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rogerloranbailey

Readings and Ramblings

This is Readings and Ramblings. It is readings because this is a site for blogging about books and I intend to do that. It is ramblings because I might want to write about something else now and then.

Unmarried to Each Other: The Essential Guide to Living Together as an Unmarried Couple - Dorian Solot, Marshall Miller

A good deal of this book concentrates on how to handle other peoples attitudes to your cohabitation while it seems to me that the best way to handle it is to just bear in mind that it is none of their business. If someone else disapproves then that is their problem. Other parts of the book delve into things that seem irrelevant to an unmarried relationship such as how to compromise and get along. I don't know why this is in a book on domestic partnership when it could all apply just as equally to married couples.
The most useful parts, though, concern legal ramifications and I am not so sure that it is all that useful to all unmarried couples. The main advantage to domestic partnership over marriage that I have always seen is that it is just a lot less hassle to live together without marriage. By that I mean that if the relationship doesn't work out it is a lot easier to get out of it than it is to get out of a marriage. That is, one or the other of the couple just moves out and there is no need to worry about making one's way through a divorce. This book, however, advises taking on a lot of legal entanglements like wills, power of attorney and so forth and so forth to make the relationship as much like a marriage as possible without getting that one particular legal document, a marriage license. It seems to me that if you are going to go to all that hassle you may as well get married and take care of all the legal documentation in one fell swoop. Then, again, there is the getting out of it if it does not work out. A divorce can be a real hassle in itself even if an amicable divorce is gotten, but it is a lot more of a hassle if the divorce is not amicable. I am not sure that a divorce is any more trouble than having to undo all those legal papers and agreements one by one that this book advises.
A number of reasons that a couple might want to maintain a domestic partnership over a marriage are offered here, some rather spurious and some more practical and serious, but I can't help thinking that the authors kind of miss some of the most important reasons. I will give it three stars because the legal advice is bound to be useful to some people who are interested in the matters that legal advice covers. It stands to be outdated pretty quickly, though, because laws are always changing and the mere fact that gay marriage is becoming legal in state after state while this book assumes that it is not legal anywhere is an example of how it is already becoming outdated. However, as far as I can tell, the legal advice is accurate as of the time of publication at least.