Oct 13, 2007

Til disagreement do us part

Most people don't know what the rights given by marriage are until they are facing divorce - and then it may be too late. How is property owned, in the eyes of the law? What can be done by your spouse without your knowledge that can end up legally binding you - whether you agreed to it or not?

The spiritual, or religious, side of marriage should be determined by the couples uniting. Who performs the ceremony, where it's performed, who witnesses - all up to them. But the legal side of things? That's a different story. You should know what your rights and responsibilities are when you enter into a contract - and as far as the state is concerned, marriage is a legally enforceable contract. Don't you want to know what it really says?

Maybe knowing what your rights and obligations are - at least as far as the courts are concerned - would have a positive effect on the divorce rate. So why can't we separate the legal side - the marriage license - from the ceremonial side?

Marriages by ministers ordained online in question | Philadelphia Inquirer | 10/08/2007

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