Wedding presents

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Vorpal
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Re: Wedding presents

Postby Vorpal » 15 May 2019, 7:23am

Tangled Metal wrote:If you don't believe that's dangerous then I give you my example of when we took our son to hospital A&E. Treage and the information we had to give the sister included parental responsibility. When we asked what she meant we got it explained from a medical / law pov. She asked if I was present at the registration of birth. It was quiet at work and I was able to leave work to be there. If busy I wouldn't have been there. That would theoretically mean I could not make parental decisions regarding my sons treatment if his mother (my partner who's not married to me) was my present.

That's not actually true. The mother and father can sign separately. If you cannot attend at a registry office at all, for example due to overseas service, you can have your signature on the birth certificate notorised. The main thing is that you have to be legally registered as the father to have parental rights.

If a mother registers a child without the father present, she can deny him parental rights. Of course parental rights can be granted by the courts. But the UK legal system is biased against fathers, especially as single parents.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

thirdcrank
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Re: Wedding presents

Postby thirdcrank » 15 May 2019, 9:42am

Times change. We were married in 1967 and as we have no religious faith we opted for the register office. My father-in-law elect stayed away from the ceremony because he believed it could not be a real wedding. Slow on the uptake, I didn't appreciate that there was an assumption that register office = rush job. My wife-to-be wore a beautiful mini dress in a smock design: she only explained quite recently that she wanted to fuel the rumours of a pregnancy. We didn't start a family till 1973 when we could afford it. When we were married we didn't have two ha'pennies to rub together. Two separate photographers latched onto us at the register office: one took snaps there and the other came to the reception in the in-laws' magnificent garden. Father-in-law was a gardener/handyman for a wealthy family and he did so beautiful flower arrangements. My mother-in-law had been a sergeant/cook at the Guards' Depot during the war and she did dinner parties etc for well-off people in that area, so she did the grub for about forty guests.

Our photo albums had "PROOF" stamped in purple all over them, although we later inherited some unmarked ones from our mothers. Within the last few years we were staying at a rather grand hotel which also did weddings. One morning after breakfast, there was a big wedding group and as we were passing the "bride" I wished her luck etc. She prosaically explained that this was a re-run: the real wedding had taken place there a few months earlier and the pics had not been to her satisfaction so she had hired the place again with a different photographer for another bash. As I said, times change.

As my wife says - particularly at anniversary time - "xx years, you don't get that long for murdering somebody." :lol:

Tangled Metal
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Re: Wedding presents

Postby Tangled Metal » 15 May 2019, 10:00am

Vorpal wrote:
Tangled Metal wrote:If you don't believe that's dangerous then I give you my example of when we took our son to hospital A&E. Treage and the information we had to give the sister included parental responsibility. When we asked what she meant we got it explained from a medical / law pov. She asked if I was present at the registration of birth. It was quiet at work and I was able to leave work to be there. If busy I wouldn't have been there. That would theoretically mean I could not make parental decisions regarding my sons treatment if his mother (my partner who's not married to me) was my present.

That's not actually true. The mother and father can sign separately. If you cannot attend at a registry office at all, for example due to overseas service, you can have your signature on the birth certificate notorised. The main thing is that you have to be legally registered as the father to have parental rights.

If a mother registers a child without the father present, she can deny him parental rights. Of course parental rights can be granted by the courts. But the UK legal system is biased against fathers, especially as single parents.

The registrar did tell us that it's easier to be present at registration of birth because it would need court decision to change it afterwards. She also said I was needed to sign it. Nothing was said about overseas service / employment and the solutions for that. It's partly true when applied to situations like mine where the father is working in the UK but unable to make the appointment. The court action needed is certainly a big imposition to go through, worth it for the end result. However I'm not actually sure it changes the birth certificate. AFAIK it creates another legal paperwork asserting the man as the father with parental rights and responsibilities. The question is affordability of such an action and whether that needs looking at too. Also, a couple, even unmarried couple, you'd expect are united such that the mother would put the father down on the forms if the father isn't there. However that too doesn't give parental responsibilities. The father has to be present to sign the forms. Overseas notarised forms are the equivalent to the father being present.

At the end of the day it's what the hospital staff know as the legal situation. That experienced treage sister understood it in a way such that I only had parental bresponsibilities because of my workload allowing me to be there. I had no idea if the implications of not being there. I think most people would assume of your name is down as the father on the birth certificate you have the rights and responsibilities unless court decision changes that. Marriage has a bit more protection for fathers in this.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Wedding presents

Postby Tangled Metal » 15 May 2019, 10:04am

BTW I must add that things are good for us without being married. We are a solid unit that works. IMHO that's more important than marriage certificate.

I just wish there was less official recognition of marriage or equal recognition of units that are working to a similar effect of stability.

thirdcrank
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Re: Wedding presents

Postby thirdcrank » 15 May 2019, 10:56am

It's always important to be aware of the legalities, not least because sorting things out later rather than sooner can be pricey or even impossible.

A couple of years ago my wife went to some local events arranged by Opera North to help older people to get out and socialise. She got to know a lady in her eighties who was living in sheltered accommodation. The lady in question had been in a long-term relationship - 30+ years - with a divorcee but they had never married. He died first and his grown-up children reclaimed his house, leaving her homeless. "They can't do that" people cry, but they can and did because the lady in question couldn't face the hassle of fighting, especially as she was recently bereaved.

Lawyers don't come cheap, but they are generally cheaper if you plan by doing things like making a will and as I've posted before, consider giving Lasting Powers of Attorney. Even D-I-Y LPAs come in at £300+ for a couple but that's immeasurably cheaper than applying to the Court of Protection to become a Deputy.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Wedding presents

Postby Tangled Metal » 15 May 2019, 11:14am

But the issue is "they can". With a marriage that becomes "they can't". That in itself is not right IMHO. The real truth of that case is no legal recognition of their partnership their 30+ years of their life.

In my version of an ideal world they'd have the same legal status as a married couple. Or if that's not possible then a married couple have the same legal status as that couple for 30+ years, basically none. There really should not be a special case for a couple that has the ceremony over those who in all other measures are in the same relationship position but don't go for the ceremony.

What you're saying is to pretect the surviving partner they should go through various extra legal hoops. First cost can be prohibitive, second people are not aware of the legal situation and thirdly some might find them difficult to accept as a solution.

Now got equality let's set the system up so married couples have to jump through the same hoops. Let's make it equally difficult for all types of couples to get the benefits that married couples get with a ceremony. Would as many people decide to formally get married or will they just have a big party instead?

thirdcrank
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Re: Wedding presents

Postby thirdcrank » 15 May 2019, 11:34am

All I'm trying to do is to alert people. I'm not taking any moral stance over marriage or anything else. I think the underlying issue is that the law tends to assume that if people don't make specific provision and in the kosher legal manner, then they don't want that provision to apply, even if it seems obvious that it should. eg, Unless it's changed, die intestate ie without leaving a will, and the law assumes you intended your fortune to be divvied up according to a formula devised in Queen Victoria's day.

Me only messenger.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Wedding presents

Postby Tangled Metal » 15 May 2019, 1:25pm

I'm not shooting the messenger just disagree with the system. The existing system makes for a relatively easy system through the marriage ceremony but there's no easy system for those who don't agree with the marriage ceremony and it's origins / traditions.

Tbh you're highlighting my point that the system is skewed to direct people towards a state supported process and one that's unfair. A couple of signatures in a side room while the organ is playing compared to solicitor visits, bills and court proceedings. Really not fair.

But it's the politicians way of signaling that they're thinking of the family unit by not changing the system. Then they're probably out cheating on their partner on the side. John major's back to basics (family units, etc) while he's having an affair with Edwin's currie mp for example. Hypocrisy! Where's the family unit there? Traditional values for you right there!

thirdcrank
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Re: Wedding presents

Postby thirdcrank » 15 May 2019, 5:21pm

Just to show I'm keeping a completely open mind, what exactly are you proposing? If I've missed it above, please feel free to link back to it with my apologies for having missed it.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Wedding presents

Postby Tangled Metal » 15 May 2019, 9:14pm

TBH my preference is to decouple the bebefits from ceremony. Then give the benefits through a simple self declaration probably at the same place you register births and deaths. It should be as simple as registering a birth. The people forming the partnership go to a pre-arranged appointment, just them without a ceremony. They fill out the forms and sign it. That gets filtered through the officialdom then the benefits and perks come from that. Exact mechanism would need brighter minds than me to sort out.

The ceremony (church or other place) should have no linkage with officialdom or the perks/rights currently given to married couples. Marriage is a statement of commitment given to a couple's relatives and community (church or civil comunity or social community / friends).

I think I'm basically saying that the current benefits linked to married status should be available in a simple way to people living together in a stable unit. This should happen in a simple, administrative process. It shouldn't need mumbo jumbo religion or ceremony. It shouldn't involve archaic things like giving the bride away or pledges or sharing of jewellery. Those aspects should be left to only those who want it and separate from any state benefit or rights. It should not even be recorded or accepted by the state as having any significance.

When there was the debate over same sex marriage laws iirc some religions campaigned against it on the grounds that marriage was a religious matter. Well let's go with that and take any rights away from that matter.

thirdcrank
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Re: Wedding presents

Postby thirdcrank » 15 May 2019, 9:46pm

Let's separate the religious ceremony bit. It's possible to have a civil ceremony now. In some countries (I've no idea how many) the official wedding ceremony is quite separate from any religious ceremony the couple may choose to have in addition as opposed to an alternative.

I presume when you say the couple should keep an appointment, you mean with an official, rather than just what we used to call a "date" involving only them, it doesn't sound much different to a register office wedding. I don't see how a civil ceremony could be simplified much further except by banning guests. I suppose the witnesses could be scrapped and replaced by a photographic record.

I'm not sure how much you know about "the perks/rights currently given to married couples" because a lot of the benefit rules look at people in a household. That takes me to my other point which is that clear information should be available to help people to make the choice, rather than just assuming that a "common law" relationship has the same status.

I'm a bit surprised that nobody has chimed in to say that the whole concept of marriage/partnership is archaic and should be scrapped.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Wedding presents

Postby Tangled Metal » 15 May 2019, 11:28pm

Why the witnesses? It's a hang up from religious marriages. Not needed. Why do you not need a witness for registering births or deaths but you do for a civil ceremony? The real answer is you dying, it's a residual from the requirements for religious marriages.

Benefits claims are individual or household. From memory when I last claimed for benefits the form did have a section for marital status. Long time ago though so things are likely to be different. That IMHO is wrong. It should only ask if you're moving with someone else as a unit or partnership or one of the other categories. What does it matter if your married in the religious marriage ceremony sense? Why not accept common law relationships BTW?

There's still perks and benefits, tbh I have never looked then up because I've never been in that situation. I'm a basic rate paye earner so tbh there is likely to be no tax benefit possible for us.

The example of parental responsibility, which as has been pointed out can be worked around by court action, but why put extra difficulties on families just because it's got an unmarried partnership at its heart?

Tbh it's not the end of the world but there are difficulties for solid partnerships and families that's only there because there hasn't been a marriage ceremony. I heard about many examples of couples who live together as a partnership as strong as marriage for a long period of time as in 10 years or more. They have kids and are a family. They then decide to marry for reasons other than they believed in the institution and wanted to partake of it. I really don't know why they do it but I've heard some say due to social pressure kinds of reasons.

Right now we're planning on getting around some issues by getting our wills right such that inheritance issues are reduced. Still result in probate delays due access to bank accounts due example which marriage I believe eliminates. I've by chance have parental responsibility for our son. There's probably a few more things we could do to make things easier for each other, especially if I die or she dies first.

I'm quite possibly the only one on this forum who does not believe in marriage ceremony and does not think it should be relevant to official systems, organisation or processes. But I guess I'm a weirdo that way. Not many think it's completely irrelevant.

drossall
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Re: Wedding presents

Postby drossall » 16 May 2019, 12:06am

I'm still confused. First, by your statement, with no evidence, that witnesses are derived from religious ceremonies. In fact, there are a number of things that you seem to assume are derived from religious ceremonies, that in fact probably come from a time when all weddings were both religious and legal/civil events at the same time, and so are not in themselves necessarily religious at all, but requirements of the state.

Witnesses in particular are usually a legal requirement rather than a religious one. They add some further validation to the principal signatures. I can't immediately see a religious significance. Is there a reason why you do? They are arguably most important where many people are illiterate, but that doesn't relate either to their having a religious connotation.

Second, I'm confused because you appear to recognise that there has to be some means by which society knows that both parties in a relationship want it to be regarded as sufficiently permanent and/or substantive to justify various things, in which I would include responsibility for children, shared benefits, inheritance and (presumably) the ability to make medical and care decisions when the other party is unable to do so. It seems fairly clear that simply allowing one party to claim these things, especially when the other was not in a position to confirm or deny the claims, would lead to all sorts of problems.

However, you're pretty much unwilling to allow any form of declaration to achieve this. Occasionally you accept that appearing before some official might be necessary, but with the next breath you appear to decry this as a "ceremony", which you will not tolerate. So you won't allow anything to protect individuals from claims of partnership that are entirely without merit, or simply do not reflect their wishes. At least, nothing that I can see.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Wedding presents

Postby Tangled Metal » 16 May 2019, 1:22am

Last point first. I have said all the way through that there should be a system like registering births where you have an appointment with a registrar, fill out the forms and iirc sign them. No ceremony, no words to say to make it official, no requirement for anyone else to be there. Just a form and an official.

If the system needs certain words to be said, a declaration in front of witnesses IMHO it has become a ceremony which isn't needed for registration of births or deaths. Why don't you need witnesses for registration of births or deaths? This is really what the official core part of marriage is, a registration of status like births and deaths. It's the one you do for yourself. But why the need for witnesses?

Of course the origins of our civil service is with the Church. The clerical (bureaucratic part of state) was just that, clerics. Because they were usually tge only one who could read and write. Not the case now. Just as births, deaths and marriages are recorded by the state not the Church now (as the main record, church probably still records ceremonies at their church).

Look I don't expect you to agree with me but do you not find it strange that there's three big state recorded events in your life (in many cases but not all) only one has the extra requirements that recording the status of your relationship with your partner? You can choose to marry but you can't choose to register your own birth or death. Those two are simple registration. Why not partnership of a couple? Why not a simple registration like births and deaths to get equivalency to traditional religious and civil marriages. It gives those who oppose traditional marriage a way to get rights withheld from them.

I bet you'll say there's always civil ceremony if marriage isn't your choice, but that's still about ceremony and added complexity. I really don't know why it needs that from the pov of the secular state.

Witnesses, why? Where is the origin of that? I've not found a good answer but there's loads of stories of it being about anything from roman times needing 10 witnesses to medieval times where marriage by capture was he norm. They were wedding party witnessing it and ready to take arms to prevent the bride's family from rescuing her. I've not really looked into it just skimmed a couple of sites once. It seems contractual to me, which was kind of what marriage was used for once, joining of two families.

What is the purpose of making the process of recording your partnership harder than a more form filling on front of one registrar like births are recorded?

Anyway I reckon we won't agree with each other on this so I'll leave it there.

Oldjohnw
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Re: Wedding presents

Postby Oldjohnw » 16 May 2019, 4:13am

Thread drift is both frequent and quite acceptable. But occasionally someone comes along with a personal campaign and takes over. If you prefer to discuss the morality or otherwise of marriage can you start a thread and if there is no interest in extending this thread just let it die?
John

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