Tuesday, October 16, 2018

UK Supreme court rules on right of unmarried mother to Widow's allowance

From The Guardian:

Denying the unmarried mother of four children a widowed parent’s allowance is illegal, the supreme court has ruled, in a decision that significantly extends the rights of unmarried couples.

By a majority of four to one, the court’s justices declared the government’s refusal to pay up to £117 a week in benefits breached the family’s human rights. It will put pressure on ministers to consider making urgent changes to the law.

The judgment follows a hearing earlier this year in Belfast where the court was told that withholding the allowance from Siobhan McLaughlin amounted to discrimination against all children born out of wedlock.

Read more here


October 16, 2018 in Cohabitation (live-ins), Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Rise in Deathbed Weddings Prompts Call to Protect Cohabiting Couples

From The Guardian:

The government is being urged to provide legal protection to millions of cohabiting couples as evidence emerges of an increase in the number of civil partnerships and deathbed weddings.

In a letter to the Guardian on the third Saturday in August – the busiest day for marriages this year – a coalition of legal organisations and family charities has called on ministers to update legislation and tackle the myth of common-law marriage rights in England and Wales.

“Today is the busiest day of the year for weddings, yet marriage numbers are declining,” the letter says. “Currently one in eight adults in England and Wales are cohabiting, a trend steadily increasing since 2002.”

Couples mistakenly believe they have the same legal and financial rights and protections as married couples, say the organisations, which include the Bar Council, the Law Society, Resolution, Relate, Rights of Women, OnlyMums and OnlyDads.

Read more here.

August 22, 2018 in Cohabitation (live-ins), International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Single People Treat Dating Like Fantasy Football

From Market Watch:

Veronica Ryan, a single 26-year-old marketing executive based in Dallas, Texas, said she swipes right on potential matches on Bumble based on a combination of personality, looks, and job. In many cases she will take someone with a sense of humor over someone who is more good looking, she said, and career plays a lesser but still significant role in matching.

“I definitely swipe on people out of my league for the hell of it,” she said. “It’s kind of a game when it comes to those picks — if they swipe back, it’s a surge of fun.”

Confidence is key when dating, but is it possible to take your self-assurance too far? Most online daters are swiping right on people who are out of their league, a study carried out by University of Michigan researchers and published on this week by the American Association for the Advancement of Science found.

Read more here.

August 19, 2018 in Cohabitation (live-ins), Current Affairs, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 3, 2018

Married Lesbian Couple Rejected From Senior Home

From The Advocate:

When Mary Walsh, 72, and Bev Nance, 68 applied to be residents at Friendship Village, a senior living community in St. Louis, they were rejected because they were married, reports theSt. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The couple, who had been together for nearly four decades, repeatedly visited the village and even dropped a $2,000 deposit. Their plans to move were cut short when an administrator sent them a letter that said, “Your request to share a single unit does not fall within the categories permitted by the long-standing policy of Friendship Village Sunset Hills.” 

In response, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and American Civil Liberties Union is representing the women in a federal court case that alleges the community discriminated against them based on their sexual orientation.

Read more here.

August 3, 2018 in Cohabitation (live-ins), Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Changing Profile of Unmarried Parents

From Pew Research Center:

One-in-four parents living with a child in the United States today are unmarried. Driven by declines in marriage overall, as well as increases in births outside of marriage, this marks a dramatic change from a half-century ago, when fewer than one-in-ten parents living with their children were unmarried (7%).

At the same time, the profile of unmarried parents has shifted markedly, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data.1 Solo mothers – those who are raising at least one child with no spouse or partner in the home – no longer dominate the ranks of unmarried parents as they once did. In 1968, 88% of unmarried parents fell into this category. By 1997 that share had dropped to 68%, and in 2017 the share of unmarried parents who were solo mothers declined to 53%. These declines in solo mothers have been entirely offset by increases in cohabitating parents: Now 35% of all unmarried parents are living with a partner.2 Meanwhile, the share of unmarried parents who are solo fathers has held steady at 12%.

Read more here.

May 21, 2018 in Cohabitation (live-ins), Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Indonesia May Criminalize Sex Before Marriage

From Time:

Riding a tsunami of moral conservatism and anti-gay prejudice, Indonesia’s Islamic political parties appear on the cusp of a major victory: outlawing all sex outside marriage.

Revisions to Indonesia’s criminal code being considered by Parliament would allow prison sentences of up to five years for sex between unmarried people. Those changes would also criminalize gay sex, the bugbear of Indonesia’s Islamic and secular political parties.

Rights groups and legal experts fear a profound setback to human rights and privacy in Indonesia, one of the world’s largest democracies, and the spread of vigilantism, already common in parts of the sprawling Muslim-majority nation of more than 250 million people. They are racing to organize opposition. An online petition launched this week has gathered more than 20,000 signatures.

Read more here.

February 10, 2018 in Cohabitation (live-ins), International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

New York Expands the Definition of Parent for Unmarried Couples

From Nolo.com:

On August 30, 2016, the New York Court of Appeals issued a landmark decision in In the Matter of Brooke S.B. v. Elizabeth A.C.C. As a result, New York now recognizes that children may have a second parent not related to them by blood, adoption, or marriage.  

The Brooke S.B. case involved Brooke and Elizabeth—unmarried partners in a lesbian couple—who were engaged to be married in 2007. In 2008, Elizabeth became pregnant through artificial insemination and gave birth to a baby boy. Brooke had no legal or biological ties to the child, but she maintained a close, parental relationship with him for years, which included giving him her last name and raising him jointly with Elizabeth.

The couple separated in 2010, and in 2013, Elizabeth began restricting Brooke’s contact with the child, so Brooke filed for custody.

Read more here.

October 12, 2016 in Adoption, Alternative Reproduction, Cohabitation (live-ins), Custody (parenting plans), Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Property award to ex-girlfriend of longtime boyfriend affirmed

From The Indiana Lawyer:

A trial court correctly awarded certain property to a woman who filed a complaint against her longtime partner for unjust enrichment after the two broke up after a 17-year relationship, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.

Jeffrey McMahel and Mary Deaton met in 1996 and shortly moved in together in McMahel’s home. They have one child together, born in 1998. During their time together, both worked, with McMahel making substantially more than Deaton. He began receiving disability toward the end of their relationship, unable to work due to his multiple sclerosis. The two moved into a house McMahel later bought in his name only and the two purchased vehicles together, went on vacation together and shared a bank account.

After they broke up in 2014, Deaton filed the complaint alleging unjust enrichment. The trial court found sufficient evidence to support an equitable clam for recovery, as McMahel would be unjustly enriched if the court took the position that Deaton had no claim to any of the assets held in McMahel’s name alone or to the growth of his asset base that occurred during their cohabitation.

Orange Circuit Judge Larry Blanton awarded certain cars or other property to Deaton, her 401(k) account, as well as a $13,102.30 equalization payment from McMahel for a total award of $54,753.32.

McMahel appealed in Jeffrey L. McMahel v. Mary A. Deaton, 59A04-1601-PL-91, asking the appellate court to reconsider its holding inBright v. Kuehl, 650 N.E.2d 311 (Ind. Ct. App. 1995).

Read more here.

September 17, 2016 in Cohabitation (live-ins), Property Division | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Although Few Americans Approve of Divorce, Their Beliefs on Cohabitation are Softening

From Deseret News:

The number of Americans who find cohabitating acceptable has been growing, but fewer adults say they approve of divorce, according to a recent National Health Statistics report.

It's a continuation of a half-century of dramatic change in American family life, according to authors Jill Daugherty and Casey Copen, both Ph.Ds in the Center for Disease Control's Division of Vital Statistics. Their report outlines great change in family life: People marry for the first time later than in the past, divorce rates that shot up are now dropping, the fertility rate is lower, more people are cohabitating, a smaller share of new babies are being born to married parents and more of first births are to older mothers.

The report is based on data from the 2002, 2006-2010, and 2011-2013 editions of the National Survey of Family Growth.

"Living together before marriage may help prevent divorce," was agreed to by 60 percent of women and 67 percent of men in the 2011-2013 group. Those numbers are similar to findings in the previous survey as well. But the number who agreed "divorce is usually the best solution when a couple can't seem to work out their marriage problems" dropped from 46.7 percent of women and 44.3 percent of men in 2002 to 38 percent of women and 39.3 percent of men in the 2011-2013 group.

Similarly, support for the opinion that "a young couple should not live together unless they are married" dropped between 2002 and 2011-2013 — among women from 34.7 percent to 28 percent, and among men from 32 percent to 24.8 percent.

Read more here.

April 26, 2016 in Cohabitation (live-ins) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Cohabitation, Marriage, and Union Instability in Europe

From Family Studies:

There has always been a fierce debate about the relationship between cohabitation and divorce risks. Some argue that cohabitation lessens people’s commitment to partnership and thus increases their risk of divorce, while others believe that a cohabitation phase before marriage (as a trial marriage) would strengthen marital stability. In the United States, data suggest that the effect of cohabitation on marriage is at best neutral; however, in European countries, the effect of cohabitation on marital stability varies markedly, according to a study covering the last decade of the twentieth century (Liefbroer and Dourleijn, 2006).

In some countries, like Austria and the USA, over 30 percent of individuals’ first unions were cohabiting relationships, while in other countries, like Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania, Russia, Spain, and the UK, more than half of all first unions were marriages not preceded by cohabitation. Cohabitation followed by marriage is most common (describing more than 30 percent of first unions) in Austria, Germany, and Norway.



Why such variation in union formation and stability? The legal foundations of cohabitation and marriage differ from one European country to another. In some countries, like the Netherlands, simply living together for a few years provides a legal basis to the cohabitation and allows the couple to act together (for instance, to obtain a home mortgage based on both partners’ incomes). In other countries, establishing a legal basis for cohabitation may require a contract drawn up by a notary, or a registration at the town hall (France). Further, in some countries, dissolving a legalized cohabitation has to be done in court, especially if there are children involved.

In most European countries (especially those that have used the Napoleonic Code Civile for their own laws), getting married is not a religious act, but a secular one that must take place before any religious marriage ceremony. This is the case in the Netherlands, for example. And even in places like Italy where one can become legally married within a religious ceremony, only civil laws, not the laws of the religion, are relevant for the ceremony’s consequences (for instance, divorce). Therefore, in some nations, the differences between a legalized cohabitation and a marriage are slim. When couples can enjoy some of the legal and financial benefits of partnerships without marrying, they may be more likely to simply cohabit.

Read more here.

April 16, 2016 in Cohabitation (live-ins) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Florida Legislature Repeals Cohabitation Ban

From Fox 40:

Couples shacking up together would no longer be breaking the law under a bill passed by the Florida Legislature.

The Florida House on Wednesday voted 112-5 to repeal the state’s largely unenforced prohibition on cohabitation. The bill heads now to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott.

Under a law that has been on the books since 1868, a man and woman living together could be fined $500 and locked up in jail for 60 days. According to 2014 census data, there are nearly 438,000 unmarried male-female couples among 7.3 million Florida households.

The bill seeks to repeal the entire statute covering married or unmarried men and women “engaging in open behavior that is gross lewdness and lascivious.”

Florida is one of only a handful of states that still has a law making cohabitation illegal.

Read more here.

March 18, 2016 in Cohabitation (live-ins) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Florida Bill Aims to Abolish Cohabitation Law

From Action News Jacksonville:

Living with a significant other out of wedlock is illegal in Florida, but anew push, mostly by Democratic state lawmakers, is trying to do away with the ban on shacking up.

Michigan, Mississippi and Florida are the only states where it’s illegal for a man and a woman to live together and not be married.

The current law dates back to 1868.

It’s rarely enforced, but multiple attempts to do away with the ban on cohabitation have failed. However, many lawmakers want it off the books for good.

Senate Bill 498 is moving forward in Tallahassee. A Senate panel voted Thursday in favor of the bill, sponsored by State Sen. Eleanor Sobel. The bill now moves to the full Senate for a vote.

Local Republican State Rep. Charles Van Zant has been against changing the law since the beginning. But, Ryan Strickland, who lived with his wife for four years before they got married, says it’s time.

“People need to adjust as the time goes on,” Strickland said. “Lots of laws need to be adjusted to reflect the times and the feelings of people.”


Read more here.

February 10, 2016 in Cohabitation (live-ins) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 28, 2015

China's First Domestic Violence Law May Include Psychological Harm, Cover Cohabitation

From Shanghai Daily:

CHINA'S first domestic violence law may include emotional or psychological abuse and cover cohabitation in order to bring more traditionally silent abuse victims under protection, a new draft read.

According to the draft, which is up for a second reading at the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee's bimonthly session, "the country prohibits any form of domestic violence."

It defined domestic violence as both physical and psychological harm inflicted between family members, including beatings, injuries, restraint or forcible limits on physical liberty as well as recurring verbal threats and abuse as examples.

An earlier draft, submitted in August this year, included only physical abuse, but many lawmakers have since argued that the definition was far too narrow, said Su Zelin, deputy director with the Commission for Legislative Affairs of the NPC Standing Committee.

They also argued that the anti-domestic violence law should also cover cohabitation, Su said, hence the second draft of the law stipulated in a supplementary article that those who are not related but live together are also subject to the new law.

Family violence has remained in the shadows for a long time in China, where the culture holds that family conflicts are embarrassing private matters. As a result, domestic violence victims are often too embarrassed to speak out, and in many cases, police have turned away victims who came for help.

Only in recent years have people examined the issue in the wake of increasing public awareness and media reports on high-profile abuse scandals.


Read more here.

December 28, 2015 in Cohabitation (live-ins), Domestic Violence | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Divorce Rate Drops Due to Cohabitation, Study Finds

From Parent Herald:

According to the latest statistics published on Nov. 23, the number of couples divorcing has dramatically decreased by 2.9 percent. Experts are saying that cohabitation may have greatly affected how people think of marriage.

Most couples nowadays decide to live together first before getting married and it plays a major role in the divorce rate study since the statistics does not involve cohabitation separation, The Telegraph reported.

In a report by the DailyMail, the increase in numbers of couple living together could be the reason why many choose not to marry. They also want to avoid the headaches they will have to go through in case the marriage fails.

The amount of money involved in a divorce proceeding could be too much for many people, not to mention the difficult process of splitting up assets.

The news outlet added that most couples have to spend £20,000 for their wedding but study shows that marriage usually lasts for over 11 years, and half of marriages result to divorce. There are 118, 140 divorce cases in England and Wales in 2012 compared to the numbers in 2013 when it dramatically drops to 114, 720. The official record also explained why couples consider cohabitating instead of getting married.

"The latest data from the Office of National Statistics shows that the divorce rate has dropped. There are many possible reasons for this - the lack of availability of family legal aid may mean that people simply aren't getting the support they need to bring their relationship to a formal conclusion," The chairman of Resolution, Jo Edwards, said. "The rise in cohabiting couples, the fastest growing type of household in Britain, may also play a role - cohabitation separation is not included in these statistics."

Read more here.

December 6, 2015 in Cohabitation (live-ins) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Cohabitation Continues to be Fastest Growing Relationship in UK

From Family Law:

Figures released today (5 November 2015) show that the cohabiting couple family continues to be the fastest growing family type in the UK in 2015.

The latest statistical bulletin, Households and Families, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), shows that cohabiting couple families in the UK have reached 3.2 million in 2015. This represents an increase of 29.7% between 2005 and 2015.

There were 3.1 million opposite sex cohabiting couple families and 90,000 same sex cohabiting couple families in the UK in 2015. Together, cohabiting couple families account for 17% of all families in the UK.

For opposite sex cohabiting couple families, there has been a statistically significant increase from 14% of all families in 2005 to 17% in 2015. Same sex cohabiting couple families as a percentage of all families also saw an increase over the same time period (0.3% to 0.5%).

According to Resolution, cohabiting couples currently have little legal protection when they separate. Lawyer Graeme Fraser, Resolution’s spokesman on cohabitation law, explains:

'Under current cohabitation law it’s possible to live with someone for decades and even to have children together and then simply walk away without taking any responsibility for a former partner when the relationship breaks down. This can have a huge impact on women and children, particularly in cases where a mother has given up or reduced her work to raise a family.'

Read more here.

November 21, 2015 in Cohabitation (live-ins) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 31, 2015

New Study Examines Sexual Satisfaction in Marriage v. Cohabitation

From The Daily Nebraskan:

Being sexually satisfied can be a priority for many adults. In fact, the decision of whether to cohabitate or marry may be a stressor if sex becomes less satisfying for a couple, depending on which they choose.

Professor Larry Gibbs, a postdoctoral research associate in the sociology department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, became interested in the topic of sexual satisfaction among heterosexual couples who are married versus those who simply cohabitate. He said this emanated from a broader discussion on relationship quality and stability.

“My team and I examined the association between sexual satisfaction and pregnancy intentions among married and cohabiting women,” Gibbs said. “Our findings were supported by prior research that marriage provides a protective sexual health effect.”

Gibbs teamed with UNL faculty, graduate students and colleagues from Oklahoma State University and Alfred University on research projects focusing on sexuality, health and family.

In a paper presented at the Population Association of America in 2015, along with colleagues from UNL, OSU and AU, Gibbs examined the association between sexual satisfaction and pregnancy intentions among married and cohabiting women.

Read more here.

October 31, 2015 in Cohabitation (live-ins) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 4, 2015

How Cohabitation Shapes Young African Americans' Marriage Attitudes

From Family Studies:

A study just out suggests that cohabitation may serve to “reposition” African-American young adults toward more positive attitudes about marriage. Ashley Barr, Ronald Simons, and Leslie Gordon Simons examined changes over time in marital attitudes in a sample of African American youth who were followed from fifth grade to when they were in their early to mid-twenties. While their methods did not allow for assessing actual transitions into marriage and marital outcomes, the authors were able to track relationships, relationship quality, transitions into cohabitation, and attitudes about marriage. Their working assumption was that cohabitation changes people regarding marriage in a number of ways, and that some of those changes might be positive. Indeed, they found that early cohabiting experiences generally led to more positive attitudes about marriage among these young African Americans.

This study is well-conceived and written, and has very strong methods. Of course, a lot of what’s important for understanding the conclusions lies in the details, so let’s dig deeper.

As Barr and colleagues note, various scholars have argued that cohabitation has become an alternative to marriage for many, perhaps especially so among African Americans. But what if, they wondered, it also changed attitudes about marriage in a positive direction for young African Americans? They worked from two theories about how cohabitation may impact marrying behavior. First, they drew on the work of Sandra McGinnis showing that cohabitation reduces both the perceived costs and benefits of marrying, but in a way that ultimately made marriage more likely. Second, they drew on the theory our team at the University of Denver has put forth: that cohabiting increases the costs of breaking up (compared to dating), making it more likely that some people marry a particular person out of “inertia,” even if relationship quality is not so great. Either theory suggests that cohabitation “repositions” people with regard to marriage. I believe this is true, yet very complicated.

Read more here.

October 4, 2015 in Cohabitation (live-ins) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Importance of Cohabitation Agreements

From The National Law Review:

In today’s society, many couples choose to live together rather than get married. This growing trend has become more common in recent years than ever before. There are a variety of possible reasons why couples choose to live together rather than get married. One factor that is likely considered is the complex legal proceedings that will occur if the couple was to get divorced. Couples that cohabitate would rather make it simple and just be able to move out rather than go through a formal divorce.

However, while cohabitating couples may think they are simplifying their lives, legally, it is important to note that they are given none of the legal protections of married couples. This is especially true in New Jersey, as common law marriages are not recognized, so cohabitating couples are actually doing themselves a disservice by not seeking out the legal protection offered in marriage. Some of the rights that unmarried but cohabitating couples lose out on include the protections provided by divorce laws, the right to make medical decisions for their partner, inheritance laws, survivor’s benefits as well as many others.

Cohabitating couples who decide to part often encounter issues and conflicts regarding the title and division of property purchased together, joint bank accounts they may have established, loans taken out together, gifts given between the parties and child custody and child support payments for children that were born of the relationship.

There is a simple solution that cohabitating couples can pursue to create legal rights for themselves: a cohabitation agreement. Similar to prenuptial agreements made prior to the marriage and settlement agreements reached during a divorce, a cohabitation agreement is a written legal document reached between a couple who have chosen to live together but are not legally married.

Read more here.

September 19, 2015 in Cohabitation (live-ins) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

How Cohabitation Affects Alimony Payments

From The National Law Review:

At the conclusion of many divorce proceedings, alimony is calculated by the court to be paid from the supporting spouse to the dependent spouse. The amount of alimony to be paid is calculated based on a variety of factors, including, among others, the length of the marriage and the martial lifestyle of the couples while married. Once calculated, alimony can typically only be modified by showing a “change in circumstances” that would warrant either the increase or decrease in alimony payments to be made. An occurrence that can be considered a “change in circumstance” is when the alimony recipient then cohabitates with another following the divorce while still receiving alimony payments.

Cohabitation situations can be frustrating to the alimony obligor (the spouse making the payments) because the alimony recipient cohabitating with another can mean two things: (1) the recipient may be using the payments to support their new partner, or (2) the recipient may be receiving financial support from their new partner in addition to the alimony received from their former spouse, essentially receiving monies from two different sources and concealing changes in their finances.

Read more here.

July 29, 2015 in Cohabitation (live-ins), Maintenance (alimony) | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

New Cohabitation Law in British Columbia

From CTV News:

Cohabitating couples in British Columbia should start thinking about splitting debt and property and potentially paying out spousal support as the province rolls out new family laws.

The updated legislation, which takes effect Monday, erases the line between marriage and common law partnerships in B.C.

Read more here.

April 11, 2013 in Cohabitation (live-ins) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)