What if the Beckhams Move to L.A. and Divorce? Marital Property Rights of Mobile Spouses When They Divorce in the U.S.
28 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2008
Marital property rules in the U.S. vary greatly. In some states, all property is divisible, regardless when or how acquired. Most limit the scope of divisible property, but don't agree what is included in the divisible estate. In a few states, the divisible estate must be divided equally; in most, it is to be divided fairly, based on various factors.
So, a divorce property division can be substantially impacted by what law is chosen to apply to the couple's rights to property when they divorce. An increasing number of couples who divorce in the U.S. live in more than one state or country during marriage. It is curious that little attention has been given in the U.S. to how one should determine the applicable law in such instances.
In this article I summarize the primary European approach accepted in this situation, and compare it to what U.S. courts have done to date. I propose an approach for American courts to use to determine the rights of mobile spouses at divorce.
Keywords: marital property, conflicts of law, divorce, mobile spouses
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