Timmy elsewhere

At the ASI.

Liberals being illiberal

6 thoughts on “Timmy elsewhere”

  1. No, you’re getting this one wrong. If it’s illiberal to parcel up assets when an unmarried couple split it is when a married one does. The principle is the same. In neither case have they explicitly agreed on the terms that will be agreed, these are imposed by a court which can even overturn pre-nups in the UK I believe.

    The reason for the distribution of assets – that (for example) a stay-at-home partner will have contributed to the family’s wealth increase by staying at home and freeing the other to work – is the same in both cases.

    It’s either illiberal in both situations, or liberalism isn’t the issue in either.

  2. On one level I agree. But a contract can be formed if the parties act as if its signed. So if two people act as if they are married – by living together, having sex, having children – then maybe a contract is formed.
    I suppose it applies to gays living together too, nowadays.

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    Peter Risdon

    If it’s illiberal to parcel up assets when an unmarried couple split it is when a married one does. The principle is the same. In neither case have they explicitly agreed on the terms that will be agreed, these are imposed by a court which can even overturn pre-nups in the UK I believe.

    I am not sure I can agree with that. When you marry, you are entering into an agreement with your spouse and the State. Which the State has the right to change unilaterally any time they like. Which they do. When you marry you must know that the State feels it has the right to do this. Essentially you are agreeing to this massive threat over your head the whole time.

    But if you just shack up with someone, you have not made an explicit bargain with the State. You have not mortgaged your nuts to your SO and the State. In fact most men do not, in my experience, even make a clear decision to live together. She just leaves some stuff over, and then some more, and then some more, and before you know it, she is living with you. Why should your balls be on the line for an agreement you have not made?

    JimW

    But a contract can be formed if the parties act as if its signed.

    Can it? It bloody well shouldn’t be.

    So if two people act as if they are married – by living together, having sex, having children – then maybe a contract is formed.

    Define what is it they do that makes them married – all of those? Some of those? The State wants to make it like New Zealand, Australia and just recently Canada – two years living together. I have been out with a girl for longer than two years and if I wanted to marry her, we would have married. What right does the State have to say that we are a married couple?

    I suppose it applies to gays living together too, nowadays.

    Not if sleeping together implies exclusivity. Because bugger all (if you will excuse the phrase) Gay men manage that.

  4. To SFMS.
    A contract doesn’t have to be signed. There is case law to that effect. A company agreed to supply, Ts and Cs agreed, etc, but the contract was left in a drawer. Delivrries snd payments were made. When trouble arose, one party tried to back out on the grounds there was no signature. The court held it to be valid because both sides had started performing their obligations.
    Though my instinct is to agree, that if a legal arrangement (marriage) is well-known and the parties don’t use it, they shouldn’t be treated as married. If one person misses out on a division of assets then that’s their problem.

  5. Certain contracts do indeed need to be signed; you haven’t bought or solde your house for instance until you have exchanged contracts. Marriage is a contract, entered into only by going through with a lawful wedding. If you haven’t entered into that contract then you’re not married. By definiton co-habiting couples aren’t married.
    So why, when the opportunity was there, when the Law offered no obstacle and the necessary steps were clear, but you still didn’t enter into the contractual agreement, why should you be regarded as being in the same position as a married couple?
    And what exactly, in light of this move, were the Civil Partnership and Same Sex Marriage Acts all about?

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