Family Law Keyed to Weisberg

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Topic /161
Maynard v. Hill

Citation. Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190, 8 S. Ct. 723, 31 L. Ed. 654, 1888 U.S. LEXIS 1927 (U.S. Mar. 19, 1888).

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.

Facts. A brief discussion regarding the legal nature of marriage.

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

Held. 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.

Discussion. 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.