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Part time misanthrope & full time curmudgeon
12:08 PM on 09/29/2011
Seems to me one legally binding contract is as good as another. If you don't like the state's contract get a lawyer to write up one you can live with.
Ed Baker
All Hail Big Mother
01:15 PM on 09/29/2011
Next of kin status cannot be put into a private contract.
Part time misanthrope & full time curmudgeon
02:55 PM on 10/03/2011
Medical power of attorney & living wills can be.
12:03 PM on 09/29/2011
These days woman can also be the higher income earner. I have worked my whole life at being financially self supportive, and put off kids and marriage because I wanted to attain that goal. The more I look at the financial obligations and legal ramifications of marriage, the less desire I have for it. I am not looking for a man to take care of me, I can do that on my own, and I made very sure I can. But I do want love and possibly a family one day. What a conundrum...
02:25 PM on 09/29/2011
My ex-wife was the higher wage earner and held it against me every day of our 10 year marriage. She equated money with respect, so since I made less, she afforded me none. Now she's married to someone who makes more money, therefore he's worth of her respect/love. Thank Jeebus I got out of THAT nightmare. Whew. What a country... In Dollars we Trust.
03:26 PM on 09/30/2011
I abhor lack of respect, especially when they interact this way with the people they say they love. I still have hope for love, but I don't know if marriage is what I need in order to have a life with someone...
07:12 PM on 09/29/2011
Don't do it! At least not in the State of California without a pre-nup!
11:46 AM on 09/29/2011
Excellent article. Can the State be sued for failure to disclose?
07:09 PM on 09/29/2011
I would like to know that, also! Can all of us that are being hosed by the current laws file a class action suit to get the idiots in Sacramento to change the laws?
Dying since 1962
11:45 AM on 09/29/2011
Another reason to never get married. It sucks. It really does. Don't do it. Not so much the marriage part, but the eventual probability of splitting up.
11:29 AM on 09/29/2011
You might also add:

3a. This court does not necessarily entitle you to the basic right of due process (see Elkins v. Superior Court (2007) 41 Cal.4th 1337, 1368 [163 P.3d 160]).

3b. Due to state budget cuts it may take many months to over a year to hear your case in California Family Court.

3c. The experts appointed by the Family Court to hear issues concerning custody, accounting, etc. are not required to maintain any specific background requirements or professional standards beyond what they represent to the Court.
11:14 AM on 09/29/2011
This was lobbied for by men's groups and shot down by the governor many decades ago. Hmmm, I wonder why, given that child support revenues flow to the state before given to the recipient, and alimony puts welfare on the shoulders of a private individual instead of the government.

Think of marriage as an option for an LBO - one legally privileged party (the woman) can strip you of assets and saddle you with debt in the process before handing you off to another "investor".

Glad you got educated, Mr. Quigley. Stay single, stay solvent.
11:28 AM on 09/29/2011
Brilliant. Well said.
12:34 AM on 09/30/2011
Such sexist bullish!t.
08:15 AM on 09/30/2011
I agree- it's incredibly sexist that the government just assumes that women are helpless and need to be "kept" and that they should be financially dependent on a man for the rest of their lives after divorce.
Life is better in Boardshorts.
11:11 AM on 09/29/2011
Looks good. If you're going to jump into the ocean it's always a good idea to know the water temperature before hand.
10:49 AM on 09/29/2011
Kind of an odd piece in that it focuses almost entirely on arrangements that can be handled contractually between any two people, but ignores they key issues that makes same-gender marriage a civil-rights issue: the rights, benefits, and protections granted by government to couples based on marital status. Rights like ensuring that spouses in same-gender marriages will be able to visit loved ones in the hospital. Benefits like social-security survivor benefits. Protections like anti-discrimination laws that require employers who provide health benefits to spouses of employees to do so for both straight and same-gender couples. These are the real issues at stake with same-gender marriage, and they're mentioned not at all in this piece.
01:52 PM on 09/29/2011
No, not at all. Most marriages are not same sex, but same sex couples will face the same unfair alimony laws once they hitch up. I had no idea I could be enslaved for the rest of my days. Productive gay people need to be aware of the "maintenence laws" as they may be supporting a gold brick, for a long time.
12:20 PM on 10/01/2011
OldDaveNJ, thanks for your comment. And in fact, I was inspired to write this article because a lot of my gay friends were thinking about getting married. And I started to realize that they were not aware of the contractual nature of marriage in California.