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Old 16-05-2012, 17:41   #46
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Re: Should I propose?

I was firmly in the camp of marriage being a meanlingless bit of paper / twaddle from ye olden days .

But I was wrong - best thing I ever did , can't really explain why . Surprised her as well . Must be something primal about it . Wish I / we had done it a bit sooner.

Won't of course be more than a sticking plaster on a relationship that is not good enough for a forever deal - even if already longterm..........but if it is a forever deal - then get married......just pick a date that is easily remembered ......otherwise don't.

Previous posters also make valid points that just because something works "at home" legally does not mean it will be legally recognised or understood elsewhere (Health / Will / POA) and the forced heirship rules can catch out the unwary. The thing about marriage is that it is both clearly understood worldwide and is reciprocal (i.e. legally married in one place is recognised as validly married elsewhere, with all the legal rights that entails - in practice being next of kin can be very important when abroad). If you have a marriage certificate available then having different names is not a biggie.

FWIW, in the UK we also have the term common law wife - but it doesn't mean anything legally (even though many think it does, until they find out otherwise the hard way). I appreciate that you are content that your relatives will do the right thing should "something" happen - but I would personally not want to rely on that. But my experiance does include relatives squabbling over the last brass razoo that they either feel entitled to or aggrieved that someone else got instead (folks can be amazed how quickly some can get to feel entitled when the sniff of money is in the air, often enough before the corpse is cold ).
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Old 16-05-2012, 19:09   #47
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Re: Should I propose?

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
................
FWIW, in the UK we also have the term common law wife - but it doesn't mean anything legally (even though many think it does, until they find out otherwise the hard way)....................
In my jurisdiction in Canada, the tax department considers you married after one year of common law, and the province (state) views it the same as marriage after two years as far as any asset splits, including the possibility of alimony.

Every jurisdiction is different.
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Old 16-05-2012, 19:54   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avb3

In my jurisdiction in Canada, the tax department considers you married after one year of common law, and the province (state) views it the same as marriage after two years as far as any asset splits, including the possibility of alimony.

Every jurisdiction is different.
My experience is that Europe, most particularly France is more ahead of the game in terms of common law.

Unfortunately we have had situations trying to move people for assignments to countrries that don't recognize France's rules and the working spouse cannot sponsor the non-working spouse for a resident visa. And somehow this has become my problem to solve for poor indignant Francois...
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Old 16-05-2012, 20:04   #49
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Re: Should I propose?

Great suggestions, personal feelings aside, here, Mike. As somewhat of an expert on marriage (a total of 38 years, albeit to several different women), I feel able to contribute to your dilema abroad.
First, make sure even if you decide to tie the knot or not, you both have a Power of Attorney over each others affairs with respect to finance (including disposal of assets: this is greatly helped by having your joint assets like cars, boats, houses, etc., secured in 'and/or' names such as John Jones and/or Mary Jones), also POA for medical decisions, treatment, including end of life (when to pull the plug) and keep them with you when you travel.
Traveling in muslim countries is greatly helped by have the same name on your passports. I think it was wife #2 joined me on an overseas trip to Dubai before we were married and we had a rather difficult time staying in the same room. We finally managed it by meeting up in a restaurant, walking back to the hotel and just heading upstairs. She told me it made her feel like a hooker!
I now have dual citizenship and depending on which country I'm travelling to will dictate which passport I use.
No problem is insurmountable as long as you plan for as many eventualities as you can.
Some sound legal advice from an attorney who is familiar with the laws and customs of the countries you plan to visit would be a good idea. Capt Phil
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Old 17-05-2012, 06:26   #50
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Re: Should I propose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
FWIW, in the UK we also have the term common law wife - but it doesn't mean anything legally (even though many think it does, until they find out otherwise the hard way). I appreciate that you are content that your relatives will do the right thing should "something" happen - but I would personally not want to rely on that. But my experiance does include relatives squabbling over the last brass razoo that they either feel entitled to or aggrieved that someone else got instead (folks can be amazed how quickly some can get to feel entitled when the sniff of money is in the air, often enough before the corpse is cold ).
It's a good cautionary note David. Best friends can turn to bitter enemies in the case of a breakup. Nothing is guaranteed in this life, but after 25 years I think we've figured out how to grow, live and love together. As for assets, we have precious few, and what we have are already in both our names. This includes our old boats (one is for sale ), our vehicles and our minimal savings.

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Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
In my jurisdiction in Canada, the tax department considers you married after one year of common law, and the province (state) views it the same as marriage after two years as far as any asset splits, including the possibility of alimony.
Yup, Canadian here. Common law relationships have been legally recognized in Canada for decades now. We have most of the same rights and responsibilities of married folk. There are a few differences though, mostly around asset distribution upon breakup or death. Try googling "common law canada rights" to read.

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
My experience is that Europe, most particularly France is more ahead of the game in terms of common law. Unfortunately we have had situations trying to move people for assignments to countrries that don't recognize France's rules and the working spouse cannot sponsor the non-working spouse for a resident visa.
Again, good point Ex. It's why we're going to make it all legal and formal with a real marriage.

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... also POA for medical decisions, treatment, including end of life (when to pull the plug) and keep them with you when you travel.
Thanks Phil, this seems to be the most compelling reason. I can't imagine how much more painful it would be if one of us were incapacitated, and then learning the local authorities would not recognize our relationship. The other issues seem surmountable, but this one seems to be the kicker.
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