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Old 07-27-2010, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
5,412 posts, read 3,920,658 times
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Why isn't it treated as a private decision by individuals? Why do states and the federal government recognize marriage and given them benefits for having gotten married?

If you want to get married, more power to you, but why does the state have anything to do with it?

Should the state recognize baptisms, confirmations and bar mitzvahs too? So why with marriage?
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,479 posts, read 56,069,148 times
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The State recognizes marriages because of the property rights involved.
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Tricity
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... and taxes
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Tricity
49,502 posts, read 70,741,371 times
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Tax Benefits
Filing joint income tax returns with the IRS and state taxing authorities.
Creating a "family partnership" under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members.

Estate Planning Benefits
Inheriting a share of your spouse's estate.
Receiving an exemption from both estate taxes and gift taxes for all property you give or leave to your spouse.
Creating life estate trusts that are restricted to married couples, including QTIP trusts, QDOT trusts, and marital deduction trusts.
Obtaining priority if a conservator needs to be appointed for your spouse -- that is, someone to make financial and/or medical decisions on your spouse's behalf.

Government Benefits
Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses.
Receiving veterans' and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans.
Receiving public assistance benefits.

and much more...
Marriage Rights and Benefits - Free Legal Information - Nolo (http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/article-30190.html - broken link)
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Elsewhere
73,173 posts, read 69,002,241 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by betamanlet View Post
Why isn't it treated as a private decision by individuals? Why do states and the federal government recognize marriage and given them benefits for having gotten married?

If you want to get married, more power to you, but why does the state have anything to do with it?

Should the state recognize baptisms, confirmations and bar mitzvahs too? So why with marriage?
Marriage is, at its most basic, a legal contract.

The question is not whether it should be a state matter, but whether it should be a religious matter. Or it could be either or both, but a marriage contract kept separate as a legal matter and a religious marriage ceremony for religious purposes only.
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
5,412 posts, read 3,920,658 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Marriage is, at its most basic, a legal contract.

The question is not whether it should be a state matter, but whether it should be a religious matter. Or it could be either or both, but a marriage contract kept separate as a legal matter and a religious marriage ceremony for religious purposes only.
But it's not treated like any other contract. The breaching party in the marriage can still financially benefit by dissolving the contract. So you could have a woman cheat left and right, divorce, and then get spousal support.

can you think of any other contract where the breacher of the contract financially benefits from the breach as a result of the litigation?

If it's a religious matter, then it shouldn't be enforceable in the court systems.
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Østenfor sol og vestenfor måne
17,933 posts, read 21,651,612 times
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As above, marriage has traditionally been a legal contract. Elements of love and spirituality are later applications.

Spirituality came into the picture in all likelihood because spiritual leaders were also the authority in legal matters in many traditional societies.

Love as an element in marriage probably goes back eons but it is really only a bonus for most people in history.
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
5,412 posts, read 3,920,658 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
As above, marriage has traditionally been a legal contract. Elements of love and spirituality are later applications.

Spirituality came into the picture in all likelihood because spiritual leaders were also the authority in legal matters in many traditional societies.

Love as an element in marriage probably goes back eons but it is really only a bonus for most people in history.
But should the state get involved?

I can understand why the state gets involved in other private matters, like the enforcement of private contracts. It's better for society that people work out their problems in a courtroom than in a duel or something like that... But a contract to supply goods has nothing to do with religion. Marriage pretty much has everything to do with religion. The state shouldn't be involved, at all.
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
30,359 posts, read 17,385,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by betamanlet View Post
Why isn't it treated as a private decision by individuals? Why do states and the federal government recognize marriage and given them benefits for having gotten married?

If you want to get married, more power to you, but why does the state have anything to do with it?

Should the state recognize baptisms, confirmations and bar mitzvahs too? So why with marriage?
Since the people make up our culture and society, and state laws and politics are a direct reflection of the people.

The people decided long ago that any future we have is in the hands of the children produced by our men and women. Its the people, and our society and culture that promote, endorse and encourage that our men and women get married, so the children they produce will have the best environment to be raised in.

Marriage crosses all boundaries, both secular and religious people see the merit, and importance that marriage has in our society.

Without marriage you have single mothers struggling to raise children on their own, and an increase in government social programs to help the single parent to raise the children.
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Elsewhere
73,173 posts, read 69,002,241 times
Reputation: 92120
Quote:
Originally Posted by betamanlet View Post
But it's not treated like any other contract. The breaching party in the marriage can still financially benefit by dissolving the contract. So you could have a woman cheat left and right, divorce, and then get spousal support.

can you think of any other contract where the breacher of the contract financially benefits from the breach as a result of the litigation?

If it's a religious matter, then it shouldn't be enforceable in the court systems.
Most women don't get spousal support upon divorce, at least not permanently, unless their lawyer can persuade a judge that supporting her was part of the contract and that it should survive the divorce.

Likewise, men often can and do cheat and cheat and then leave the wife and children and dodge or limit his obligation to support those children.

As with any contract, it's the interpretation of the contract as well as who has the better lawyer that determines the outcome.

I financially benefitted from my divorce only in that I no longer had to support my husband and his bad habits. He did not benefit financially because in order to survive after the divorce, he was forced to have to get and hold onto a job and support himself. He did not, however, over the next ten years comply with his full child support obligations, and he got away with it because it would have cost me more to force him into court than he would have end up having to provide to his daughter for food and shelter. I did not initially want child support, preferring to support her on my own, but the state requires that a noncustodial parent support their child regardless of what the custodial parents wants or doesn't want--so the courts ARE involved in a marriage even after the marriage has ended. He lost in the end, because his now-grown daughter figured out that Dad was unwilling to provide for her without me having to tell her that, and that will likely always cause a bit of distance in her feelings for him.

In general, women lose financially after divorce more than men. That's a statistic.

But it's still a contract, no matter who wins or loses.
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