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Family Law
South Texas College of Law Houston
Carlson, Elaine A.

I.                     REGULATION OF MARRIAGE
a.      Introduction
                                                               i.      Types of Couples
1.      Traditionalists: only one spouse works; marriage is ideal b/c it protects the non-income earner
2.      Yuppies: both spouses work
3.      Partners: not married
                                                            ii.      3 Major Reasons People Marry
1.      Love
a.      Personal expression of commitment
b.      Legal commitment
                                                                                                                                       i.      Protection of reliance interest
                                                                                                                                     ii.      Like a contract
                                                                                                                                    iii.      Helpful for LT planning
c.      Lawful intercourse
2.      Procreation
a.      Presumed Father Rule: if man is married to the mother he is presumed to be the father of the child
b.      Support for child
c.      Protection for child bearer
d.      Protection for non-caretaker i.e. visitation rights
3.      Economic Advantages
a.      Building and sharing wealth
                                                                                                                                       i.      Economies of scale-“one roof principle”
1.      Save cost of paying rent, expenses
2.      Don’t really have to be married
                                                                                                                                     ii.      Avoidance of bookkeeping
1.      Court divides by just and right division
2.      No bookkeeping necessary if married
b.      Division of Labor
                                                                                                                                       i.      Very efficient if people have specialized tasks (income producer vs. household management)
                                                                                                                                     ii.      Protects non-economic contributions
c.      Mutual Support and Welfare
                                                                                                                                       i.      “Insurable interests”
1.      Public Benefits-must be married
a.      Social security: surviving spouse benefit is only given to married persons
b.      FMLA: must be married for work leave rules
2.      Private Benefits-depends on ER discretion
a.      ER’s may elect to allow non-married persons to participate in plan
                                                                                                                                     ii.      Mutual duty of support
                                                                                                                                    iii.      Security for child’s primary caretaker
                                                            iii.      Rewards for marriage
1.      Property interests
2.      Rights of inheritance
3.      Homestead
4.      Standing to sue (wrongful death, loss of consortium)
5.      Public welfare benefits
6.      Immigration
7.      Adoption
8.      FMLA Leave
9.      Income tax benefits
10. Gift tax benefits
11. Standing for guardianship
12. Presumed paternity
b.     State regulation of Marriage-Constitutional Limits

take care of children in future
b.      Holding: unconstitutional b/c the statute was overly broad and was not an effective way of accomplishing collection of child support
                                                                                                                                       i.      Doesn’t make any exceptions where could go b/f judge and explain situation
                                                                                                                                     ii.      More children will be born outside of marriage
                                                                                                                                    iii.      Couple could go to another state
                                                                                                                                   iv.      Enforcing law doesn’t get money for children
c.      TFC 2.004 (b)7 when you apply for wedding license you must answer a serious of questions under oath including whether child support is owed
                                                             ii.      Polygamy
1.      Arguments
Privacy rights
Property complications
Complication w/children
Liberty Interest
Traditional morality
Integrity of the family unit
Standing of women
Men’s rights (small handful of men have all the women)