Cohabitation and Civil Marriage

The essay sample on Cohabitation Essay dwells on its problems, providing a shortened but comprehensive overview of basic facts and arguments related to it. To read the essay, scroll down.

Cohabitation is an arrangement whereby two people decide to live together on a long-term or permanent basis in an emotionally and/or sexually intimate relationship. The term is most frequently applied to couples who are not married Reason for Cohabitation Today, cohabitation is a common pattern among people in the Western world.

People may live together for a number of reasons. These may include wanting to test compatibility or to establish financial security before marrying.

It may also be because they are unable to legally marry, due to reasons such as same-sex, some interracial or interreligious marriages are not legal or permitted. Other reasons include living as a way for polygamists or polyamorists to avoid breaking the law, or as a way to avoid the higher income taxes paid by some two-income married couples (in the United States), negative effects on pension payments (among older people), or philosophical opposition to the institution of marriage (that is, seeing little difference between the commitment to live together and the commitment to marriage).

Some individuals also may choose cohabitation because they see their relationships as being private and personal matters, and not to be controlled by political, religious or patriarchal institutions. Some couples prefer cohabitation because it does not legally commit them for an extended period, and because it is easier to establish and dissolve without the legal costs often associated with a divorce.

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In some jurisdictions cohabitation can be viewed legally as common-law marriages, either after the duration of a specified period, or the birth of the couple’s child, or if the couple consider and behave accordingly as husband and wife. This helps provide the surviving partner a legal basis for inheriting the deceased’s belongings in the event of the death of their cohabiting partner. )

Cohabitation Essay

In Saskatchewan, Canada, a married person may cohabit with other married or single persons and become the spouses of all of them under the Saskatchewan Family Property Act. Consent of the “subsequent spouse” is not required. Although Canada has a federal criminal code law prohibiting polygamy, which includes nyone who authorizes more than one conjugal union at a time, Saskatchewan judicial authorities that unilaterally authorize multiple conjugal unions have not yet been charged under this federal law. Opposition In the Western world, a man and a woman who lived together without being married were once socially shunned and persecuted and, in some cases, prosecuted by law. In some jurisdictions, cohabitation was illegal until relatively recently. Other jurisdictions have created a Common-law marriage status when two people of the opposite sex live together for a prescribed period of time.

Most jurisdictions no longer prosecute this choice. In the province of Saskatchewan, Canada, judicial authorities have used binding authority to sanction married women being the same time “spouse” of other men due to cohabitation. Consent to be spouses of all persons involved is not required. Therefore, it is likely that future court challenges in Canada will use this Canadian case law to claim married persons may also civilly marry other persons without divorcing first.

A scientific survey of over 1,000 married men and women in the United States of America found those who moved in with a lover before engagement or marriage reported significantly lower quality marriages and a greater possibility for splitting up than other couples. About 20 percent of those who cohabited before getting engaged had since suggested divorce – compared with only 12 percent of those who only moved in together after getting engaged and 10 percent who did not cohabit prior to marriage. 1] Psychologist Dr Galena Rhoades said: “There might be a subset of people who live together before they got engaged who might have decided to get married really based on other things in their relationship – because they were already living together and less because they really wanted and had decided they wanted a future together. We think some couples who move in together without a clear commitment to marriage may wind up sliding into marriage partly because they are already cohabiting. [2]

Support In some Western nations such as the United States and Britain divorce laws and family law give more rights toward women in terms of property rights, rights to male working labor of resource provision outside of marriage, sole parental and custody rights to children. In essence, as a legal institution, marriage is an obligation from a man to a woman to support her outside of marriage by the contractual obligations of divorce. In the United States, women initiate 2/3 of all divorce. 3] As a result some men choose to avoid what they see as the unequal commitment, responsibility, risk and obligation they would be subject to in the legal contract of marriage. The Men’s and Father’s Rights Movement and Men’s Rights Activists hold similar views and seek equality in divorce and custody law. Cohabitation (government) Cohabitation in government occurs in semi-presidential systems, such as France’s system, when the President is from a different political party than the majority of the members of parliament.

It occurs because such a system forces the president to name a premier (prime minister) that will be acceptable to the majority party within parliament. Thus, cohabitation occurs because of the duality of the executive: an independently elected President and a prime minister who must be acceptable both to this president and to the legislature. Origins Cohabitation was a product of the French Fifth Republic, albeit an unintended one.

This constitution brought together a potent presidential position with manifold executive powers and a prime minister, responsible before Parliament. The president’s task was primarily to end deadlock and act decisively to avoid the stagnation prevalent under the French Fourth Republic; the prime minister, similarly, was to “direct the work of government”, providing a strong leadership to the legislative branch and to help overcome partisan squabbles. Since 1962, French presidents have been elected by popular vote, replacing the electoral college, which was only used once.

This change was intended to give Fifth Republic presidents more power than they might have had under the original constitution, while still seen as the symbol and embodiment of the nation, the president also was given a popular mandate. Of course, the majority party of the National Assembly retained power as well, but since the popularly-elected president appointed the prime minister, the former was seen as having the upper hand in any conflict between executive and legislature. Furthermore, the mbalance is further illustrated by the fact that the President of the Fifth Republic can dissolve the Assembly at any time (but not more than once in a year), whereas the legislature has no powers of removal against the president. The sole caveat to this position of presidential pre-eminence was the fact that the president’s selection to the premiership required approval by the National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament: because the Assembly can dismiss the government by a vote of no confidence, it follows that the prime minister must be supported by the Assembly.

This was not a problem whilst the legislative majority was aligned with the president, and indeed, de Gaulle, who was responsible for inspiring much of the Constitution, never envisioned that such a conflict could exist; to him the French public would never permit such a situation. But because the president was elected to seven-year terms, and the Assembly to five-year terms, it was almost inevitable that such a situation would someday arise. Political scientists regarded it as a flaw in the constitution that had the potential to bring down the Fifth Republic.

The first “near miss” with cohabitation occurred with the election of Socialist President Francois Mitterrand in 1981. A coalition of the right controlled the Assembly at the time. Almost immediately, Mitterrand exercised his authority to call Assembly elections, and the electorate returned an Assembly with an absolute majority of Socialists, ending the presumed crisis. However, when Assembly elections were held, as required, five years later, the Socialists lost their majority to the right, precipitating the first experiment in cohabitation.

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Cohabitation and Civil Marriage
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