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CONTRACT ASPECTS OF MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE PROJECT Marriage: legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife. Cohabitation: a man and woman who live together outside of marriage. Interracial marriage: marriage involving spouses who belong to different socially-defined races or racialized ethnicities. Common-Law marriage : marital relationship legalized by the couple holding themselves out as husband and wife and sharing home and property for an extended period. Civil Union: a legal relationship between two people that provides legal protections to the couple only at the state level; but not recognized as a marriage. (e.g. a legally recognized union of a same-sex couple, with rights similar to those of marriage). I Marriage Laws 1. Marriage is regulated and controlled by individual states who each have fairly different rules regarding it. 2. Although there is not a specific amendment about marriage, the 14th Amendment addresses aspects of citizenship and the rights of citizens. The Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution which would define marriage in the United States as a union of one man and one woman, but it has not gone through yet. 3. Loving v. Virginia in 1967 invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage. 4. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is a law that, among other things, prohibited married same-sex couples from collecting federal benefits. It was overruled on June 26, 2015 by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. II Marriage 1. Emotional reasons are the most obvious reason for people to get married (companionship, romance, and love); although some do it for sole financial stability. 2. Benefits of marriage include marital tax deduction, filing taxes jointly, social security benefits, prenuptial agreement benefits, IRA benefits, legal decision-making benefits, inheritance benefits, health insurance benefits, paternity child benefits, leave benefits, longer life, less chance of developing depression, and increased serotonin levels. 3. You promise to treat your spouse with respect, your prospective spouse can’t lie to you about finances , a criminal past, or their current marriage to another spouse to induce you into marrying them (a marriage based on one spouse’s fraud can be annulled under certain such circumstances), duty to keep confidential communications private, etc. Loss of consortium is a term used in the law of torts that refers to the deprivation of the benefits of a family relationship due to injuries caused by a tortfeasor. Loss of consortium arising from personal injuries was recognized under the English common law.
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