I just received an email from a good friend that linked to this New York Times article about civil unions gaining popularity in France. Without getting too far into the politics of it all, she mainly sent me the article because I am a strong proponent of allowing marriage to remain as as a religious or spiritual ceremony and civil unions as an action of the State, wherein they would be entirely separate concepts.
That is not what struck me about the most about the article. Instead, it was the fact that more than 75% of civil unions in France, called PACS for short, are between hetrosexual couples despite the fact that the marriage option still exists.
This in turn reminded me of my marraige. My husband and I joke that we’ve in fact been married twice, but twice to the same person (three times if you count our auf-ruf). Tamas and I were first married on December 27, 2008 (happy almost anniversary, honey) in a small ceremony at my parents’ home. It was presided over by a family friend and was our “civil union.” The main purpose of the civil union was to be married for at least one day in 2008 so we could file jointly on our taxes for that year. At the time, my husband’s son was living with us and based on our financial circumstances, we fared much better from a tax standpoint to be married than single. It was a lovely ceremony that we shared with only a few close friends. Later, in June of 2009, we were married in a religious ceremony where we had a “typical” wedding and invited many guests.
What’s my point? Although it’s not entirely romantic, it doesn’t hurt to think outside the box when considering a “union.” I wrote a post earlier about names changes that also suggested you think outside the box as it relates to marriage. Marriage is romantic and a scrament, but it also has legal implications, like tax advantages/disadvantages. Why not take advantage of them when you can? Tamas and I did and we actually paid for the majority of our wedding with our tax refund!
As an aside for those of you who read the article– I am not sure how I feel about the fact that to dissolve a PACS all you have to do is send a registered letter. Now, I love my husband to death, but I can only imagine how many times I would have made a rough draft of that letter?!?