The single most popular topic written about in our Legal Scholarship has been  “Why is Marriage Important to our Society? What are the Benefits?”  This honorable mention, written by Tiffany Batten, UF Levin College of Law, is no exception.  We present you with TIffany’s essay.  Thank you Tiffany.

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Why is Marriage Important to our Society? What are the Benefits?

Many individuals make promises and just as many break them; marriage however, is no exception. Marriage is a promise, a promise to stay committed to a partner, to success, and to putting family first. Marriage is important to our society because it is a promise that holds dire consequences if broken, both legally and morally. Because of the symbolic power of marriage, Americans are compelled to make and keep a promise that lays the foundation to a healthy society.

Americans are social beings, craving recognition and acceptance from neighbors and peers. This craving can drown individuals in a flood of solitude, heartache and withdrawal. Marriage however, satisfies the craving while also providing companionship, support and financial stability. Each of these benefits of marriage furnish spouses with the confidence to enhance different sectors their surrounding community. Additionally, individuals that can contribute to society while also at the same time advance their family status is the capstone of the American dream.

From a legal standpoint, marriage creates a commitment between two individuals that provides protection and benefits for the entire family. Without going into lengthy legalese detail, these benefits symbolize the moral approval of marriage traditionally rooted in American history. Sure, the government is not forced to award married couples tax exemptions, hospital visitation or property rights, however the government strives to reward behavior society has traditionally approved of. Both the emotional and legal benefits stemming from a lifetime commitment between two individuals is why marriage is important to our society.

From a child’s perspective, marriage provides descendants with security to utilize everything society has to offer, such as a public school education. Although a child could still attend school even without married parents, marriage alleviates the pressures a child may feel from growing up with parent(s) not taking advantage of the legal benefits the government offers. Of course, the climate in the United States is always changing and there are more children born out of wedlock today than ever before, but this does not undermine the fundamental importance of marriage. Marriage tends to provide children with a sense of security, emotionally and financially, that from a moral standpoint, parents should strive to always administer.

As stated above, many Americans feel compelled to get married because it is the “traditional” thing to do. Critics claim that marriage is largely symbolic and is not necessary to be successful in today’s society. Although this may be true, the emotional benefits of marriage are what society should keep in mind in order to develop the most well-rounded, mentally stable individuals. Today’s millennials have tunnel vision on a six-figure salary and driving a Maserati before the age of 30. What many fail to realize is that this never-ending drive for financial success will never make the individual feel whole. Even if marriage didn’t provide financial and legal benefits, marriage still furnishes individuals with emotional stability and support that human beings inevitably need to achieve the American Dream. Marriage, a fluid and ever-changing concept, is the promise that Americans should yearn to make and to never break.

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