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Divorce

University of Florida Levin College of Law

2005

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Two Ways To End A Marriage: Divorce Or Death, Laura A. Rosenbury Jan 2005

Two Ways To End A Marriage: Divorce Or Death, Laura A. Rosenbury

UF Law Faculty Publications

Default rules governing property distribution at divorce and death are often identified as one of the primary benefits of marriage. This Article examines these default rules in all fifty states, exposing the ways property distribution differs depending on whether the marriage ends by divorce or death. The result is often counter-intuitive: in most states, a spouse is likely to receive more property if her marriage ends by divorce than if the marriage lasts until "death do us part." This difference can be explained in part by the choices of feminist activists over the past thirty-five years: feminists played a large …