Not So Common (Law) Marriage: Notes from a Blue State
Estate Planning & Community Property Law Journal, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 1-34, 2013
35 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2014
Date Written: 2013
One of the continuing challenges for American marital property law in the twenty-first century, broadly understood, is what to do about property disputes between domestic partners who are not married. More precisely, the challenge is determining what to do when there are property disputes between unmarried intimate partners, whether heterosexual or homosexual. From what I can tell, this is as much of a challenge in Texas as it is in the rest of the country.
In the northwest corner of the country, we have a set of attitudes that, like many social and cultural norms, have found their way into our common law. These northwestern attitudes might not be so common, or at least so commonly understood, in Texas. Thus, the purpose of this article is to describe how my Blue State of Washington handles property disputes between domestic partners, as well as to discuss what Texas might be able to take from a Blue State approach.
Keywords: unmarried partners, community property, marital property, domestic partnerships, meretricious relationships, same-sex relationships, common law marriage, putative spouse, lesbians, gay men, LGBT issues, committed intimate relationships , equitable remedies, DOMA, Defense of Marriage Act
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation