13 Huge Reasons Marriage Is Critical to U.S. Society, Part 2

Last week, we started a long list of what exactly marriage does for U.S. Citizens; this week, we’re going to finish that up — and point out why it matters.

Native Americans and Marriage
There is a unique relationship between the Federal government, the citizens of the United States, and the peoples of the various tribes of Native Americans. An entire section of Federal law describes the rights that are gained and lost if someone from a native tribe marries a non-tribal citizen, including rights regarding tribal property, health care, and service to the Federal government.

Commerce
There are over a dozen provisions in the law that related to how married couples have unique rights regarding one another’s banking, commerce, trade, bankruptcy, and intellectual property.

Legal Disclosure/Conflict of Interest
One of the few instances of marriage creating a legal obligation rather than providing a legal right, there are several laws that require the spouse of a Federal employee to disclose any known conflicts of interest caused by the employee accepting a gift or entering into a transaction.

Criminal Law
There are, once again, a huge number of criminal laws that treat spouses differently than any other form of relationship. Some address what happens when a spouse victimizes the other spouse, others deal with crime prevention and family violence.

Federal Loans, Grants, Guarantees, and Supports
Many Federal grant and loan programs (i.e. education loans, housing loans), as well as guarantees and supports (i.e. price supports for farmers) take into account a spouse’s assets, income, and businesses when determining how much a person is entitled to (and, for loans, the payment schedule).

Federal Land Transactions
The law gives spouses a few special rights related to a wide variety of transactions including purchasing, renting, maintaining, and otherwise interacting with Federal real property, including water and mineral rights.

And Much, Much More
There are hundreds of other Federal provisions that allow spouses to share some unusual qualities (such as Veteran of Foreign War or Sons and Daughters of the Revolution status), as well as prohibiting a variety of forms of discrimination based on marital status — arguably one of the most important aspects of getting married!

The reasons we felt it was important to actually point out and discuss everything that marriage does are fairly simple, but important. First, it’s important to understand just how complicated our lives would be if marriage weren’t written into the law as a ‘switch’ that flips so many laws and regulations into the ‘on’ position. The sheer number of interactions that change completely when you can say “We’re married” is almost impossible to keep track of — there are thousands.

Second, it’s important to be able to look at the fringe cases of marriage — like common-law marriage (in the rare states where it exists) or attempts by business to ban their employees from getting married (common the airline industry for over a decade) — and see how those cases impact the list. The ability to get married (or lack thereof) affects almost everything!

Finally, we want anyone considering a divorce to have a decent idea of what it is that they’re losing. We firmly believe in people going into any legal proceeding, divorce included, eyes open and knowing exactly what they’re getting into — and seeing this list is a big part of that.

If your marriage is causing you to suffer, call Gucciardo Family Law at 248-723-5190 — we can help.

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We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.

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