• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How necessary or convenient is the legal concept of marriage today?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Essay following family supervision one Laura Jenkins Jesus College, Part II How necessary or convenient is the legal concept of marriage today? Social and legal changes since 1857 have slowly eroded the concept that marriage is "until death us do part". Although most marriages do still end in the death of one partner, an increasing number end in divorce (this number has increased fourfold in the last thirty years1), and many people choose the relative flexibility of merely living together, a situation which would have been impossible a hundred years ago for social reasons. So, in the twenty-first century, how necessary is the concept of marriage? Could we abolish it altogether? For the reasons outlined below it is quite clear that the answer to the latter point is a resounding "no", while the answer to the former is that marriage is still the only legal institution which gives rise to a particular set of legal rights and responsibilities. The first, relatively minor, point to make is that the Church of England remains the official religion of the UK; marriage is an important part of that religion, and while the Anglican church is still the established church of the UK, marriage will remain a necessary institution. ...read more.

Middle

Again, this seems to give the legal advantage to married couples, who find the law enforces a substantial right and benefit which the merely co-habiting partner does not receive. There are also important benefits for married parents, particularly married fathers. A child born to a married couple is registered as the child of both spouses (whether the father is the real father or not), in the absence of contrary instruction (i.e. an alternative father). In contrast, unmarried fathers have no such automatic right to be registered as the parent of the baby; they have to accompany the mother to register the birth, essentially meaning both that they can be shut out of gaining parental responsibility where they wish to play a role in the child's life or can abandon the mother and child and refuse to accept their responsibility at all. Neither of these scenarios are ideal as arguments between parents can lead to one partner being shut out of the child's life, which is undesirable from the point of view of the child's welfare, or enables parents to ignore their responsibility by not, in some cases, forcing it upon them. ...read more.

Conclusion

At the moment, there is no clear replacement for marriage as a legal institution, therefore it is necessary to preserve and provide the benefits outlined above to people within a relationship. It is difficult to see what could replace it: a merely civil partnership would not satisfy the church, or indeed the sensibilities of many people while giving co-habiting partners all the same rights as married partners would not be desirable either, as there are people who co-habit for the relative freedom etc. that it affords them. Thus marriage remains a convenient concept until the lawmakers are able to find an alternative arrangement which fulfils the necessities of marriage in the eyes of the church and law, while balancing the delicacies of social policy at the same time. Marriage as it stands at the moment is probably therefore the best option available from all points of view, although as society continues to change, the legislative must be sure to respond to the needs of the electorate in adapting the law to protect those in co-habiting couples, whether hetro- or homo-sexual, to ensure that there does not become an underclass purely based upon a quasi-religious ceremony. 1 23 Social Trends, 2.15 (1993) ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Child Development section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Child Development essays

  1. The main aim of this paper is to compare and contrast parental rights and ...

    29 THE LAW RELATING TO ACCESS TO CHILDREN The right of access is of practical importance when physical possession of the child is with someone else. For instance, after divorce and the child has his home with one parent.30 The object is to enable the parent and child to keep

  2. Why family structures are changing.

    One is going to preview government initiatives which have bee brought in to help those in poverty especially families. There have been many initiatives by the Blair government to help families experiencing poverty. One such initiative was sure start. Sure start is was set up to support families experiencing poverty

  1. Health and Social care

    The nursery has to care for each of these client groups in a different way as they all have specific care needs. Below is a summary for each age group within the nursery. I have chosen to highlight the particular areas relating to the PIES (physical, intellectual, emotional and social needs)

  2. Explain the context, concept, lessons and recommendations from the Norsk Hydro's Utkal Venture case ...

    basis of cost, seeking to minimize the expenses while investing heavily in exploration to secure access to new resources at a rate that outpaces depletion of current reserves.3 The drivers for mining companies' global expansion are both internal and external factors.

  1. Good Practice Within the Legislative Framework.

    In this assignment it is the Child protection order being discussed. The current laws of the Child Protection Act today seem to be working fine. A survey was conducted with ten Males and ten Females answering questions to do with child abuse and child protection.

  2. Children and the Law.

    Here we can clearly see that the care Ruth is giving is not what a reasonable parent would give and so she is the cause of the significant harm her children are suffering. Now that s.31 (2) has been satisfied the local authority are under a duty to act and provide adequate services to Daniel and Ellie.

  1. Legal & Welfare

    Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts. Sexual abuse also includes non-contact activities, such as involving the child/young

  2. Private International Law

    If the child has a home with both parents the fathers domicile is supreme. If both parents are dead the domicile the child had before the death remains until he is old enough to gain his own domicile.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work