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my2geldings 02-06-2009 08:00 AM

Common Law vs Married
Over the years I have worked in the health care field, I come accross probably 200-300 patients and patient charts a day. As you can imagine we essentially hear everything about someone's life in a matter of mins. Part of that means we also find out who the closest loved one which in most cases is a spouse or a common law partner.
I have come to realise that since I started working in the field with time, common law relationships are becoming more and more obvious vs the married couples you used to see. It seems to me it has become a lot more acceptable and that old cultural views are dying.

What are your thoughts on this? do you find one more acceptable than the other? are their reasons why you would choose one over the other? do you find the way you were brought up play a part in the way you now view your relationship(s)?

There is no wrong answer on this one, as we all come from different backgrounds, cultures and life experiences, ok, so let's keep it friendly :-)

LauraB 02-06-2009 08:20 AM

I guess I am not familiar enough with the laws regarding common law partnerships. Are you are to benefit from you partner's insurance, social security, and retirement if something were to happen to your partner? I wonder what some of the benefits and draw backs are. Could a common law relationship show a lack of commitment?

Moxie 02-06-2009 09:19 AM

The laws regarding Common Law Marriage vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Also, it IS legally binding in some jurisdictions, whereas it is not in others.
Currently there are only 11 states that recognize Common Law Marriages within the U.S. In addition, also there are other states that have grandfathered in the recognition of Common Law Marriages (established before a certain time period).

Common Law Marriages usually are not licensed by a government official, however some states require it to be 'Common Law". Cohabitation now is not enough to be 'common law', you have to proclaim yourself as the spouse to the other. In conjunction to this, both parties must consent to 'being married' and are of legal age to enter into a contract such as marriage. Also, in many states, those who recognize Common Law Marriage, require a minimal amount of time of cohabitation before a couple can be valid as common law.

On a side note: There is no such thing as Common Law Divorce.

My opinion is this, if you feel enough in 'love' to live together, but not get married and make it legal, then so be it. I am not one to judge. However, I, like many other people were raised with the theory that when you love someone, and want to spend the rest of your lives together, you get married. I dont see Common Law Marriage as wrong, but obviously some states' government does.

DarkChylde 02-06-2009 10:29 AM

Marriage is an institution. (then again, so is an insane asylum.....):lol:

Course, I AM married. But when they are getting married, the divorce rate is too high, so it still comes out to the same thing. :-(

Whipple 02-06-2009 10:42 AM

I am in a common law relationship. I have been with my "husband" for 6 years now. I don't plan on ever being with anyone else. We do plan on having a commitment ceremony, but do not plan on getting formally married. I think it may have something to do with my parents. They were married till my dad died, but they were not together. Marriage in my eyes does not mean you will stay together.
I know we will be together, others assume we are married, so I see no issue. The commitment ceremony we are planning has absolutely nothing to do with us, it's for other people.

But, with that said, in ON if you have children you are automatically common law. Without children I hear different times. From 6 months to 18 months. I think its closer to 6 months though. I'm not sure what the advantages and disadvantages are exactly, but I guess I dont care much lol

FGRanch 02-06-2009 12:41 PM

I have been married for nearly 3 1/2 years. My husband and I bought felt that actually being married was important to both of us.

Dumas'_Grrrl 02-06-2009 01:52 PM

My sister and her BF have been "together" (I think Ia is still a common law state) for 15 years now. No plans of marriage, no plans of splitting up. They just don't need that stamp to stay together I guess. I on the other hand have never been one to push people to marry just for the sake of marrying. I'm married and felt like after living with my hubby for 1 1/2 years that we needed to either get married or go our separate ways, He proposed so I wasn't issuing any threats or anything :lol: We just both felt like if you love 'em and want to stay with 'em you marry 'em. :wink:

I DO know that when ever I ask my sis about it she either says, "Are you going to pay for the wedding?" then laughs...or She just says "why?" I don't have a good answer for why and I'm not paying for any wedding....So I just put both of their names on the christmas card and roll with it! :lol:

claireauriga 02-06-2009 02:10 PM

Marriage means a lot of different things to different people. For me, the important thing is not whether there is a ring on any finger but the length and commitment of relationships - if those stay high, we don't have to worry just because people aren't getting married.

I have a friend who views marriage as being very special, very sacred, and sort of 'the next step' in a serious relationship. For me, marriage serves two purposes: a symbolic statement to all and sundry (and yourselves) of a commitment that is already there, and a means of more easily getting the various legal rights you want to share with your spouse.

Spastic_Dove 02-06-2009 02:32 PM

A lot of people think that if you live with your partner for a certain amount of time, you become common law married. This isn't true. You basically have to claim to be spouses, both consent, etc. I see a lot of people think that they don't have a choice but to end up common law with their partner.

I have been with my boyfriend for 3 years, and have lived together most of that. We both plan on being together for the rest of our lives, and once we are old enough will probably marry. I am 19 and he is 20, and neither of us want to get married till we are 25.

I will get married though when the time comes. Not in a church, but it will be a marriage. I don't see the point in not getting married if you are going to be with that person for the rest of your life if you go about it responsibly.

TaMMa89 02-06-2009 02:49 PM

As to the law... I'm not sure but I've opinion that over here the difference between common law marriage and marriage is that it's much easier to divorce in common law marriage. Even if you and your spouse can have separate property before and during marriage your separate properties can be divided equally if you divorce except if you've a prenup (eg. if the value of your property is 12,000 euros and his 10,000 you have to perhaps give your property him for 1,000 euros so the value of your property is equal). If you live in common law marriage you don't need a prenup or anything because you keep your properties separate when you divorce too.

But if you get benefits like unemployment benefit or student benefit I'm not sure how our law count your common law husband and his incomes compared to your husband and his incomes. I've heard that your common law spouse's incomes can diminish your benefit. That's sometimes problematic, especially because I've understood that the law can count your roommate as your common law husband if he wasn't (if you've eg. a private rented flat wiht him).

On the other hand I know that the status of children is different in a marriage and a common law marriage, especially their legal relationship with their dad. It's clearer in a marriage. And then there are also some other little benefits in a marriage like your permission to continue living your common home if he dies. His heirs can't drive you away. In a common law marriage they can. But in a nutshell: A common law marriage is much more "permissive" than a marriage over here.

As to me, I prefer marriage. I hope that I'll get married if I find a proper partner some day. For me marriage is a crowning of a commitment. I still think that marriage is a big step and not just for fun. So I think that it's better to date/live in a common law marriage long enough before it. But if someone wants live in a common law marriage I don't see anything wrong with it. On the contrary, I think that it's great that we can choose the way that we want to live.

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