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Author Topic: Dedications, Professions, Oaths, Oh My!  (Read 14844 times)
Jenett
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« Reply #60: January 07, 2010, 07:05:53 am »

Do marriage laws in the US vary from state to state, or is this difference between common and civil law a federal one?

There is some variation state to state. And more importantly, one of the things that varies state to state has to do with things like access to intensive care units in hospital, ability to make major medical decisions without a lot of time consuming proof, or legal issues relating to inheritance if one partner dies (especially around housing or if the deceased partner's family disapproves of the relationship).

And this is true even if it's a state you don't live in: There's a story about a recent issue in Florida that's heartbreaking: one woman collapsed while on vacation, and her partner (and their adopted children) were barred from visiting her for an extended period of time, even though they had appropriate legal backing (medical power of attorney, etc.) Their home state would have reliably provided better access, probably, but Florida's laws are different. There's a story in the New York Times here (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/19/health/19well.html) that talks about it, and note that the 5th paragraph points out that these issues affect anyone who isn't legally married. (You may need to register for the New York Times to read the story: I'm not sure.)
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« Reply #61: January 07, 2010, 07:22:04 am »

Do marriage laws in the US vary from state to state, or is this difference between common and civil law a federal one?

Not only do they vary from state to state, but in a lot of places, common-law relationships are disappearing as a legal status.

I know, because I was looking into it here with my husband just to see if we were already legally "married" before we got around to the official thing.  And it HAD existed, but they got rid of it.

So ......
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« Reply #62: January 07, 2010, 10:24:09 am »

Not only do they vary from state to state, but in a lot of places, common-law relationships are disappearing as a legal status.

I know, because I was looking into it here with my husband just to see if we were already legally "married" before we got around to the official thing.  And it HAD existed, but they got rid of it.

So ......

I can see that making a big difference in the decisions you make.  I am my husband's legal representative in medical matters - that information is one of the things that comes up when they scan our health cards.  My sister had the same rights and responsibilities regarding her husband as my father did for my mother.  I suppose it is one of the things to look into if we ever travel outside the country, given the story Jennet posted.

I don't think common law is in any danger of disappearing here.  Most of the civil weddings I've been to in the last many years have been 'confirmation' weddings, held on the couple's common law anniversary (to avoid confusion) and often having the couples' children as part of the wedding party.  I've been to a few religious confirmation weddings as well.  Different people find different levels of ceremony satisfying, but the legal impact pretty much is the same. 

Religious oaths are only binding in  the religious community, which is currently causing a b-i-l of mine some problems, since his non-Mennonite ex-wife has moved on  and he is not allowed to by his religion and community - he simply has an absent wife the way they see it.  If he breaks his oath just because she did he will face a whole lot of disapproval and censure.  (That's why, while I might consider a civil contract if I found a need, I would not marry my Mennonite husband in a religious ceremony.  We've been together for 15 years and don't foresee any changes, but just having that restriction could cause problems for me, silly as that might sound).

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« Reply #63: January 07, 2010, 10:26:16 am »

There is some variation state to state. And more importantly, one of the things that varies state to state has to do with things like access to intensive care units in hospital, ability to make major medical decisions without a lot of time consuming proof, or legal issues relating to inheritance if one partner dies (especially around housing or if the deceased partner's family disapproves of the relationship).

And this is true even if it's a state you don't live in: There's a story about a recent issue in Florida that's heartbreaking: one woman collapsed while on vacation, and her partner (and their adopted children) were barred from visiting her for an extended period of time, even though they had appropriate legal backing (medical power of attorney, etc.) Their home state would have reliably provided better access, probably, but Florida's laws are different. There's a story in the New York Times here (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/19/health/19well.html) that talks about it, and note that the 5th paragraph points out that these issues affect anyone who isn't legally married. (You may need to register for the New York Times to read the story: I'm not sure.)

Ah, well, there is a good enough reason to almost drop the common law plan. We do enjoy travel, so that would be awful to go through something like that. Seriously, some people and plaves are just ridiculous. I mean, even non-relatives are usually allowed to visit a friend where I live (except for births and maybe infectious diseases).
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« Reply #64: January 07, 2010, 01:19:52 pm »

Ah, well, there is a good enough reason to almost drop the common law plan. We do enjoy travel, so that would be awful to go through something like that. Seriously, some people and plaves are just ridiculous. I mean, even non-relatives are usually allowed to visit a friend where I live (except for births and maybe infectious diseases).

icu's are different than most hospital wards, just a note.  And that hospital was definitely in the wrong.  The sister should not have been told a thing without the permission of the POA.
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« Reply #65: January 13, 2010, 03:24:45 pm »

  • More specifically, I'm somewhat interested in if anyone has dedicated to a specific path or religion, rather than a specific god/dess as appears more common on TC. (I'm thinking more like an Asatru profession or Christian confirmation.) How did you come to that decision? If you like, feel free to share what you did or what that entailed.

I have a ritual in my first Book of Shadows titled "Acknowledgement and Beginning". This was basically acknowledging what had come before me coming back to magic, and beginning seeking my path. In a way, it was a self-dedication to my seeking, and I'm really proud of myself that I acknowledged what came before, and didn't try to cut it off.

A year after I admitted to myself that I was pagan, I did a self-dedication/rededication to my evolving path. I'm thinking of doing something similar this year on the Summer Solstice, which will mark 5 years since I became pagan.

A lot of what's really important to me I describe as a "choice made day by day", and I don't want to bind my will with a formal oath in these contexts. My gods don't expect dedications from me, although They are very important to me. Part of this probably is related to the fact that I don't have a single patron, but a number of deities I am devoted too.
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« Reply #66: January 13, 2010, 06:23:07 pm »

I have a ritual in my first Book of Shadows titled "Acknowledgement and Beginning". This was basically acknowledging what had come before me coming back to magic, and beginning seeking my path. In a way, it was a self-dedication to my seeking, and I'm really proud of myself that I acknowledged what came before, and didn't try to cut it off.
I like this attitude... recognizing everything that came before to land you where you're at now. Smiley Very cool, and I think a great way to ground an oath, especially one to a path rather than a specific deity. It seems appropriately wyrd-conscious.
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