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Not So Common (Law) Marriage: Notes from a Blue State

Estate Planning & Community Property Law Journal, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 1-34, 2013

University of Washington School of Law Research Paper No. 2014-09

35 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2014  

Thomas R. Andrews

University of Washington - School of Law

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

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

Andrews, Thomas R., Not So Common (Law) Marriage: Notes from a Blue State (2013). Estate Planning & Community Property Law Journal, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 1-34, 2013; University of Washington School of Law Research Paper No. 2014-09. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2417418

Thomas R. Andrews (Contact Author)

University of Washington - School of Law ( email )

William H. Gates Hall
Box 353020
Seattle, WA 98105-3020
United States

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