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Old 08-05-2012, 23:49   #31
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Re: Should I propose?

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
yes!


It matters or people wouldn't be trying to say it doesn't.
That bit of paper (marriage certificate) is the kiss of death amongst the majority my family and friends.
Even friends that have been together for 20 years. Once they actually got married it all went pear shaped on them.
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Old 15-05-2012, 13:45   #32
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Yes it does matter. When you go to modern immigration stations and they scan your passport and information screen comes up. On that screen, it has martial status. It does not list a spouses name, just single, married or divorced. Depending on the country the passport is issued from, it may also tell if they person is widowed. It's up to the immigration officer to look at that status. If you look nervous, he's looking at everything.
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Old 15-05-2012, 14:19   #33
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Re: Should I propose?

Our marriage certificate doesn't say anywhere my married name, rather it refers to my maiden name but still officially declares us married (it's from Hawaii and we are Canadian citizens) so I wouldn't do it for the name thing. I think you can always say you are married and nobody will ask for proof unless it's a serious situation (jail, hospital). I'm pretty sure in some cultures changing your name when you marry doesn't happen anyway.

It seems if you choose not to marry then you just need to make sure your asses are covered in case of worst case scenarios. Do you file common law income tax? That might work. Make sure your family and friends know what your wishes are and will respect them and if you think there is even a miniscule chance they won't, get a legal doc drawn up - something that says if you are incapacitated for any reason, your partner has all legal rights and responsibilities in deciding your care.
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Old 15-05-2012, 14:23   #34
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Re: Should I propose?

Also, have you talked to your non-wife about this? I'd suggest it is exceptionally important to include her in the decision.
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Old 15-05-2012, 14:25   #35
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Re: Should I propose?

Marriage is an unfair and unnatural institution, and I would avoid it like the plague.
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Old 15-05-2012, 15:29   #36
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Re: Should I propose?

Okay, Mike,

This will help, I hope...

Jim and I have never had to prove that we are married, but have known of common law wives, who have been given the "fuzzy end of the lollipop" upon the unexpected deaths of their men. It has caused their eviction from their boats, loss of "implied" financial interest in same, conflicts with siblings and offspring of the decedent from prior relationships. IMO, a heck of a sad deal to undergo bereavement from both spouse and home at the same time! A marriage certificate would have eased that. Also, it paves the way for picking up mail for Jim in French-speaking countries, where I have been asked before we were married if we were, and not allowed to get his. However, rules do vary from destination to destination. Interestingly, in some countries for official purposes, all the data they collect on me are related to my "maiden name", not my surname by marriage. I'd have to confess that at my age (72), the thought of not having to cope with the extra potential bureaucratic hassle is felt as comfort.

Incidentally, when we were in Mexico in 1986, we discovered that other than the one listed as captain, only the "first mate" could move the ship. At that time we were unmarried, and in the event of Jim's hospitalization or death, I had zero status relative to him. Nothing bad happened, and I've been "first mate" ever since!

Clearly this kind of discussion does not conform to the romantic ideal of love. To those who believe marriage is a bad thing, please consider that as cruisers we have to cope with the world as it is, not as we'd wish it would be. Why would you not offer the minimal protection that piece of paper confers?

Ann Cate, Insatiable II, lying Morning Cove, NSW
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Old 15-05-2012, 15:45   #37
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Re: Should I propose?

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All good points guys. Assets are easy b/c everything we own is already in both our names. The hotel thing can be managed. Seems like the prospect of not having access, or a say in, each other's emergency health services might be the clincher. Still, I really wonder if being legally married will make any real difference given that we will not have the same last name.
Just get a healthcare power of attorney. That should be adequate to handle the event that you would not be able to make your own decisions. The names won't matter if you have that.

Jim
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Old 15-05-2012, 15:55   #38
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Re: Should I propose?

I would think it would be cheaper to walk down to the JP and get a marriage licence.

At least when I got married there wasn't much to it. Mostly just a formal bit of paper, and a signature by the relevant parties. Some nominal fee, and it was done. Is marrage something more complicated in Canada?

And then if anyone ever asks, or hassles your wife, it's easy to have government official proof evidence of your marriage. Just keep a certified copy of said document.
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Old 15-05-2012, 16:35   #39
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Re: Should I propose?

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Also, it paves the way for picking up mail for Jim in French-speaking countries, where I have been asked before we were married if we were, and not allowed to get his. ... Incidentally, when we were in Mexico in 1986, we discovered that other than the one listed as captain, only the "first mate" could move the ship. At that time we were unmarried, and in the event of Jim's hospitalization or death, I had zero status relative to him. Nothing bad happened, and I've been "first mate" ever since!
Thanks Ann. These are the kinds of practical issues I'm trying to understand. Will it make any practical difference to a wondering life. Sounds like the answer may be yes (which is what I suspect).

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Yes it does matter. When you go to modern immigration stations and they scan your passport and information screen comes up. On that screen, it has martial status.
On the Canadian Passport, marital status is not printed, but it is one of the questions we had to fill in. Common Law is an option (which we both selected), so presumedly that is what is encoded on our passports.

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It seems if you choose not to marry then you just need to make sure your asses are covered in case of worst case scenarios. Do you file common law income tax? That might work. Make sure your family and friends know what your wishes are and will respect them and if you think there is even a miniscule chance they won't, get a legal doc drawn up - something that says if you are incapacitated for any reason, your partner has all legal rights and responsibilities in deciding your care.
Yup, taxes paid as common law, but having a power of attorney document drawn up might be useful. Our families are all cool. Really, they are. We will not have any nightmare family interventions when one of us dies.

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Also, have you talked to your non-wife about this? I'd suggest it is exceptionally important to include her in the decision.
Yes, she's having a good chuckle over my shoulder.

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Marriage is an unfair and unnatural institution, and I would avoid it like the plague.
Uhmm ... OK ... thanks.

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Just get a healthcare power of attorney. That should be adequate to handle the event that you would not be able to make your own decisions. The names won't matter if you have that.
Thanks Jim. This is looking like a wise plan.

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I would think it would be cheaper to walk down to the JP and get a marriage licence.

At least when I got married there wasn't much to it. Mostly just a formal bit of paper, and a signature by the relevant parties. Some nominal fee, and it was done. Is marrage something more complicated in Canada?
Legally it's about the same up here. The complication might come in other social matters. Some people (even our cool families) will want to make a big deal out it all -- which is part of the reason why we've avoided the whole thing so far.

Still, it's looking like getting a JP's legal blessing might be the easier thing. Or perhaps we should run off to Vegas and have an Elvis wedding (do they still do that ).
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Old 15-05-2012, 16:58   #40
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Re: Should I propose?

Mike-
"but having a power of attorney document drawn up might be useful. "
Even in the US, in just the one state where a POA was drawn, you will find that not all businesses or government offices understand what the document is--or properly honor it. It can't hurt to have one, but expect it to be greeted with "Huh?" outside of wherever it was drawn.
I suppose that as usual, if it is ornate, notarized with a raised seal, bound into a jacket, etc. it might get more respect in some offices.
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Old 15-05-2012, 17:59   #41
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Re: Should I propose?

HelloSailor has a very good point with regard to Durable Powers of Attorney, Helath Directives and the like. While they are intended to be respected in this country (US), it can be hit or miss as to whether they really are. It can be a real hassle depending on the institution involved, i.e hospital, etc. These documents are a pecularly American invention at this point and it may involve a great deal of research to determine their effectiveness in other countries. While it is always a good idiea to have such documents in place, I would not want to rely on them in other countries.
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Old 16-05-2012, 12:49   #42
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Re: Should I propose?

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Still, it's looking like getting a JP's legal blessing might be the easier thing. Or perhaps we should run off to Vegas and have an Elvis wedding (do they still do that ).
Oh yea. They do that. And aliens and all sorts of other themes.

I almost did it myself. My grandmother guilted me into a "normal" wedding. I wish I had done that looking back.
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Old 16-05-2012, 13:31   #43
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Re: Should I propose?

YES!!!!

There are so many legal reasons (which others listed) but the only one that really counts it that marriage is the right thing to do! You know it in your heart. Be proud to say my wife and not have to lie, shirk legalities or hedge.... be honest and do it right!!

Plus the wedding is an event you can both cherish forever.
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Old 16-05-2012, 15:18   #44
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Re: Should I propose?

Hi Mike, Partner, and other readers,

In our experience, unmarried women have the most protection under law in countries under the systems which developed from British common law. Elsewhere, marriage customs may be the only protection women have. I hadn't mentioned it before, as it is really dissimilar to your situation, but does illustrate the general condition, and will mention it now. A man of USA citizenship was traveling with a woman of Fijian origin. In the Solomon Is., he contracted hemorrhagic malaria, and died within a week. She was without any rights, couldn't see to the funeral, no funds, no way to return to family or community, bereft also of her living place.

In the Solomons also, a married German couple was cruising on their boat. He dove in to check the anchor. She was observing. An alligator got most of him. Later, she was able to arrange a funeral for his remains there in the Sollies. Cruisers helped her get the boat to Darwin (where she wanted to go). I lost track of her at this point, after she returned to Germany by air.

About 2 1/2 years ago, I met a French woman at a fuel dock in Pittwater, Australia, where the boat she arrived on was. The French man cruiser she had been with had a heart attack on board, and he, too died. They were committed to one another, I suppose, they'd been together 10 years. They were unmarried. She had no rights under French law, the heirs wanted the boat sold and and by right of consanguinity (they were siblings, as I remember) to share the proceeds amongst themselves exclusively. Afew days later, she returned to France, expecting more legal hassles.

The legal documents you already have clearly offer your partner some help. How it would shake out in a Moslem country, I do not know; perhaps someone on the forum could give you a fill. We do have a more upbeat story. In Egypt, a 60ish man cruiser from the US got a parisitic bowel infection. His good lady removed him on their boat, sailed it singlehanded with him a patient aboard, to Israel. There they were met by an ambulance, he had surgery just before the bowel perforated, and they are alive and well today, having completed their circumnavigation. I do not know if they have a marriage certificate.

Good on you for trying to find out about it, thank you for framing your original question so clearly, and thanks for responding to my response.

Ann Cate, s/v Insatiable II, Morning Cove, NSW
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Old 16-05-2012, 15:33   #45
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Re: Should I propose?

Thank you all for your thoughtful and insightful responses. I really appreciate it. Despite my misgivings, I think I'll be proposing -- or perhaps my co-captain will (we don't do the the captain/first-mate thing -- we command together).
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