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Could Mr. McGuire Afford To Pay for Indoor Plumbing for Mrs. McGuire?

Legislators have reviewed the marital-support/marital-services contract in only a few states, primarily when the ERA debates prompted a full-scale attempt to overhaul marriage and divorce statutes. In other states, the marital-support/marital-services contract survived the shift from common-law unity to separate-but-equal marriage roles. And, the addition of contemporary notions of marriage as a shared partnership has affected greatly the pattern of case law nationwide. For example, the idea that both spouses, not just the wife, might provide services has developed

“It appears that the defendant owned 298 acres of land with 2 acres deeded to a church, the land being of the value of $83,960; that he has bank deposits in the sum of $12,786.81 and government bonds in the amount of $104,500; and that his income, including interest on the bonds and rental for his real estate, is $8,000 or $9,000 a year. There are apparently some Series E United States Savings Bonds listed and registered in the names of Charles W. McGuire or Lydia M. McGuire purchased in 1943, 1944, and 1945, in the amount of $2,500. Other bonds seem to be in the name of Charles W. McGuire, without a beneficiary or co-owner designated. The plaintiff has a bank account of $5,960.22” (McGuire v. McGuire, p. 338)