As a married couple, they have the visiting rights in places where visitors are restricted to immediate family, for example jail and hospital etc. Besides, they have the right to make critical medical decisions for their spouse if their partner becomes incapacitated. In the case of partner’s death, the spouse receives any earned Social Security or veteran benefits.
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Serial monogamy creates a new kind of relative, the "ex-". The "ex-wife", for example, remains an active part of her "ex-husband's" life, as they may be tied together by transfers of resources (alimony, child support), or shared child custody. Bob Simpson notes that in the British case, serial monogamy creates an "extended family" – a number of households tied together in this way, including mobile children (possible exes may include an ex-wife, an ex-brother-in-law, etc., but not an "ex-child"). These "unclear families" do not fit the mould of the monogamous nuclear family. As a series of connected households, they come to resemble the polygynous model of separate households maintained by mothers with children, tied by a male to whom they are married or divorced. 
Copyright © 1997 to 2012 by
Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2012-NOV-12
Author: . Robinson
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