Cracks in Institution of Marriage

Are Courts Willing to End the Institution of Marriage?

Family Courts
Cracks in Institution of Marriage

Marriage leads to family. Family leads to stability. A society with stable, intact families created in marriage is more likely to standup to the abuses governments may heap on individuals.  Individuals atomized and let adrift on their own with no cohesive and stable family are far easier to manipulate and strip of their rights than societies who stick together. Anyone with common sense will know that it is better to live in a society with a mom, dad and siblings all intact in one family than one where children are raised by single moms who never marry but have kids from different fathers who don’t even live at home with either the mom or the children. It is no secret that the powers-that-be behind the government bureaucrats who legislate against marriage have eroded the significance of marriage and its true meaning and purpose by encouraging the adulation of the single-mom who works and leaves daycare and school to raise the children for most of their lives. They continue this war on marriage and will continue to use more sophisticated tricks to convince the general population that the legal benefits of marriage can be provided for or protected by the government without the necessity of real marriage even existing. Thus, who needs marriage when shacking up can still get you the same benefits as someone who is married?

The article cited below is just another example in thousands of attacks on the institution of marriage itself. The question is: should courts be willing to contribute to the end of the institution of marriage?

Marriage is on the Decline and Cohabitation is on the Rise: At What Point, If Ever, Should Unmarried Partners Acquire Marital Rights?

Lawrence W. Waggoner
University of Michigan Law School

April 12, 2016

Family Law Quarterly, Vol. 50, 2016
U of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 502
U of Michigan Law & Econ Research Paper No. 16-007

This Article draws attention to the cultural shift in the formation of families that has been and is taking place in this country: Marriage is on the decline and cohabitation is on the rise.

Part I documents this cultural shift by using recent government data to trace the decline of marriage and the rise of cohabitation. Between 2000 and 2010, the population grew by 9.71%, but the husband and wife households only grew by 3.7%, while the unmarried couple households grew by 41.4%. Because of the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, marriage is now universally available to same-sex couples. Part I considers the impact of same-sex marriage on the marriage rate. Part I then describes the benefits and obligations of marriage and closes by noting the demographic characteristics of cohabiting couples. The Article points out that cohabitation is a temporary or short-term state in most cases: The parties either break up or get married fairly quickly. Nevertheless, a small percentage of cohabiting couples continue to cohabit for much longer or for life. Because more are added every year, these cohabitations accumulate in the population.

Part II argues the case for treating cohabiting couples whose relationship shows that they are (or were) deeply committed to one another as married in fact. The Article finds that a consensus has quietly emerged in legislation to this effect that has been enacted in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and Scotland, and introduced in the United Kingdom. These countries – plus the United States – are known collectively as the Anglosphere. The United States, however, standing alone in the Anglosphere, has yet to move on marital rights. For convenience, this Article refers to the statutes that have been enacted or introduced in six of seven of these countries as the “Anglosphere marital-rights legislation.” To one degree or another, legislation has also been enacted in other developed countries, especially on the European Continent, but this Article focuses, for comparison, on the Anglosphere marital rights legislation, because the Anglosphere statutes, being in English, are more accessible to readers of this Journal. In the United States, the American Law Institute (ALI) has proposed granting longer-term cohabitants rights similar to married couples upon dissolution of the relationship. Drawing on the Anglosphere marital-rights legislation, the ALI proposal, and other resources, the Article presents for discussion a draft De Facto Marriage Act. The Draft Act, however, does not, and probably should not, provide a mechanism for automatically declaring a couple as married in fact. Couples who deliberately decline to marry should not have their decision overridden. Consequently, the Draft Act is not set up to be self-executing. A court judgment is required.

The Article concludes by pointing out that a de facto marriage judgment would qualify a couple for all federal as well as state benefits and obligations of marriage.