Property Division and Spousal Support Reform

The primary goal of the property division column of the table is to list the year in which each state recognized property division as an absolute legal right, rather than a discretionary remedy. In states where a specific property division statute reversed case law holding that the court cannot divide property at all (e.g., North Carolina), determining this date is simple. In some states, however, the courts had authority to divide property before 1970, and reform occurred gradually as the appellate courts began to construe the existing statute to be more mandatory and less discretionary. In states where the shift could be attributed to a single case, that case has been cited. Where the shift was gradual, the table simply uses the word "traditional".

A secondary goal of the property division column is to note whether the state follows dual- classification equitable distribution, all-property equitable distribution, or community property.

The goal of the spousal support column of the table is to list the year in which each state held that the trial courts may award spousal support for a limited term of years. Once again, in some states we find that the courts had this authority all along, and that the reform occurred when the courts began to use that authority more often in different types of cases. Where the shift occurred in a single case most often one holding that limited-term alimony can be awarded for the purpose of rehabilitation the date of that case has been used. Otherwise, the table again uses the word "traditional".

State Property Division Alimony Reform
AL traditional (all-property) traditional
AK traditional (dual-classification); pres-ently codified at Alaska Stat. 25.24.160 UMDA alimony provision adopted by analogy in Messina v. Messina, 583 P.2d 804 (Alaska1978)
AZ community property UMDA as Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. 25-319 (1973)
AR traditional; dual-classification system adopted by Ark. Code Ann. 9-12- 315 (1979) rehabilitative alimony adopted in Stout v. Stout, 4 Ark. App. 266, 630 S.W.2d 53 (1982)
CA community property present Cal. Fam. Code 4330 (1969), along with no-fault divorce
CO UMDA dual-classification provision as Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. 14-10- 113 (1971) UMDA as Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. 14-10-114 (1971)
CN traditional (all-property) traditional
DE traditional; dual-classification system adopted by Del. Code Ann. tit. 13, 1513 (1974) UMDA alimony provision as Del. Code Ann. tit. 13, 1512 (1979)
DC traditional (all-property); presently codified at D.C. Code Ann. 16- 910 (1977) reform not yet enacted
FL special equity doctrine gradually expanded by case law into full dual- classification system; codified by Fla. Stat. Ann. 61.075 (1988) Fla. Stat. Ann. 61.08 (1971), along with no- fault divorce
GA traditional; formal dual- classification system adopted in Stokes v. Stokes, 246 Ga. 765, 273 S.E.2d 169 (1980) traditional
HI traditional (all-property) Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. 580-47(a) (1977)
ID community property UMDA alimony provision as Idaho Code 32-705 (1980)
IL UMDA dual-classification provision as present 750 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/503 (1977) UMDA as present 750 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/504 (1977)
IN traditional (all-property); codified at Ind. Code Ann. 31-15-7-1 present Ind. Code Ann. 31-15-7-2 (1974); based on the UMDA
IA traditional (dual-classification); presently codified at Iowa Code Ann. 598.21 traditional
KA Kan. Stat. Ann. 60-1610(B)(1) (1965) (all-property), along with no-fault divorce Kan. Stat. Ann. 60-1610(B)(2) (1982)
KY UMDA dual-classification provision as Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. 403.190 (1972) UMDA as Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. 403.200 (1972)
LA community property La. Civ. Code Ann. art. 112 (1997)
ME Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 19, 722-a (1971) (dual-classification) Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 19, 721 (1973)
MD present Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law, 8-201 et seq. (1984) (dual-classification) present Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law 11-106 (1984)
MA traditional (all-property); greatly expanded by Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 208, 34 (1974) rehabilitative alimony recognized in Zildjian v. Zildjian, 8 Mass. App. Ct. 1, 391 N.E.2d 697 (1979)
MI traditional (probably dual-classification) traditional
MN UMDA dual-classification provision as Minn. Stat. Ann. 518.54 (1974) UMDA as Minn. Stat. Ann. 518.552 (1974)
MS dual-classification equitable distribution adopted by court decision in Hemsley v. Hemsley, 639 So. 2d 909 (Miss. 1994), and Ferguson v. Ferguson, 639 So. 2d 921 (Miss. 1994) rehabilitative alimony recognized in Hubbard v. Hubbard, 656 So. 2d 124 (Miss. 1995)
MO UMDA dual-classification provision as Mo. Ann. Stat. 452.330 (1973) UMDA as Mo. Ann. Stat. 452.335 (1973)
MT UMDA all-property provision as Mont. Code Ann. 40-4-202 (1975) UMDA as Mont. Code Ann. 40-4-203 (1975)
NE traditional (all-property); codified as Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. 42-365 traditional
NV community property rehabilitative alimony recognized in Johnson v. Steel, Inc., 94 Nev. 483, 581 P.2d 860 (1978)
NH traditional (all-property); codified as N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. 458:16-a traditional
NJ N.J. Stat. Ann. 2A:34-23 (1971) (dual-classification) rehabilitative alimony recognized in Lepis v. Lepis, 83 N.J. 139, 416 A.2d 45, 53 n.9 (1980); codified in N.J. Stat. Ann. 2A:34-23 (1988)
NM community property rehabilitative alimony recognized in Seymour v. Seymour, 89 N.M. 752, 557 P.2d 1101 (1976)
NY N.Y. Dom. Rel. Law 236 (1980) (dual-classification) N.Y. Dom. Rel. Law 236 (1980)
NC N.C. Gen. Stat. 50-20 (1981) (dual-classification) N.C. Gen. Stat. 50-16.3A (1995)
ND traditional (all-property) rehabilitative alimony recognized in Carr v. Carr, 300 N.W.2d 40 (N.D. 1980) (relying on Bingert v. Bingert, 247 N.W.2d 464 (N.D. 1976), which cited the UMDA)
OH traditional; formal dual-classification system adopted by Ohio Rev. Code Ann. 3105.171 (1991) rehabilitative alimony recognized in Koepke v. Koepke, 12 Ohio App. 3d 80, 466 N.E.2d 570 (1983) (citing a 1980 unreported decision)
OK traditional (dual-classification); codified at Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 43, 121 traditional; codified at Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 41, 134
OR traditional (all-property); codified at Or. Rev. Stat. 107.105 rehabilitative alimony recognized in Kitson v. Kitson, 17 Or. App. 648, 523 P.2d 575 (1974), and Grove v. Grove, 280 Or. 341, 571 P.2d 477 (1977)
PA present 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. 3501 (1980) (dual-classification) present 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. 3701 (1980)
RI R.I. Gen. Laws 15-5-16.1 (1981) (dual-classification) rehabilitative alimony recognized in D’Agostino v. D’Agostino, 463 A.2d 200 (R.I. 1983)
SC dual-classification equitable distribution adopted by court decision in Parrott v. Parrott, 278 S.C. 60, 292 S.E.2d 182 (1982); codified at S.C. Code Ann. 20-7- 471 (1986) rehabilitative alimony recognized in Eagerton v. Eagerton, 285 S.C. 279, 328 S.E.2d 912 (Ct. App. 1985) (citing the UMDA), and in Herring v. Herring, 286 S.C. 447, 335 S.E.2d 366 (1985)
SD traditional (all-property); codified at S.D. Codified Laws 25-4-44 S.D. Codified Laws 25-4-41 (1977)
TN traditional; dual-classification system adopted by Tenn. Code Ann. 36-4- 121 (1983) Tenn. Code Ann. 36-5-101 (1984)
TX community property present Tex. Fam. Code Ann. 8.001 (1995), the first Texas statute ever to permit awards of alimony
UT traditional traditional
VT traditional UMDA alimony provision adopted as Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 15, 15-752 (1981)
VA Va. Code Ann. 20-107.3 (1982) (dual-classification) Va. Code Ann. 20-107.1 (1998)
WA community property; UMDA all- property provision adopted as Wash. Admin. Code 29.09.080 (1973) traditional; UMDA adopted as Wash. Rev. Code Ann. 29.09.090 (1973)
WV equitable distribution adopted by court decision in LaRue v. LaRue, 172 W. Va. 158, 304 S.E.2d 312 (1983); codified at W. Va. Code Ann. 48-2-32 (1984) Molnar v. Molnar, 173 W. Va. 200, 314 S.E.2d 73 (1984)
WI traditional; dual-classification system adopted by Wis. Stat. Ann. 767.255 (1977) Wis. Stat. Ann. 767.26 (1977)
WY traditional (all-property); codified at Wyo. Stat. Ann. 20-2-114 Young v. Young, 472 P.2d 784 (Wyo. 1970)

1998 National Legal Research Group, Inc.


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