

Except I don’t think that OP had actually said anywhere that she DID pay? I saw she had bought furniture, which she would have could have taken with her, but I don’t believe she actually spent any money on rent or whatever. She complained about having to “plan” the vacations, not pay for them. She complained about having to GET A JOB when she left! Personally I don’t “believe” in alimony. It sounds like she was a willing party to this lifestyle and now wants him to continue it when she isn’t even with him. 

Anyways, to answer your question, I would say the law does affect my opinion, but there are also laws that I don’t believe in. If the “bathroom” bills were to pass, I would not be out reporting transwomen for taking a piss. So that may be the law, but it certainly goes against my concious, and I wouldn’t obey a law that hurts innocent people (in my eyes). This gets sticky, because I’ve seen this a lot during covid. People breaking the “law” because they don’t agree with it. So idk. I don’t agree with that, but it makes me a hypocrite I guess. 

Leave a comment


Find Amazing Vendors