Promulgating the Marriage Contract

I begin Part I of this Article by positing several logically necessary, but insufficient, conditions that precede a state’s decision to promulgate a law more aggressively than usual. I then show that each of these conditions was met with regard to the economic terms of the marriage contract in virtually all states by 1975. In Part II, I explore what Louisiana’s unusually aggressive promulgation of certain terms of the marriage contract reveals about the legal system’s conception of the marital relationship as of 1975. In Part III, I discuss what is added to that conception of the modern marital relationship by the fact that nearly 15 years later none of the remaining states has yet followed Louisiana’s lead.