Marvin verses Marvin case was a milestone case ruled by the US courts in the year 1976 (Ihara & Hertz, 2008). The plaintiff Michele Triola brought the case to court after the dissolution of their relationship with Marvin Lee. Before the case was brought to court, Triola together with her partner Lee had been cohabiting for six years. During their stay, Lee supported Triola financially until November in the year 1971. From then on, Lee refused to support the plaintiff resulting in her filing a suit to verify her property rights. During the court hearings, the plaintiff told the court that they had entered into an oral agreement with Lee that any property accrued during their cohabitation period was going to be shared between the two individuals. Triola told the court that she had given up her job as an entertainer in order to support Lee as a homemaker. After reviewing Triola’s case, the court ruled a judgment in favor of the defendant. The court stated that Triola was not entitled to any property because Lee was legally married to another woman.
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Living together contracts
Living together contracts is an agreement signed by unmarried couples on how they will divide their property, raise their children, and meet expenses while living together. Through this agreement, couples can reduce the problems that are usually encountered after relationship breakups. Unmarried couples might encounter challenges because of living together. Usually, financial needs and parenting roles present serious challenges to unmarried couples living together. To reduce these challenges a legal agreement should be made by the couples to outline how they will take care of their children and meet other household expenses. As such, a living together contract should be comprehensive to cover every facet of the couples’ relationship. With a living together contract, couples can outline their needs, rights, and expectations. Similarly, through these agreement couples can enhance peaceful coexistence before and after their relationship ends. With a well-crafted living together contract, couples can settle misunderstandings with ease and can serve as a will in case a partner dies without writing a will. In the above case, the court acknowledged that the two individuals made an oral agreement. Although the court ruled the cases in favor the defendant, It should be noted that it emphasized the need of such matters to be solved in the court of law.
In the USA, several states enforce living together contracts between same sex partners. Unlike in the past, same sex marriages are now becoming very common (Clifford & Curry, 2007). In California, married gay couples can register as domestic partners. This implies that married gay couples enjoy equal rights and responsibilities enjoyed by heterosexual married couples under the state law. In contrast, the federal law does not entitle married gay couples with the same rights and responsibilities enjoyed by the heterosexual married couples. With these disparities, uncertainties have been created for these couples.
As compared to the Marvin verses Marvin case, same sex marriages are not subject to similar laws overseeing the married couples’ property rights. To avoid ambiguities that may arise when breakups occur, same sex couples are encouraged to come up with a legal document that will oversee how their property will be divided (Clifford & Curry, 2007). In Marvin verses Marvin case, the court asserted that cohabiting partners should file their property division cases under express and implied contracts. Similarly, the court emphasized that couples should also follow the same procedure in filing their property division cases. Equally, gay couples should follow this procedure to ease issues related to property division.
Marriage affects gay couples in several ways (Wolfson, 2004). Through marriage, gay couples can authorize emergency medical treatment just like heterosexual sex couples. Similarly, through marriage gay couples can be able to inherit property with ease. Usually, when one of the gay couples dies the surviving partner has to provide appropriate documents to explain the relationship they had with the deceased. This implies that it would be easy to settle such issues if the couples were legally married. Like heterosexual married couples, gay couples can be able to access cheap health insurance cover. Equally, through marriage gay couples can be recognized as a family unit leading to the reduction of discrimination against these couples. In general, marriage will enable gay couples to enjoy several rights enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.
If gay marriage is prohibited, other areas of law will be affected (Roleff, 2009). Notably, prohibition of gay marriages should be considered as a violation of civil rights. Given the fact that marriages are legal civil status in the community, prohibition of gay marriages would be an infringement of individuals’ civil rights. Similarly, prohibiting gay marriage would result in discrimination of gay couples. In this regard, cases of discrimination against gay couples would increase in our courts. Therefore, gay couples should be permitted to marry just as the heterosexual couples (Clifford & Curry, 2007).
Clifford, D.,& Curry, H. (2007). A legal guide for lesbian and gay couples (14th ed.). Berkeley, Calif.: Nolo.
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Ihara, T. L., & Hertz, F. (2008). Living together: a legal guide for unmarried couples (14th ed.). Berkeley, CA: Nolo.
Roleff, T. L. (2009). Gay marriage. San Diego, Calif.: Greenhaven Press.
Wolfson, E. (2004). Why marriage matters: America, equality, and gay people’s right to marry . New York: Simon & Schuster.