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Talk:Debate: Marriage is outdated

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Debate: Marriage is outdated

It is the baggage which has gone with marriage in the past which gives it an outdated and unequal feel. It is therefore unattractive as an institution. In law it is a contract and should be treated as such. Not only that it has become too commercialised,so people are reluctant to admit they cannot afford the expensive wedding expected of them.

The baggage to which I refer is not so much the requirements, legal or moral, but the things which people mistakenly think are expected of them.

For women:-

1. The expectation their individuality be subsumed by changing their surname. Many do not realise this is not the law. Even those who do realise the law does not require it succumb to pressure brought about by the tradition. Even if they resist, others make assumptions and cause embarrassment and the worst offenders are government departments and banks and other large institutions. This attitude must be changed so a woman feels she enters into the situation on equal terms. 2. the tradition that a rind is worn when this is rare for men. The tradition of the ring during the ceremony of marriage should be dropped so she feels under no pressure to advertise the status of marriage - she feels she is "owned" and this must be removed 3. Forms should drop the expression "maiden name" since it implies what is stated above 4. The whole notion of being "given away" should be dropped for the same reason as above 5. The title on marriage should be dropped - Miss and Mrs creates public declaration which men do not suffer. The hopes in the term Ms were dashed when most people sniggered at it. 6. The dilemma of the children's surname needs to be addressed. Most think the child must take the father's surname - this is another myth which is only a tradition and has no basis in law but women feel under pressure to comply. Prejudice about the names of children being the same as either parent should be addressed. The parents should feel free to choose any names they like for the children. There is no need for them to follow either surname or indeed to have a |"family name" that is the same as either parent.

For men:-

1. The frightening cost of the wedding and celebrations and honeymoon are a worry- ways must be found to encourage a different and more modest approach to the marriage itself 2. Pre nuptial agreements should be encouraged and with more modest costs of the wedding itself this should become the norm at least advice about the agreement - indeed it could be that advice about the law of marriage and pre nups certified by a solicitor could be a requirement before a marriage ceremony is performed. Care before entering may be better than entering into it blindly 3. An insurance policy to deal with later issues could be made a requirement (like car insurance)and mediation could be a requirement before a divorce is permitted 4. There should be "no fault divorce" after giving notice in writing to end the marriage. The court should not need to be involved at all in divorce. It is a contract and should be treated as such 4. The question of finances may need the court unless a pre nup has been put in place. Perhaps with the pre marriage advice though pre nups will become the norm 5. The questions about children should always be for the court who should approve written agreements drawn up re children as a matter of course or if not approved the court should require the presence of the parties with full disclosure of their financial arrangements and full film evidence of the accommodation to be provided for children 6. mothers should have no right to keep the children from regular contact with fathers except by special application in extreme cases. Like it or not father's willingness to contribute financially to children is often based on continuing contact with them. If he feels pushed out he tends not to pay.

All in all people are not happy with marriage as it is now and completely fresh thinking is required - old traditions are not necessarily good ones.

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