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Columbia Law Review


In this Article, Professors Frantz and Dagan articulate and examine one ideal for the institution of marriage-marriage as an egalitarian liberal community. Under this vision, a commitment to marital community, where spouses share with each other without reference to individual desert, is combined with a concern for non-subordination and the protection of individual autonomy through, primarily, free exit. Professors Frantz and Dagan argue that, contrary to the common assumption that these goals are incompatible, they can be accommodated to a remarkable degree. They then trace the implications of this vision of marriage for marital property law, and use it to defend the equal division rule for existing marital property, broadly defined to include, most notably, increases (and decreases) in both spouses' earning capacity during the pendency of their marriage. Professors Frantz and Dagan also discuss alimony, endorsing generally the practice of rehabilitative alimony, and property governance during marriage, arguing in favor of management rules currently applied in many community property states.

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