Many couples in B.C. who live together were likely shocked to find out they were essentially married Monday morning after the province's Family Law Act came into force.
One person's new car becomes "family property" under the act, which grants the same rights to common-law couples who've been living together for two years as already existed for married couples, the Globe and Mail reports.
Common-law couples who have been living together for two years now have equal entitlement to property acquired during the relationship, as well as responsibility for debt. Property acquired prior to the relationship is excluded, the newspaper reported.
The law was drafted as a way to resolve a glut of family cases jamming up the B.C. court system by eliminating many of the legal hurdles that come with a common-law split, the National Post reported.
Common-law spouses are being advised to have "full and frank discussions" with their partners about finances and property, and to come up with a separation agreement in case the couple splits down the road, said the newspaper.
When it comes to children, the Family Law Act states that both parents remain their kids' guardians after separation, with each getting parenting time and responsibilities, said the B.C. government.
Parenting arrangements can also be tailored so that one guardian gets the majority of parenting time, or else they can also work out a "parallel parenting" arrangement where one parent has different responsibilities over their parenting time.
One parent, for example, might deal with a child's education while the other deals with extra-curricular activities, the province said.
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New Mexico And Mississippi
In cases of what's called "alienation of affection" -- when a third party is held responsible for the failure of a marriage -- New Mexico and Mississippi give <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Business/best-worst-states-divorce/story?id=14934693&page=2#.T5nMKOzLyRk" target="_hplink">scorned spouses the right to sue</a> their ex spouse's lover for damages.
In Kentucky, it's illegal to remarry the same person four times, so residents of the state would do well to think twice before taking a repeat trip down the aisle.
In Wichita, Kansas, it's written into law that a man's mistreatment of his mother-in-law <a href="http://glo.msn.com/relationships/10-obscure-marriage-laws-5450.gallery?photoId=16046" target="_hplink">can't be used as grounds</a> for divorce.
Marriage is no laughing matter for most people, but in <a href="http://law.findlaw.com/state-laws/annulment-and-prohibited-marriage/delaware/ " target="_hplink">Delaware, a couple can file to have their union annulled</a> if they entered into it as a "jest" or "dare."
England doesn't have a no-fault divorce law, <a href="http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2012/04/08/Lawyer-gets-weird-excuses-for-divorce/UPI-40211333919280/#ixzz1tBXBowod" target="_hplink">so about half of all divorcing couples</a> are left scrambling to find a reason for citing "unreasonable behavior." Some past causes for splits, according to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/08/world/europe/divorce-british-style-fault-finding-as-fine-art.html?pagewanted=all" target="_hplink">a recent <em>New York Times</em> feature,</a> include a woman who filed because her husband wanted her to dress up in a "Star Trek" Klingon costume and a man who said that he was simply fed up with his wife making tuna for dinner.
In Tennessee, claiming that your spouse made an attempt on your life "<a href="http://www.state.tn.us/tccy/tnchild/36/36-4-101.htm" target="_hplink">by poison or any other means showing malice</a>" is grounds for divorce.