Living: Couples and common law

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 Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

Students should weigh the benefits of cohabitation.

By Nathalie Mora

The definition of marriage has changed dramatically over the years as younger generations have given it a different meaning.

Students are finding it easy to ask a sweetheart to move into an apartment together and live as husband and wife without legal obligations.

Jonathan Carmona, a nursing sophomore, has been living with his girlfriend for more than three years.

He said, “I personally believe marriage is just a title nowadays; marriage is an image you present to people.”

Anthropology Professor Elizabeth De la Portilla, said the thinking of marriage has changed.

Before, women were expected to stay at home and raise children without the opportunity of obtaining a college degree.

Beginning with the feminist movement in the 1900s, this has changed.

“We’re not marrying for the same reasons that we used to,” De la Portilla said.

Sharing an apartment with a partner and living like a married couple may have consequences.

Government Professor Asslan Khaligh said Texas law includes common law marriage.

He said two people live together for more than six months and publicly announce each other as husband and wife, then the state believes they are legally married.

Khaligh said if the state of Texas considers the couple to have lived under common law, that couple would have to get a divorce, even if they did not have a formal ceremony or marriage license.


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