Skip to comments.I Donít![Canada-'automatically married by the state, against their will']
Posted on 05/29/2012 7:43:21 AM PDT by Theoria
How a bizarre legal case involving a mysterious billionaire could force 1.2 million Canadians to be married, against their will.
Somewhere in North America, there is a place where little girls dont give the slightest thought to what kind of wedding dress theyll wear one day. A place where young men have never heard the expression: why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free?because the milk is always free. A place where no one asks an unmarried couple expecting a baby if theyre getting hitched.
This place is the province of Quebec. The French language spoken here is no guarantee for romance. Couples are practical, and lovers treasure their individuality. Quebec has become one of the least marrying places in the world, thanks to the institution known as de facto spouses, But now, thanks to a bizarre legal case entangling a Quebec billionaire and his de facto spouse , the freedom to un-marry is under threat. More than 1 million Quebecois in this kind of relationship may soon be automatically married by the state, against their will.
De facto spouses are defined by Quebecs law as two people who have been living together for a year or more without being married and who check the couple box on their income tax statement form. Quebecs lawmakers have deliberately chosen not to give de facto couples the same rights and responsibilities that married couples have under the Law of Quebec, to preserve the freedom of choice.
(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...
We already have “common law” wife in the US.
Doesn’t the U.S. have “common law marriage” that is similar? By common law... I thought if a couple lived together for a period of time, they were seen as “married” in the eyes of the State.
“When you choose to go down the rabbit hole, ya never know where it will lead.”
True, but you know what will be all over the floor.
Sorry, CL! I asked the question and we must have posted a second or two apart.
Some states do. But, ya know that in advance, not after.
I saw it as a “great minds think alike” sort of thing. ;-)
Not in Connecticut, I don’t know about other states.
Not in Delaware either - although now they do perform same sex “civil unions.”
Looks like some states and not others.
Not in every state.
—Not in every state.—
Well, to be fair, my comment was like saying “it is legal to purchase alcohol in the US”, even thought I, personally, live in a dry county.
“common law marriage” was outlawed by statute in virtually every (if not every) US jurisdiction in the early to mid 20th century. The theory was that CLM created more problems than it solved. In particular, problems of bigamy, divorce, inheritance, probate, custody of children, rape (remember that in some jurisdictions it was, until recently, legally impossible for a husband to rape his wife), and evidence (marital privilege in some places permits spouses to exclude each other’s testimony). Where the state has an efficient licensing system, the theory goes, we don’t need to spend a lot of effort to determine whether people are married or not.
My non-lawyer’s understanding of common law marriage in TX:
It exists precisely to protect the woman, and any children, from the Eric/Lola scenario. If a couple cohabits, and holds themselves out to the public to be married, then they are married in the sight of the law.
I think the “holds themselves out to the public” standard is higher than the average “shacked up briefly and a child resulted”.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: “Defacto married” women were not eligible for alimony. A Canadian court has decreed that your unmarried “defacto” wife may be awarded alimony.
Thank you for clearing that up.
They can't have it both ways. They must either choose to be a couple or not to be a couple.
Only in states that have not changed the common law we inherited from England at the time of Independence.
Actually, common law marriage was a wise institution that legally recognized the fact that marriage is neither a state nor a religious institution, but a natural institution in human society, that stable cohabitation by a man and a woman was the key feature of that institution and that the state (or Crown) had an interest in keeping such relationships stable (mostly for the sake of any children engendered). It is precisely the arrogation to the state of the purported authority to redefine non-state social institutions that is the most odious feature of the drive for "same-sex marriage". It's actually to see Quebec catching up with the Anglosphere in creating an analogue of common law marriage.
Does not sound too different at all from the Common Law Marriage we have here in Pennsylvania and in many of the other 13 original colonies.
Common law marriage is recognized in Colorado. It is often adjudicated “after the fact” when one of the couple wants a divorce or child custody or some other dispute occurs. The key is they held themselves out in public as a married couple.
Believe that was the key in the case of Lee Marvin and Michelle Triola Marvin as well.
The Lee Marvin case was even more interesting. California does not recognize common law marriage. Triola sued for so-called “palimony” on a contract theory, that Marvin had promised to support her for life. The court found insufficient evidence of such a contract, but the concept is now recognized in California law.
It depends on what state you live in, I know in Texas we have "common law" or as the state calls it, "informal marriage".
My admin had to go through it when she and her "husband" split up. One of the things that helped her, was they had never co-mingled funds and his name was on everything.
It was a mess.
“Under Texas law there is no required period of time of cohabitation and an informal marriage can occur if the couple lives together one day if the other elements, (an agreement to be married and holding out as married to the public) have also occurred.”
Most states used to recognize common law marriage but have formally abandoned “common law” anything and don’t recognize common law marriage anymore.
I’ll stick with “virtually every” state then. Or at least most. Lots. Whatever. I couldn’t remember if it was still alive in KY, TX, TN, WV. CO surprised me, but that’s cool.
I should also clarify that despite its alleged drawbacks, I am a fan of common law marriage in that it reduces the state involvement in the family.
LOL, well, not quite. Common law anything is not recognized by statute anything - they're two completely different legal environments. But they don't necessarily cancel each other out. Common law principles such as common law marriage still hold perfectly fine - it's just that administrative law (statutes) don't recognize it in their "courts." That's not the same as it being "outlawed." It's not criminal, it's just not legally acknowledged within administrative jurisdiction.
Then again, neither are natural human beings acting in their personal capacities.
So there's that little issue, too.
In any state if you want to become common law married, you can go to Texas, sign in as man and wife with intent to be married, and your home state has to recognize it.
Here is a ruling on common law marriage.
“The tradition of common law marriage was affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States in Meister v. Moore (96 U.S. 76 (1877)), which ruled that Michigan had not abolished common law marriage merely by producing a statute establishing rules for the solemnization of marriages. Since Michigan did not require marriages to be solemnized, the court held, the right to marry that existed at common law existed until state law affirmatively changed it. The Court held that in order to bar common law marriage, a state’s general marriage statute must indicate that no marriage would be valid unless the enumerated statutory requirements were followed.”
It is still legal in these states “A common law marriage can still be contracted in the District of Columbia and ten states: Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, and Texas included. Additionally, New Hampshire law provides for posthumous recognition of common law marriage in probate cases; and Utah will recognize a common law marriage if the parties get a judicial decree to the effect a common law-marriage exists or existed between them. Otherwise, common law marriages can no longer be contracted in any of the other states. All states, however, recognize a common law marriage that was validly contracted in another state under the principles of comity and their choice of law/conflict of laws rules.”