Divorced but still living together? It’s not just Gary and Shannon. It happens more than you might think

Gary Coleman and his ex-wife Shannon Price were not married at the time she pulled the plug on him (isn’t that just a little bit disconcerting?), sending him off to Heaven arguably before his time. Speaking of that, the whole thing is fishy because first of all, she did not tell anyone they were actually divorced. She pretended to still be married to him. It was easy to pull off the scam because the two were still living together as husband and wife. And guess what, in Utah, that could mean she was still his wife even though they had divorce papers drawn up because Utah recognizes common law marriages. (She may have been designated as his health care proxy, though)  But if she didn’t have a proxy authorization, if Coleman’s estate demands an investigation into his death, the burden would then shift to Shannon to prove she was his common law spouse and a part of the test is for her to demonstrate that they held themselves out as husband and wife to the community and they referred to each other as husband and wife. Which, is appears, they did.
For one thing, they were still living under the same roof. What was that about? Beats me. But it seems to happen more and more these days. Fergie and Andrew (Duke and Duchess of York) are a perfect example of this modern phenomenon – couples who are divorced by still living under the same roof. Of course, nobody can call Fergie and Andy common law spouses. That was abolished in England by the Marriage Act of 1753. I think.
Other than folks like Gary and Shannon and Fergie and Andy, the hoi polloi are also shacking up, post-matrimony, in greater numbers. I am not sure if the Pew Research Center has done any studies on why that might be. But it could be an interesting study to figure out why. It is easy to chock it up to the recession. But it is possible the reason is even more complex than that.
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