Monday, 4 August 2008

De facto marriages

How dreadful! The government is considering imposing responsibilities upon de facto couples that they should have taken on voluntarily in the first place. See here.

From the article:

"Marriage is being imposed on everyone whether they like it or not," says Patrick Parkinson, professor of law at the University of Sydney. "It will come as a shock to some people."

But in the days when it was a much bigger issue for couples just to move in together without declaring their intention to marry—not all that long ago really—the big justification used for thinking it was OK was that love would hold the couple together forever. Marriage was just a piece of paper that formalized things, and you didn't really need it.

I guess time, and the current situation whereby the government needs to impose marriage-like responsibilities on marriage-like relationships, has shown how empty that argument always was.

1 comment:

The Pook said...

Common Law marriages, as they were once known, have been around for a very very long time and have traditionally been regarded in English law as implying at least some of the responsibilities of formalised marriages. A de facto or common law marriage is still a marriage. I applaud the government for wanting to reinvigorate or make more certain this neglected aspect of Western Law. It is necessary to protect the rights of children especially.