In In Re Marriage of Graham, Supreme Court of Colorado, 1978 574 P. 2d 75 , Lex the court held that an education obtained by one spouse during a marriage is jointly owned property to which the other spouse has a property right, and so awarded Anne P. Graham a fraction of the estimated increase in the future earnings of Dennis J. Graham that resulted from the degree he obtained while she was the couple's primary money earner. The district court's verdict to that effect was reversed by the appeals court, on the grounds that an education was not "property" subject to division under the state's Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act, and that result in turn reversed by the state Supreme Court. On the other hand, in Mahoney v. Mahoney, 91 N.J. 488 Lex, 453 A.2d 527 Lex (1982), the court refused to recognize a professional degree as marital property, and introduced instead the idea of "reimbursement alimony" for "the contributions he or she made to the spouse's successful professional training."


For discussions of to what degree spouses and prospective spouses are and should be free to contract on the terms of their marriage, in particular with regard to property, see:

Theodore F. Haas, "The Rationality and Enforceability of Contractual Restrictions on Divorce," 66 N.C.L. Rev. 879 (1988).

Marjorie M. Schultz, "Contractual Ordering of Marriage: A New Model for State Policy," 70 Cal. L. Rev. 204 (1982);

Faith H. Spencer, "Expanding Marital Options: Enforcement of Premarital Contracts During Marriage," 1989 U. Chi. Leg. Forum 281.


"The Uniform Marital Property Act § 10(g) (1983) and Uniform Premarital Agreement Act §6 (1983) both provide for enforcement of antenuptial property agreements unless there was insuficient disclosure of wealth and the agreement was unconscionable when made. Most states have not gone so far in permitting freedom of antenuptial contract."

Kukminier and Krier, Property, p. 413, from which the references given above are also taken.

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