Presentation on theme: "Law of the Intact Marriage. To what extent will the state intervene to resolve disputes in ongoing marriages? What are the duties spouses owe to one another."— Presentation transcript:
Economic Privileges and Disabilities of Married Women The law of coverture Women have no capacity to contract, draft wills, sue or be sued, or own property in their own names. Husbands hold rights in their wives’ property and earnings.
Husband’s duties Supply W with necessaries and pay her debts Be solely liable for the couple's joint torts Be jointly liable for wife's torts Be solely liable for torts and crimes committed by wife in husband’s presence
What changed? Sociological & demographic changes in the role of women in the home and economy. Legislation (e.g., the married women’s property acts). Constitutional interpretation (recognizing gender discrimination as a violation of equal protection).
Two Property Schemes Common Law Community Property
Common Law no “marital” or “community” property exists Parties can own property jointly or, in some states, by the entireties Individual ownership determined by title
Community Property (or UMPA) Community (or “marital”) property: all property acquired during the marriage Separate (or “individual”) property: generally property acquired before the marriage or by gift or inheritance.
Doctrine of Necessaries Sharpe Furniture v. Buckstaff
Modern Formulations of the Duty of Support How to reformulate the doctrine? –Abolish –Make gender neutral –Make liability secondary to responsible party To what extent should this duty be subject to contractual modification?