I just thought this was interesting. University of California at San Francisco will be offering lectures/classes about domestic partnership legal complications. The promotional title was “Expert to Explain Legal Options of Same-Sex Relationships”. Somehow thousands of miles away I got an e-mail about this, I guess I go to too many gay sites. I’ll give you the information, and then of course my opinion. Warning: my view on this topic is somewhat ranty and highly opinionated
Here is the information:
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Intersex (LGBTI) Resources at UCSF will present longtime Bay Area attorney and UCSF legal consultant Frederick Hertz, who will share his insights into the legal rights and limits of domestic partnership. Hertz is the author of Legal Affairs: Essential Advice for Same Sex Couples and co-author of the Nolo Press reference text A Legal Guide for Lesbian & Gay Couples.
Hertz speaks and writes often on legal issues facing same-sex couples, and has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show and NPR’s Talk of the Nation. He is regularly quoted as an expert on same-sex dissolutions. He was recently described in The Advocate as “one of the nation’s leading experts on lesbian and gay divorce.”
Hertz’s three classes will focus on the three phases of a relationship: formation, duration and ending (upon death or dissolution), with a discussion about money, property and children in each class.
While thinking about when a relationship will end before it starts may not feel natural, the fact remains that legal decision making up front can possibly prevent legal troubles in the future, according to Hertz.
Hertz’s presentation addresses both the legal and emotional aspects involved in setting up a living-together agreement, which is analogous to a prenuptial agreement. He looks at how couples can address their financial inequities and aspiration differences.
Here is my opinion:
While I think it is admirable to educate people (or to want to be educated) about the legal complexities that come with domestic partnerships/civil unions/gay marriage, the dissolution portion is a problem for me. To me, it is always good to be proactive and assess risks, except in the case of love. I don’t understand how you can be thinking about divorce before you even get married. I do not believe in divorce, even gay divorce, in most situations. I believe you should take marriage as the most serious contract you can enter into and protect your integrity by honoring your vows. Now I think if the person you marry turns out to be someone else (a criminal, abusive, an addict, an adulter) then divorce is understandable because you entered under false pretenses. But if you think divorce is a totally legit option, my question is why get married? You get married because you are going to be with someone forever, you couldn’t exist without them, and you want the world to know. If divorce seems like an option, you are marrying the wrong person. I think marriage and divorce are mutually exclusive. The person you want to marry (as in be with forever) can’t be a person you could divorce (leave).