What rights and obligations arise due to marriage?
Unless altered by an agreement between the respective spouses, state law typically provides that each spouse is responsible to the other for:
“mutual respect and fidelity”
spousal support – providing the necessities of life including food, shelter, clothing and other basic necessities
debts incurred during the marriage (automatic joint responsibility in community property states but separate obligations possible in common law states)
distribution of the marital property – the property that was acquired during the marriage plus any separate property of the respective spouses which has been commingled is owned by both spouses
confidential relationship – there is good faith and fair dealing in all transactions between the spouses
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