Marriage has evolved a lot throughout civilization. It has become quite different from its origins and consistently evolves as time goes by.  Although some people don’t like to accept it, marriage was not always about love.  Marriage is now commonly viewed as being about love and familial bonds, but it was not always that way. 

Due to some of the origins of marriage, there used to be certain things that were required of a wife and of a husband once they were married.  That is not the same anymore.  In this blog, we will talk about this evolution and how this has changed.  Like all of our blogs, this is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a family law attorney.

You are not required to change your name

In the past, was common for the wife to take the name of her husband and forgo her own name.  This new name would apply to the children as well and it signified the wife leaving her family and joining/starting a new one.  At some point, it became common practice for the wife to hyphenate, or make her maiden name her middle name. 

With the legality of same sex marriage, the spouse who changed their name would be decided by the two parties, and that method of name change followed all the previously accepted traditions of marriage. 

None of this is required, however.  Nobody has to change their name.  This is the personal choice of the parties to a marriage and not something that is legally required.

You are not required to live together

Typically, when people think of a marriage, they envision two people living together, sleeping in the same bed, and sharing a household.  Some couples, however, for various reasons, sometimes maintain separate bedrooms, and sometimes even separate residences.  This is perfectly legal and it is fine as long as it is acceptable to the parties involved.

While there is no marriage requirement that the parties must live together, there is a requirement that the parties must live separate and apart for a certain period of time in order to get a divorce.

You are not required to behave a certain way…to an extent

There are many societal norms associated with how a married couple should behave, but this is something that is not legislated. Couples get to decide how they wish to live. For example, if a couple wants to have an open marriage, legally they can do.  Although adultery is technically still illegal in NC, this law is not enforced and similar laws have been found to be unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court. Please note, however, that adultery may have ramifications regarding alimony and heartbalm torts, such as alienation of affection.

You are accountable for crimes that you commit against your spouse

There was a time, however, where it was not possible for a man to rape his wife but, thankfully, that has changed.  This is because unlike in the past, the woman is not considered the property of the man.  The man is not the property of the woman, either.  Marriage is simply a legal union, the specifics of which are decided by the parties in that union and not anyone else.

If you are in need of a family law attorney, contact us.

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