Same-sex marriage is still in the headlines in Illinois. The arguments for and against have not varied much over the years, though the civil union law added a little complexity on both sides. What we do know is that the debate won't die down any time soon -- it is an election year, after all.
We are talking about a recent decision by Canadian officials that has put at least one same-sex couple in a strange situation. The two women were married in 2005. They now want to divorce. The government says they can't.
For those of us who pay attention to movie stars, it was a surprise when Warren Beatty married Annette Benning in 1992. It may have been less of a surprise when Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise filed for divorce, but she elicited such sympathy that hundreds of people partied outside her hotel when she remarried in 2006. Both women are Best Actress nominees this year, and if Oscar has his way, if one of them wins, she'll soon be negotiating child support and custody, spousal maintenance and property division with her soon-to-be-ex-husband.
A recent report called The State of Our Unions discusses the health of marriages in America. The joint study was conducted by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and New York's Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values.According to the report, the chance of divorce varies based on your personal and social circumstances, including financial circumstances. You can improve your odds of staying married by having a college degree, coming from an intact home and waiting to have kids until after you are legally married.
It seems more unmarried couples chose to live together during the recession -- a 13 percent increase from 2009 to 2010, according to the results of ASES, the Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. At the same time, the number of marriages continues to decline, as did the divorce rate. Ifyou are part of an unmarried couple in Illinois, take note: Your cohabitation won't last if it was based on financial need.