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Maynard v. Hill

Citation. Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190, 8 S. Ct. 723, 31 L. Ed. 654, 1888).
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Brief Fact Summary.

A brief discussion regarding the legal nature of marriage.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

Marriage creates rights, duties and obligations of law, consisting of more than a civil contract.


A brief discussion regarding the legal nature of marriage.


Is marriage a contract, a status, or does it retain features of both?


Marriage is more than a mere contract. Although it requires consent of two parties, it creates a relation between the parties that cannot be changed. Marriage is an institution, a social relationship comparable to that between a parent and a child.


This is a short excerpt from a case addressing the nature of marriage. The decision addressed the fact that although marriage is often termed as a civil contract, the rights, duties and obligations established are those of law, not of contract.

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