Do Marriage contracts spell out financial obligation?

I suppose this would vary by state. But in your experience, is there anything in the contract that says who should support who, and who should be the bread winner? In the Alimony debate thread, some claim that you agree to financially support each other when you get married. And should anyone link to cites to say otherwise, then wouldn’t that make a Marriage Contract be a financial one, and nothing related to marriage?

For example:

Are you talking about a prenup, or some sort of extra contract? Or just the actual marriage license? If you just talking about the Document two people have to sign to get married, mine certainly didn’t have anything about finances.

Your basic run of the mill state Marrage License should do, as it is the assumption that wm– is not talking about a prenup, but a regular marriage license.

There may be a bit of confusion on the usage of “License” and “Contract”. Where as a Contract is usually a prenup. But in the case of the Alimony thread, the terms seemed to be used mutually meaning just a regular state license. Atleast that’s what I got out of it.

Your question, if I understand it correctly, is what obligations the state requires of spouses. In other words, when two people get married, whatever else their expectations of each other are, what does the state expect?

Those spousal obligations aren’t found on the marriage license, but in the statutes governing marriage. And, yes, marriage is a contract, albeit a contract unlike any other.

Here is a list of some of the obligations imposed by California law (it’s an interesting article, because it also points out the laundry list of marital rights denied domestic partners).

California law also requires spouses to support each other. That duty of spousal support is the philosophical basis for alimony post-breakup.

Your source is over three years old; are you sure it’s still accurate? There was a law that went into effect January 1, 2005 which vastly expanded domestic partnership rights and responsibilities.

For the point for which I cited it – obligations imposed on a married couple by California law – yes, still good. For the side note regarding domestic partnerships, nope, not a clue. It’s not relevant to the discussion, and I haven’t followed the changes in domestic partnership law.

And to continue the DP hijack a moment, here are the relevant sections of the California Family Code:

Do Marriage contracts spell out financial obligation?

I suppose this would vary by state. But in your experience, is there anything in the contract that says who should support who, and who should be the bread winner? In the Alimony debate thread, some claim that you agree to financially support each other when you get married. And should anyone link to cites to say otherwise, then wouldn’t that make a Marriage Contract be a financial one, and nothing related to marriage?

Ontario, Canada, here. Different jurisdictions, different laws.

If a couple marries, then they are subject to the terms of the Divorce Act should they separate (note that separation does not necessarily mean living apart ) and begin a divorce. Such terms include spousal support, and factors to be used in determining who pays whom how much for how long. If both parties agree, they can contract out of the spousal support provisions of the Divorce Act. Such a contract is a domestic contract, and can be known as a marriage contract if made prior to or during a marriage, or a separation agreement if made at or following separation.

A domestic contract can also be made between parties who have not married, though of course it would not be called a marriage contract, and instead would be called a cohabitation agreement. Here in Ontario, if a couple does not make such a cohab, they will find themselves subject to spousal support provisions of the Family Law Act http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/DBLaws/Statutes/English/90f03_e.htm#BK31.

What it comes down to, is that hereabouts if you get married, or if you shack up with someone for a significant period of time, you are subject to laws that set out terms and conditions for spousal support, unless you and your spouse specifically contract out of spousal support. Even if you do contract out of spousal support, the Court retains the right to toss out part or all of your agreement, though it gives such agreements significant weight if they were properly made.

For cites that set out the pertinent sections of the Divorce Act and related materials, refer to http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showpost.php?p=7411253&postcount=88

Whoops. Scratch out the first two paragraphs above – they were stated by the OP, not me. Sorry.