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Family Law
University of Kansas School of Law
Peck, John C.

Family Law

Final Exam
Open Book
3 hr essay test
Need to cite statutes and cases on final exam (include them in your notes)

I. WHAT IS A Family?
a. Function v. form in Family Relations(pp. 1-14)
i. Family Definition?
1. Nuclear Family – Mother, Father, and Children.
ii. A municipality may limit households to individuals related by blood or marriage. City of Ladue v. Horn.
1. Unmarried couple residing together.
2. Two arguments made, (1) they were a conceptual family, (2) constitutional concerns.
a. Court held that for there to be a valid marriage, there must be 2 things:
i. Commitment to a permanent relationship;
ii. Perceived reciprocal obligation to support and care for each other.
b. Single family: Constitutional arguments
i. Free association – marriage relationships or sexual matters
ii. Privacy
iii. Equal Protection
1. Strict Scrutiny by the court if yes to one of these:
a. Is a fundamental right impacted?, or
b. Is there a suspect class?
2. Otherwise, Rational Basis Test for particular ordinance’s constitutionality.
a. I.e., does it rationally or reasonably make sense?
3. Where a fundamental (constitutional) right is not involved, ordinances (like zoning laws) regulating civic matters such as health and public welfare are presumptively valid.
a. Zoning ordinance said “single family residence,” persons must be related by blood, marriage, or adoption.
i. This is functionally an attempt at a definition of a family.
4. Approaches in Light of Ladue [6-10cb] a. see handout # 1

b. Unmarried Cohabitants: Contractual Arrangements (pp. 14-50) (supp. 1-2 (§23-118); 1-23A (§§59-504- 505); 1-2A and 1-3 (§§ 23-201, 202, 204, 207)
i. Intro

College Roomates

Married Couple

Do you have rights to each others property



Support obligations


Yes, alimony or maintenance



Yes §59-504,505

Splitting Up


Property can be divided in divorce §23-201(b)

ii. The Marvin Trilogy

Express contract

Implied contract




Agreement for support



support after termination of a nonmarital relationship may be proper, and equitable remedies are available insofar as they would “protect the expectations of the parties” to the non-marital relationship that has ended. Marvin v. Marvin (III) (1981) [12; 21cb] a. Lee Marvin, who had lived with Michelle Marvin without benefit of marriage, challenged the court’s award of $104,000 to her for purposes of “economic rehabilitation” after their relationship ended.
b. The court here, says the situations that would allow benefits to go to Michelle are not present.
i. Thus, Michelle gets nothing.
c. Overturns Marvin I & II.
d. NOTE: Effectively revived the common law marriage, but just found that it didn’t apply here.
4. KS does allow equitable property division even if there is no common law marriage. Eaton v Johnston.
a. Closest thing Kansas has to Marvin.
b. Summary of more Kansas cases on point, p. 4-6 in supp.
iii. The courts will adhere to the unmistakable legislative judgment disfavoring the grant of mutual property rights to knowingly unmarried cohabitants. Hewitt v. Hewitt (1979) [13; 25cb] 1. Victoria Hewitt (P) sought an equal share of the profits and properties accumulated by herself and Robert Hewitt (D) while they cohabited without the benefit of marriage.
2. Marvin held recovery can be had on a pure contractual theory and is impermissible only where the implicit sexual relationship is made the explicit consideration to the argument.