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Properties of Marriage

Posted: 7 Jul 2003  

Hanoch Dagan

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law

Carolyn Frantz

University of Chicago Law School


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.

Suggested Citation

Dagan, Hanoch and Frantz, Carolyn, Properties of Marriage. Columbia Law Review, Vol. 104, January 2004. Available at SSRN:

Hanoch Dagan (Contact Author)

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel Aviv 69978, IL
+972 3 640 7302 (Phone)

Carolyn Frantz

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-1622 (Phone)

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