Supreme Court has never interpreted this to mean that states must treat husbands and wives the same.Most jurisdictions make it a criminal offense for a spouse to fail to meet a support obligation.This type of arrangement ordinarily applies to real estate.

The size of the portion depends on whether there are surviving children. In this case, Connecticut was not allowed to enforce a statute that made it a crime for a physician to counsel married people on Birth Control. A wife's right to choose abortion takes precedence over the husband-and-wife relation-ship. Common law put many restrictions on a husband and wife when crimes occurred between them or against the marriage relationship itself.

The distribution of property between a husband and wife might also be affected by a , also called an antenuptial or prenuptial agreement. This was viewed as an unreasonable intrusion into the marital sexual relationship, since the sanctity of the marital relationship would be invaded if the statute were enforced. A husband may not preclude his wife from having a legal abortion, nor may he compel her to have one. At one time, the courts recognized lawsuits based on Heart Balm Acts.

Various systems exist in the United States to determine who owns property in a marriage: a majority of states recognize separate property, whereas some adhere to Community Property or equitable distribution doctrines.

The rule in separate-property states is that each person owns whatever items are in his or her name.

If the husband or wife dies, the remaining spouse has full survivorship rights.

In states that adhere to community property laws, the husband and wife are each given an equal interest in everything they own with the exception of the separate property of either individual.Premarital agreements are typically entered into by a man and woman before they are married, to arrange for the distribution or preservation of property owned by each spouse in the event of divorce or death. The Court emphasized the significance and constitutional considerations of privacy in marriage. The Supreme Court struck down statutory requirements that a husband must be notified of his wife's abortion, in Planned Parenthood v. In such an action, a husband asserted that a monetary recovery would salve the "broken heart" caused by a third party's intrusion into his marriage.The most unique aspects of the relationship between a husband and wife are the legal sanctions attached to their sexual relationship. It was once thought that the degree of privacy to which a married couple is entitled could be restricted. The basis for many of these causes of action was that a husband was being denied his rights to the affections and services of his wife; these lawsuits did not extend to a wife.A majority of the property obtained by a husband and wife during a marriage is considered community property.State law defines precisely what is considered separate property.In these states, various types of joint spousal ownership are recognized.