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01 October 2008 @ 02:22 pm
marriage  
It's it weird that marriage is this huge issue, but you can't easily look up if you're married or not? sure you can apply to the state for a copy of your document but you can't easily look up someone else. And beyond that, you can't easily look up what legal and social ramifications it has. Sure you kind of know from TV that you're allowed hospital access and in a lot of states there are laws about divorce and support, but what does it actually get you? Why do we know more about our cell phone contracts than we do about our marriage contract? It's one of those things that people just take for granted, so no one's really thought about it. Why don't get handed a handbook listing how this will change your life leagally? You get handed a basket with underarm deoderant samples and laundry detergant, but not a handbook?

Sure it means different things to different people. But that just means our clergy should have a handbook too, as well as the state.

It's really kind of weird how little we know about something that for many people is one of the most life changing moments of their life.
 
 
 
katybeth on October 1st, 2008 07:01 pm (UTC)
I can fairly easily search marriage records for people in King County, Washington. But you're right; even that doesn't tell me if those people are currently married (unless I also search for divorce records, and maybe they got divorced in a different state). And yes, hidden ramifications.
desireearmfeldtdesireearmfeldt on October 1st, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC)
I was very wierded out when I discovered (upon getting married), that you don't get a copy of your marriage license/contract/legal document the way you get a copy of your birth certificate. *Someone* has a document saying I'm married, but I don't.
desireearmfeldtdesireearmfeldt on October 1st, 2008 07:11 pm (UTC)
(Detergent and deoderant? I sure didn't get any goodie basket with my legal formalities... unless perhaps arcanology embezzled it...)
JBjbsegal on October 1st, 2008 07:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah, as a JP, I'd love a handy hand-out of “What Your New Marriage Gets You”.
The Water Seeker: kissboyplymouth on October 1st, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)
Srsly. That's one of the big reasons I'm extremely hesitant to get legally married. I don't sign contracts without being able to read the fine print. A lot of the time I admittedly DO skim... but when I'm not allowed to even LOOK I run away fast.
sauergeeksauergeek on October 2nd, 2008 04:09 am (UTC)
The difficulty is that the law is not easily sorted by effect. You'd have to read through statute books, administrative agency rules, court rules, common law (and that's a bear to read!), and executive orders at federal, state, and possibly local level -- at a minimum -- to even understand the legal ramifications of marriage. Then there are corporate practices independent of legal requirements. It's difficult to track down everything, as there's been no effort to actually keep track of it as it's passed.

This is not unique to marriage: it happens to everything that gets scattered willy-nilly across society. For example, try finding all the ramifications of driving. Vehicular manslaughter is not anywhere near licensing regulations, and insurance requirements are elsewhere still.
Nathannathanw on October 1st, 2008 08:37 pm (UTC)
The fact that it's a bit that other things (people, laws, whatever) look up instead of a real "contract" certainly makes it harder. But a handbook would be nice.
Jadiajadia on October 1st, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC)
I agree!
Dancing Deer: weddingdancingdeer on October 1st, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC)
Came across this post via JB. The below link might be useful, although it's several years old:
http://www.doaskdotell.com/content/marben.htm


Edited at 2008-10-01 11:17 pm (UTC)
SPIM the Pipelined Reindeerdzm on October 2nd, 2008 01:33 pm (UTC)
I've been struck by how much the wedding itself is supposed to be a Defining Life Changing Moment! except that in practice married couples don't really have very different relationships from unmarried couples (possibly excepting the stress of planning the wedding). Also, there doesn't seem to be much verification if you claim to be married or not on things like your taxes, where it's otherwise a significant financial difference.
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on October 2nd, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC)
It's true. My morgage felt much more life changing.