Money Matters in Ongoing Marriage Law

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2 Responses

  1. Don says:

    I think you are missing the point. Marriage must be a relationship where the two can work out whether to give the sister the money or not. Empowering the law to interfere in the internal workings of a marriage to enforce the preferences of one or the other spouse in purely personal matters is bad policy in the extreme. It effectivel works to destroy the whole idea of marriage. Judge, he bought a sports car but I wanted a van! Judge, he went golfing but I needed him to work on our jointly-owned and rapidly deteriorating marital house!

  2. Alicia Kelly says:

    The law already empowers one person to enforce their preferences to the potential detriment of the other-that is the effect of the title rule. It gives exclusive legal power to the person whose name is on an asset. Your example under current majority law: “Honey, I bought a sports car even though I knew you didn’t agree and there is nothing you can do about it.” That is the “idea of marriage” in place in law now. Similarly in the stock example, the husband has the legal right to give away property that both he and his wife co-own, without even telling her. Property acquisition and management is not a solo enterprise for married couples. So property ownership and management should be shared. That would create a more level playing field for the couple “to work it out.”

    It would not require court intervention. Most couples collaborate for major economic decisions. My sharing rule supports what most couples do anyway. But in situations when one spouse is inclined to act alone, the untitled spouse would have a right to know about a proposed transaction and they would both have an equal voice in whether to engage in a significant transaction that impact them both. As I said, financial institutions rather than courts would primarily be the ones implementing the structure for joint consent. Rather than seeing it as “legal intervention” couples would probably think it quite normal that both parties have a say over shared property.