By Anne Barlow, Simon Duncan, Grace James, Alison Parks
Single heterosexual cohabitation is speedily expanding in Britain and over 1 / 4 of youngsters at the moment are born to single cohabiting mom and dad. this isn't simply a massive swap within the manner humans reside in glossy Britain; it's also a political and theoretical marker. a few commentators see cohabitation as proof of egocentric individualism and the breakdown of the kinfolk, whereas others see it as only a much less institutionalized means during which humans exhibit dedication and construct their households. Politically, 'stable' households are noticeable as crucial—but does balance easily suggest marriage? at this time the legislations in Britain keeps vital differences within the means it treats cohabiting and married households and this may have deleterious results at the welfare of kids and companions on cohabitation breakdown or the demise of a associate. should still the legislation be replaced to mirror this altering social truth? Or may still it—can it—be used to direct those alterations? utilizing findings which mix nationally consultant facts with in-depth qualitative paintings, the authors research public attitudes approximately cohabitation and marriage, offer an research of who cohabits and who marries, and examine the level and nature of the 'common legislations marriage delusion' (the fake trust that cohabitants have comparable criminal rights to married couples). They then discover why humans cohabit instead of marry, what the character in their dedication is to each other and chart public attitudes to felony switch. within the gentle of this proof, Cohabitation, Marriage and the legislation then evaluates varied suggestions for criminal reform.
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Additional info for Cohabitation, Marriage and the Law: Social Change and Legal Reform in the 21st Century
For example, Amanda, cohabitant of seven years who thought that cohabiting couples acquire the same rights after six months together, explains one way in which the term ‘common-law husband’ was introduced to her: Yeah. Because when ... let me think ... umm. When I first left me full-time job I went on that Jobseekers allowance, and (partner) was actually here, and they put him down as my common-law husband, do you know what I mean? … But say like you go for an interview, or whatever, you go in hospital and they ask you about your partner, or your relationship, blah, blah, blah, it’s common-law husband, they put that down.
Thus Caroline, who overall believed in the existence of common law marriage, was a ‘non-believer’ in relation to this issue. Interestingly, her belief was based on her own experience—she knew that the father did not have the right to consent to medical treatment because she had actually been in that situation—although this did not mean she thought it was right: … the nurse was asking us questions and she … said to him ‘you can leave because it doesn’t concern you, the decision isn’t yours’. I was like, oh my god and his face just dropped as if to say ‘I’ve got no rights—no decision of his well-being where medical treatment is concerned’—it was all down to me and I think it’s so wrong.
She also mainly obtained her information from talking to friends. As she put it: No, it’s just at times when I’ve gone through bad patches I’ve sat and spoken to my friends and things like that—you get chatting and they say ‘Well, you’ve got the rights to do this’… I suppose I’ve learnt a lot like that. Jessica, a cohabitant for 11 years with two daughters at the time of interview, knew that married and unmarried couples are treated differently for inheritance purposes but thought that they are otherwise treated the same, at least after six months of cohabiting.
Cohabitation, Marriage and the Law: Social Change and Legal Reform in the 21st Century by Anne Barlow, Simon Duncan, Grace James, Alison Parks