Wedding Etiquette Forum

Say whaaaaat?

shoebunnieshoebunnie member
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edited June 2014 in Wedding Etiquette Forum
I had a discussion today with a patient in which he referred to his wife. I asked how long they have been married and he said "we aren't really. I mean we are common law, signed the paperwork and everything but the ceremony is in November". Hmmm...sounds like a PPD day to me if you have signed something which is filed with the state stating you are married. Maybe I'm just confused. ETA: I apologize for the confusion, I am not a healthcare provider, HIPAA was not violated and I should've used the phrase "this guy I was talking to".
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Re: Say whaaaaat?

  • phiraphira Bahstin member
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    I was under the impression that common law = no signing paperwork.
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  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
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    phira said:
    I was under the impression that common law = no signing paperwork.
    Yeah this is confusing.  Sounds like he really meant "legally" (read: in reality) vs. "common law."
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    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

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  • @phira a handful of states allow a couple to declare themselves married and sign a declaration and file it at the courthouse. Technically in Texas it's called an "informal marriage" but it is still legally binding if the criteria has been met.
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  • Whoa. Are doctors (I assume you are a doctor if you have patients...) allowed to post personal, critical stories about their patients on public forums?
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  • mysticlmysticl member
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    scribe95 said:
    She didn't break any rules. She said nothing about his medical condition, which is the protected part. 
    Nor was his name or any identifying information mentioned.  All we know is the patient is male and married to a woman.  And for all we know the OP could have changed some of those details to further protect the person's identity.

    Also one does not have to be a doctor to have patients.  Nurses, physical therapists, etc. have patients.  Heck, my primary care provider is a nurse practitioner, there isn't a doctor anywhere in that office.  
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  • Fran1985 Fran1985 Narnia member
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    mysticl said:
    scribe95 said:
    She didn't break any rules. She said nothing about his medical condition, which is the protected part. 
    Nor was his name or any identifying information mentioned.  All we know is the patient is male and married to a woman.  And for all we know the OP could have changed some of those details to further protect the person's identity.

    Also one does not have to be a doctor to have patients.  Nurses, physical therapists, etc. have patients.  Heck, my primary care provider is a nurse practitioner, there isn't a doctor anywhere in that office.  

    SITB

    All those people would be covered under HIPAA too though. Hipaa doesn't just protect medical information, it protects identifiable information like name, address, ssn, etc. Maritial status isn't covered  (Im pretty sure), but it could definitely be covered under state privacy law. It's not outrageous for biggrouch to point that this could come close to a gray area, especially when the consequences could be so severe. 

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  • What's the big difference between common law and legal marriage? From what I've read here the only thing is that family can contest the spouse.....but they can do they anyways can't they?

    After 6 years and 2 boys, finally tying the knot on October 27th, 2013!

  • mysticlmysticl member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    mysticl said:
    scribe95 said:
    She didn't break any rules. She said nothing about his medical condition, which is the protected part. 
    Nor was his name or any identifying information mentioned.  All we know is the patient is male and married to a woman.  And for all we know the OP could have changed some of those details to further protect the person's identity.

    Also one does not have to be a doctor to have patients.  Nurses, physical therapists, etc. have patients.  Heck, my primary care provider is a nurse practitioner, there isn't a doctor anywhere in that office.  

    SITB

    All those people would be covered under HIPAA too though. Hipaa doesn't just protect medical information, it protects identifiable information like name, address, ssn, etc. Maritial status isn't covered  (Im pretty sure), but it could definitely be covered under state privacy law. It's not outrageous for biggrouch to point that this could come close to a gray area, especially when the consequences could be so severe. 

    I know they are covered under HIPAA.  As a foster care worker I was covered under HIPAA because part of our fees were paid by Medicaid.  I was responding to a poster's assumption that to have patients you must be a doctor which is not accurate.

    Also, I wouldn't really call it a gray area since we don't have identifying on the patient or the practitioner. It's not like we know the particular medical practice or hospital where the patient is being seen to try to narrow down his identity.  
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  • What's the big difference between common law and legal marriage? From what I've read here the only thing is that family can contest the spouse.....but they can do they anyways can't they?

    This is what I was able to find out on Wikipedia:

    The original concept of a common-law marriage is a marriage that is considered valid by both partners, but has not been formally registered with a state or church registry, or a formal religious service. In effect, the act of the couple representing themselves to others as being married acts as the evidence that they are married. In jurisdictions recognizing common-law marriages, such a marriage is not legally distinct from a traditional ceremonial marriage enacted through a civil or religious ceremony in terms of the couple's rights and obligations to one another.

    I know that this definition can vary by state because I read in a post here once that a couple can sign a form (depending on their state) to be declared married without going through a ceremony.

    Now there is one other scenerio, I knew a couple that had been legally married by the state for many years. After several years, they got active in the church and renewed their faith. They are catholic so from my understanding since they didn't getting married originally in the church, their marriage wasn't recognized by the church. So they renewed their vows in the church but kept it very small & simple and just wore their nice sunday clothes, invited only the parents and siblings who were local for a private ceremony at the church.

  • So, with all the talk that same-sex marriage will 'ruin the sanctity of marriage,' has anyone thought that straight people are doing a bang-up job of that themselves?

    Daily.
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  • melbensomelbenso Hoth, apparently member
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    Most states don't have common law marriage anymore.  In Ohio - where I practice - it was banned by statute in the early 90s.  Only common law marriages from before that time are valid.  I've seen a few, but not many.  And to be common law married where/when it was allowed, you had to cohabitate for a number of years (varied from state to state, often 7) and hold yourselves out as husband and wife.  Legally speaking, this doesn't just mean you call that lady you've lived with for 10 years your wife, even though you never got a marriage license.  It means you do things like file taxes as married for 10 years, even though you never got a marriage license.

    But in my experience, most people don't know a.) what common law marriage is or b.) that it hasn't actually been a legally recognized union in most places for several decades.

    This guy, however, just has no idea what he is talking about.

    Also, OP didn't violate HIPPA.  She offered no identifying information about her patient.  A doctor (or any other medical professional) can go home to her family and say "I saw a guy at the ER today who had a bottle stuck up his bum.  He tried to convince me that he fell on it," and that doesn't violate HIPPA because it offers no information on who the guy is.  Now if the doctor then whipped out the guy's X-rays to show her family, that would be a big problem. So the original post, which doesn't talk at all about the patient's medical condition, certainly doesn't violate HIPPA.
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  • mysticlmysticl member
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    melbenso said:
    Most states don't have common law marriage anymore.  In Ohio - where I practice - it was banned by statute in the early 90s.  Only common law marriages from before that time are valid.  I've seen a few, but not many.  And to be common law married where/when it was allowed, you had to cohabitate for a number of years (varied from state to state, often 7) and hold yourselves out as husband and wife.  Legally speaking, this doesn't just mean you call that lady you've lived with for 10 years your wife, even though you never got a marriage license.  It means you do things like file taxes as married for 10 years, even though you never got a marriage license.

    But in my experience, most people don't know a.) what common law marriage is or b.) that it hasn't actually been a legally recognized union in most places for several decades.

    This guy, however, just has no idea what he is talking about.

    Also, OP didn't violate HIPPA.  She offered no identifying information about her patient.  A doctor (or any other medical professional) can go home to her family and say "I saw a guy at the ER today who had a bottle stuck up his bum.  He tried to convince me that he fell on it," and that doesn't violate HIPPA because it offers no information on who the guy is.  Now if the doctor then whipped out the guy's X-rays to show her family, that would be a big problem. So the original post, which doesn't talk at all about the patient's medical condition, certainly doesn't violate HIPPA.
    That is a myth.  No state that recognizes common law marriages has a cohabitation requirement of 7 years.  Some states do not have a cohabitation requirement at all.  
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  • melbensomelbenso Hoth, apparently member
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    edited May 2014
    mysticl said:
      And to be common law married where/when it was allowed, you had to cohabitate for a number of years (varied from state to state, often 7) and hold yourselves out as husband and wife. 
    That is a myth.  No state that recognizes common law marriages has a cohabitation requirement of 7 years.  Some states do not have a cohabitation requirement at all.  
    Most states don't recognize common law marriage. Period.  When they did, there were cohabitation requirements in many of them. It was part of the holding yourself out as married thing.

    Edited to add:
    Common-law marriage is generally a non-ceremonial relationship that requires "a positive mutual agreement, permanent and exclusive of all others, to enter into a marriage relationship, cohabitation sufficient to warrant a fulfillment of necessary relationship of man and wife, and an assumption of marital duties and obligations." Black's Law Dictionary 277 (6th ed. 1990).

    More info available on the Conference of State Legislatures website.
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  • sarawifenowsarawifenow Denver, baby! member
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    biggrouch said:
    Whoa. Are doctors (I assume you are a doctor if you have patients...) allowed to post personal, critical stories about their patients on public forums?

    Someone is looking to troll today
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  • Fran1985 Fran1985 Narnia member
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    melbenso said:
    Most states don't have common law marriage anymore.  In Ohio - where I practice - it was banned by statute in the early 90s.  Only common law marriages from before that time are valid.  I've seen a few, but not many.  And to be common law married where/when it was allowed, you had to cohabitate for a number of years (varied from state to state, often 7) and hold yourselves out as husband and wife.  Legally speaking, this doesn't just mean you call that lady you've lived with for 10 years your wife, even though you never got a marriage license.  It means you do things like file taxes as married for 10 years, even though you never got a marriage license.

    But in my experience, most people don't know a.) what common law marriage is or b.) that it hasn't actually been a legally recognized union in most places for several decades.

    This guy, however, just has no idea what he is talking about.

    Also, OP didn't violate HIPPA.  She offered no identifying information about her patient.  A doctor (or any other medical professional) can go home to her family and say "I saw a guy at the ER today who had a bottle stuck up his bum.  He tried to convince me that he fell on it," and that doesn't violate HIPPA because it offers no information on who the guy is.  Now if the doctor then whipped out the guy's X-rays to show her family, that would be a big problem. So the original post, which doesn't talk at all about the patient's medical condition, certainly doesn't violate HIPPA.


    As far as I know none of the states have a number of years requirement.

    Also no one is saying she violated HIPAA. (Two As not two Ps. But my instinct is always to write hippo) But there is also the privacy act and various state privacy laws that might apply. OP has given her full name before, it would not be impossible for the patient to be on this board and put together that they are being talked about. Again, not saying she even came close to violating anything, I'm just saying when you weigh the risk (being identified for talking about a patient on an online forum) vs the reward (posting on the online forum to snark about someone) I would always be in favor of not posting.


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  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
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    melbenso said:
    Most states don't have common law marriage anymore.  In Ohio - where I practice - it was banned by statute in the early 90s.  Only common law marriages from before that time are valid.  I've seen a few, but not many.  And to be common law married where/when it was allowed, you had to cohabitate for a number of years (varied from state to state, often 7) and hold yourselves out as husband and wife.  Legally speaking, this doesn't just mean you call that lady you've lived with for 10 years your wife, even though you never got a marriage license.  It means you do things like file taxes as married for 10 years, even though you never got a marriage license.

    But in my experience, most people don't know a.) what common law marriage is or b.) that it hasn't actually been a legally recognized union in most places for several decades.

    This guy, however, just has no idea what he is talking about.

    Also, OP didn't violate HIPPA.  She offered no identifying information about her patient.  A doctor (or any other medical professional) can go home to her family and say "I saw a guy at the ER today who had a bottle stuck up his bum.  He tried to convince me that he fell on it," and that doesn't violate HIPPA because it offers no information on who the guy is.  Now if the doctor then whipped out the guy's X-rays to show her family, that would be a big problem. So the original post, which doesn't talk at all about the patient's medical condition, certainly doesn't violate HIPPA.


    As far as I know none of the states have a number of years requirement.

    Also no one is saying she violated HIPAA. (Two As not two Ps. But my instinct is always to write hippo) But there is also the privacy act and various state privacy laws that might apply. OP has given her full name before, it would not be impossible for the patient to be on this board and put together that they are being talked about. Again, not saying she even came close to violating anything, I'm just saying when you weigh the risk (being identified for talking about a patient on an online forum) vs the reward (posting on the online forum to snark about someone) I would always be in favor of not posting.

    This. And it's been proven, to a frightening extent, how quickly and effectively members of this forum can find a person, their employer, their registry and wedding website.

    Not to mention, I would be uncomfortable if I found out my healthcare provider was snarking about me online...not that I had a PPD, but, well ya know, other stuff I don't want them laughing about with strangers... :-\
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

    Fran1985 RebeccaB88
  • AlexisA01AlexisA01 Dubai, my royal playground. member
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    biggrouch said:
    Whoa. Are doctors (I assume you are a doctor if you have patients...) allowed to post personal, critical stories about their patients on public forums?





    SITB
    As another medical doctor, no the OP is not breaking any rules BUT it's not a good idea to talk about patients online. Imagine if the "bride" got online and read this post then she would know with the information that was provided by the OP that it was about her.

    Live fast, die young. Bad Girls do it well. Suki Zuki.

  • Not looking to troll (I assume dissent =/= trolling), just rather dismayed at the idea of a medical professional posting in this way about me if I happened to make some etiquette gaffe I was unaware of making. I don't know the legality of it and appreciate the people who have expertise weighing in. And yes, I should have said "medical professional" or something more general. Sorry about that.
  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
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    Not to mention, I would be uncomfortable if I found out my healthcare provider was snarking about me online...not that I had a PPD, but, well ya know, other stuff I don't want them laughing about with strangers... :-\
    They probably do.

    I mean, maybe not about YOU specifically, but they probably do about SOMEone.

    I mean, they're people too, it's normal to want to vent. But chances are that you'll never be in a situation to find out, so I guess that's all that matters.
    beharrington
  • I honestly don't have a problem with it. It isn't medical or personal information.  As we've stated many times, a records search shows who is married. 

    To me this is the same as someone who works in marketing coming on here and saying "ugh we had this customer in today who was talking about the cash bar they are having at their wedding"

    Just because this person has patients doesn't mean EVERY SINGLE THING they say is "privileged" - she's not a lawyer or a priest. If you tell a Dr you murdered someone, they aren't forbidden to tell anyone like a priest or lawyer is.  They only thing they can't tell you is medical stuff and social security and the like.  I think people ragging on OP for making a statement about a patient that is a bit much. Could she have provided less info? Sure.  but we don't even know that the info she provided is accurate.  I often change details to protect the guilty.  Say it's the groom when it was really the bride, change Cozumel to the Bahamas, etc.  That's more in case the B/G are on here so they can't figure out I am talking about them. But still.  OP could have done the same thing
    My reaction to most everything on the internet today:
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  • In Manitoba, you can register your common law relationship to come into effect before the 3 years it takes to do it without paper work. Maybe it's this kind of thing?
  • We do have common-law marriages. You don't file a license, and it is considered its own form of legal, divorce-requiring marriage. However, if you have a common-law marriage, you CAN file a thing at the courthouse that basically serves as paperwork you can show people to prove your existing marriage is real (like if you needed it for insurance or whatever). It's optional, though.

    I am curious whether he meant common-law marriage, or if they registered as a domestic partnership (is that a thing in your area?), or if he just means they live together and got a license. . . ?
  • kitty8403kitty8403 member
    1000 Comments 250 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    edited May 2014
    mysticl said:


    melbenso said:

    Most states don't have common law marriage anymore.  In Ohio - where I practice - it was banned by statute in the early 90s.  Only common law marriages from before that time are valid.  I've seen a few, but not many.  And to be common law married where/when it was allowed, you had to cohabitate for a number of years (varied from state to state, often 7) and hold yourselves out as husband and wife.  Legally speaking, this doesn't just mean you call that lady you've lived with for 10 years your wife, even though you never got a marriage license.  It means you do things like file taxes as married for 10 years, even though you never got a marriage license.

    But in my experience, most people don't know a.) what common law marriage is or b.) that it hasn't actually been a legally recognized union in most places for several decades.

    This guy, however, just has no idea what he is talking about.

    Also, OP didn't violate HIPPA.  She offered no identifying information about her patient.  A doctor (or any other medical professional) can go home to her family and say "I saw a guy at the ER today who had a bottle stuck up his bum.  He tried to convince me that he fell on it," and that doesn't violate HIPPA because it offers no information on who the guy is.  Now if the doctor then whipped out the guy's X-rays to show her family, that would be a big problem. So the original post, which doesn't talk at all about the patient's medical condition, certainly doesn't violate HIPPA.

    That is a myth.  No state that recognizes common law marriages has a cohabitation requirement of 7 years.  Some states do not have a cohabitation requirement at all.  


    ---SIB---
    ^ I'll have to look it up again, but I think our state requires six months, not 7 years.
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