Properties of Marriage
Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law
University of Chicago Law School
Columbia Law Review, Vol. 104, January 2004
This paper articulates and examines one ideal for the institution of marriage - marriage as an egalitarian liberal community. Under this vision, the communal values of marriage, where spouses share with each other without reference to individual desert, are combined with a concern for non-subordination and a protection of individual autonomy, notably free exit. We argue that, contrary to the common assumption that these goals are incompatible, they can be accommodated to a remarkable degree. We then trace the implications for this vision of marriage for marital property law. We use it to defend the equal division rule of existing marital assets, as well as a broad scope for marital property, including notably both the spouses' increased (and decreased) earning capacity during the pendency of their marriage. We also discuss alimony, endorsing generally the current practice of rehabilitative alimony, and property governance, arguing for community property rules for spouses during marriage.
Date posted: July 7, 2003
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