New Bill Proposed for Couples Wanting to Marry
Source: Office of Sen. Jackson
As one of the most popular days for marriage proposals approaches, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) introduced legislation [last week] to ensure newlyweds are aware of the legal and financial commitments they agree to when they say “I do.” Senate Bill 927 creates a “marriage fact sheet,” which outlines the rights and responsibilities associated with marriage and domestic partnership in the state of California.
“For most Americans, marriage is perhaps the most significant legal contract they will enter in their lifetime. Yet very few newlyweds are aware of the legal rights and responsibilities involved with marriage. You wouldn’t sign any other lifetime contract without discussing the details first. SB 927 ensures that when a couple decides to marry, each person is aware of the legal and financial obligations associated with that marriage so they can better plan for their lives together,” said Senator Jackson.
Hundreds of thousands of couples get married each year in California. In 2018, there were 247,000 marriages in California alone.
SB 927 requires the Judicial Council to prepare a brochure outlining how marriage and domestic partnership affect property rights; financial obligations surrounding debts, pension, and retirement benefits; child and spousal support obligations; information related to domestic violence; laws concerning spousal rape, and other information surrounding marriage and domestic partnership in the state of California.
California would not be the only state with such a requirement. Since 1999, the state of Florida has required that all marriage license applicants read a Family Law Handbook which covers legal issues and responsibilities related to marriage and family, family violence, and divorce.
A former family law attorney, Senator Jackson has seen firsthand how many couples are unaware of the specific legal and financial obligations involved with marriage. Based on this experience, she has worked for more than 20 years to create a marriage fact sheet. Her Assembly Bill 889 was vetoed by then-Governor Gray Davis in 1999.
Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.