GED 216 Domestic Partnership Cohabitation
GED 216 CCU Domestic Partnership Cohabitation
QUESTION: Describe recent patterns in cohabitation, including the prevalence of cohabitation, the relative impact of cohabitation on marital success, and which people are most likely to cohabit. Define the term “domestic partnership” as part of your response.
What is a Domestic Partnership?
A domestic partnership aims to give each partner in the partnership many of the same benefits as married couples. These include both economic and noneconomic benefits, such as:
Sick and family leave
However, with Obergefell granting marriage rights to same-sex couples, there has been a decline in the number of domestic partnership relationships, as more same-sex couples are choosing to get married.
Common Law Marriage
A common law marriage is one by which two people consider themselves married, but they do not have a formal ceremony or license. They often consider themselves as married based on cohabitation. Virginia does not allow for the creation of a common law marriage based on cohabitation, or in general. The Court held in Murphy v. Holland that common law marriages contracted in the state are not considered to be legally binding or recognizable.
Cohabitation is defined as two people living together as if they were a married couple. Cohabiting couples do not possess the same rights as married couples or people within a domestic partnership. This is because the law recognizes the significance of the marriage union and does not want to infringe upon individual autonomy or unfairly benefit a couple.
Virginia Code § 20-109(A): Termination of Spousal Support Based on Cohabitation
Virginia Code § 20-109(A) provides for termination of spousal support “upon clear and convincing evidence that the spouse receiving support has been habitually cohabiting with another person in a relationship analogous to a marriage for one year or more.” Whether a spouse is cohabiting with someone else is crucial in seeking a modification, or termination, of spousal support.
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What is Considered “cohabitation analogous to a marriage?”
In 2016, the Supreme Court of Virginia set forth an analysis of what is considered “cohabitation analogous to a marriage” in Luttrell v. Cucco.
In this case, a couple entered their Final Decree of Divorce in 2008. Six years later, in 2014, the ex-husband filed a motion to terminate spousal support, claiming that his ex-wife was engaged and had been cohabiting with her fiancée (who was another woman) for at least a year. The ex-wife argued that since her relationship was with another woman, it was not in line with the meaning of “cohabitation” as intended in the Virginia Code § 20-109(A). The Circuit Court agreed with this argument, concluding that only opposite-sex couples could cohabit under the Code. This meant that the couple had to have the ability to marry if their cohabitation were to be analogous to a marriage.
The ex-husband appealed this decision, leading to the Court of Appeals to affirm the trial court’s decision.
The ex-husband then appealed to the state Supreme Court, which stated, “The language of 20-109.1(A) is gender neutral. The words spouse and person encompass individuals of either sex, and thus, the provision may be understood to apply to either same-sex or opposite-sex relationships.” The Supreme Court of Virginia reversed the Court of Appeal’s decision and concluded that cohabitation analogous to marriage extended to cohabitation between persons of the same sex.
Determination of Whether a Couple is Considered to Cohabit
The Virginia Court of Appeals has looked at numerous factors that are considered in determining whether a couple is considered to be cohabiting. The following list includes factors that are looked to, but are not exhaustive.
Factors Used in Determining Whether Cohabitation Exists:
Sharing a common residence
Provision of financial support
Intimate or romantic involvement
Duration and permanency
Functioning together as a family unit
Routinely sharing meals
Attending events together, both familial and social
In summation, cohabitation is crucial to look at in considering termination of spousal support. However, cohabitation does not afford cohabiting partners the same rights and obligations as married couples.
Special thanks to co-author and fellow researcher, Hayden-Anne Breedlove for her contribution with this article. Hayden-Anne Breedlove anticipates graduating from the University of Richmond School of Law in May of 2019.
Topic 1 DQ 1
Oct 3-5, 2022
What would spirituality be according to your own worldview? How do you believe that your conception of spirituality would influence the way in which you care for patients?
According to Hart (1994, p. 23), spirituality is the way a person lives out their beliefs in daily life and the way they “respond to the end conditions of individual existence” (Bożek, Nowak, , & Blukacz, 2020).A sense of peace and well-being are generated by spirituality, which is defined by faith, a search for life’s meaning and purpose and a feeling of belonging with one another. Through spiritual connection life satisfaction may increase or make it easier to accommodate illness or disability. Although, the idea of spirituality encompasses a huge range of personal experiences and convictions. Every individual has a unique perspective on spirituality. We may develop more comprehensive and compassionate healthcare systems by addressing the spiritual needs of our patients.
Nurses are being required more and more to recognize and respond to spiritual issues because of the emphasis on holistic care and meeting the requirements of each individual patient. Physical healing, pain relief, and personal development might result from attending to the patient’s spiritual needs. The nurse must attend to the patient’s emotional as well as physical demands in order to meet their total needs.The way in which we provide patient care would be influenced by our personal understanding of spirituality. For example, my spiritual beliefs consist of treating everyone with respect, compassion, care and equality regardless of their health status, race, spiritual view, gender, etc. I can take that into consideration into my practice by providing culturally competent, holistic care so I can better understand what I can do to assist the patient’s physical, spiritual, and mental wellbeing. Further, hospitals are held liable by The Joint Commission (TJC) for upholding patient rights, which includes making accommodations for cultural, religious, and spiritual values. The bodies, minds, and spirits of patients must all be taken into consideration by healthcare practitioners and systems (Swihart, Yarrarapu, & Martin, 2021).
Bożek, A., Nowak, P. F., & Blukacz, M. (2020). The Relationship Between Spirituality, Health-Related Behavior, and Psychological Well-Being. Frontiers in Psychology, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01997
Swihart, D.L., Yarrarapu ,S.N.S & Martin R.L. (2021). Cultural Religious Competence In Clinical Practice. StatPearls Publishing https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493216/