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Family Law
University of Kansas School of Law
Andrews, William B.

I. Changing Concepts of Family

a. Function Versus Form in “Family” Relationships [1-14cb] i. A municipality may limit households to individuals related by blood or marriage. City of Ladue v. Horn (1986) [3; 1cb] 1. A zoning ordinance enacted by the City of Ladue, Missouri, limited households to individuals related by blood, marriage, or adoption.
2. Horn (D) and Jones (D) were an unmarried couple residing together. City (P) brought action to enforce the ordinance.
3. The court held that for their to be a valid marriage there must been two things:
a. Commitment to a permanent relationship;
b. Perceived reciprocal obligation to support and to care for each other.
The court would have probably found in favor of couple if they had some sort of written agreement between them.
4. Single family: Constitutional arguments
a. Free association: marriage relationships or sexual matters
b. Privacy
c. Equal Protection
i. Is a fundamental right impacted?; or
ii. Is there a suspect class?
5. Ct: A municipality may limit households to individuals related by blood, marriage or adoption. Where a fundamental right is not involved, ordinances regulating civic matters such as health and public welfare are presumptively valid.
6. Peck: the ordinance is fairly narrowly written. To attack the ordinance, you should try to get out of the definition. If you cannot get yourself out of the ordinance class, it is difficult to get out of the ordinance.
ii. Approaches in Light of Ladue [6-10cb] [see HO 1]

b. Making Own Deal: Contractual Arrangements [14-50cb; 1-2 (§23-118); 1-23A (§§59-504 -505); 1-2A; 1-3 (§§23-201, -202, -204,-207)] i. Introductory comparison

College Roommates

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: the main point of these three cases is to illustrate the available defenses.
1. To the extent that an oral contract to pool assets or divide property is not specifically founded on illicit sexual services, it is enforceable. Marvin v. Marvin (I) (1976) [11; 15cb] a. Michelle Marvin (P) attempted to enforce an oral agreement to pool assets when she and Lee Marvin (D) ended their meretricious (give something for sex) relationship.
b. The main cause of action was based on an express contract based on words by Lee Marvin.
i. Lee Marvin counte

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. Ct: the opinion of the California Supreme Court in Marvin (I) made it clear, in FN’s 24-26 [19cb], that under appropriate circumstances an award of support after termination of a nonmarital relationship was possible and that the evolution of equitable remedies to protect the expectation of the parties to a nonmarital relationship in cases in which existing remedies prove inadequate is proper.
i. The problem here is that he facts in this case and the finding of the trial court give no basis for the use of such remedies. Such relief must be supported by some recognized underlying obligation in law or in equity. No basis in law or equity exists for the challenged rehabilitative award.
Much of the criticism of the Marvin case was based on the assumption that it weakened the status of marriage. However, a lot of criticism was leveled at the Marvin case and its progeny