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Meretricious Marriage Definition Essay

Marriage Essay

495 Words2 Pages

Marriage

What does marriage mean? By definition, marriage is “the legal union of a man and a woman as husband and wife” (Webster’s Dictionary). Most people claim that they want their marriage to last a lifetime. Because over half of all marriages in the United States end in a divorce, most people lack the understanding of what it takes to stay married. I believe that couples should become more aware of the commitment that they are making when they enter into marriage.

Men and women should get to know one another completely before deciding to get married. Important issues such as religion, finances, career, and whether or not to have children should be discussed so that the couple can learn each other’s views regarding the…show more content…

Why did they not discuss this issue before they got married or did they think the other one would change after saying their wedding vows? Marriage is not about changing someone; instead, it is about loving your partner for his or her beliefs.

Rather than giving up and ending the marriage, many couples could save the marriage by trying to work through the problems that arise. Many people do not realize how much hard work has to be put into a marriage for it to be successful. When planning a wedding, some couples spend a lot of time preparing the vows that will be exchanged during the ceremony, but sadly the partners fail to live by the vows day after day. Scores of married couples drift apart because their hectic lives do not allow them to spend enough quality time together, which is important for a healthy marriage. Communication is also an essential factor in working through problems in a marriage.

Entering into marriage for the wrong reason usually leads to divorce. Sometimes an individual will say that he or she married for money, or he or she may claim to have married for love. Many times, lust is mistaken for love; consequently, when the passion ends so does the marriage. Some people choose to marry wealthy people solely to gain financial security, but eventually they will find that money does not lead to happiness. Others enter into marriage believing that it is a cure-all that will make

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The Line Between Marriage and Cohabitation in Washington State

A meretricious relationship is a term created by the Washington State legislature to define cohabitations that are marital in nature but not on paper. There are several factors that the court will consider when determining whether or not a relationship meets the meretricious definition. These include:

  • The length of the relationship
  • The time the parties have cohabitated continuously
  • The nature of the relationship
  • The extent to which funds and assets have been commingled
  • The intent of the parties in question

If the court finds that a relationship meets the meretricious definition, then the “relationship property” will be evaluated and divided in an equitable distribution. Relationship property can include your primary residence, automobiles, bank accounts and other assets, both real and intangible.

It should also be noted that the Washington Supreme Court held that the meretricious relationship doctrine also applies to same-sex couples. This does not give any relationship the same rights as a legal marriage. It merely provides the court system with a legal way to approach the division of property in the break-up of a non-married relationship meeting the appropriate factors.

If you and your partner are cohabitating, you may want to consider drafting a cohabitation agreement to define joint property and separate property as well as provide a written agreement regarding property distribution in the event that the two of you split up.

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