Friday, January 16, 2004

Hmm. I only post on Fridays or Saturdays. For the most part anyway. And no, Susie, I will not explain the blog title.

You know, all I have to do to be married to J is say I am. That's because Kansas has "common law marriage." This makes my job fun. There's all sorts of myths out there about common law, the most common of which is the "live together for seven years and you're married" myth. That's billshit, frankly. To be considered common law in Kansas, a couple has to be (a) one man and one woman (which is shitty), (b) be of the legal age of consent, (c) represent each other as wife and husband, (d) live together, and do one or more of the following: file joint income taxes, own property together, have a joint bank account, or name each other as beneficiaries of life insurance. There are other things, too, but I can't remember them. So essentially, you have to make at least a little effort to be considered common-law.

Common law is a holdover from the frontier days, when it was really hard for someone in East Jeebus to get to a magistrate or judge or minister in a timely fashion. It still helps some people in isolated areas. But mostly it's a pain in my ass. The problem is that a lot of folks don't realize that in the eyes of the state (and of the insurance company), a common law marriage is just as binding as one with a marriage license. YOU CAN'T CHANGE COMMON LAW SPOUSES ON A WHIM, PEOPLE! To get another one, you have to legally divorce the first one. Period. I had to explain that at work today. Hence the long post.

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