Graham v. Graham
33 F.Supp. 936 (E.D. Mich. 1940)
- This is a suit by a man against his former wife upon the following written agreement by the parties:
- “…For valuable consideration Margrethe Graham hereby agrees to pay to Sidney Graham the sum of Three Hundred ($300.00) Dollars per month each and every month hereafter until the parties hereto no longer desire this arrangement to continue.”
Whether an agreement for the wife to provide support for the husband is valid.
No. Against public policy.
- “Even if the contract is otherwise within the contractual power of the parties it is void because it contravenes public policy.”
- “While there appears to be no Michigan decision directly in point, the principle is well stated in the Restatement of the Law of Contracts:
- A bargain between married persons or persons contemplating marriage to change the essential incidents of marriage is illegal.”
- Here, as a result of the marriage contract, the court found that a husband has a duty to support and live with his wife.
- Basically, this case said that you can’t contract around the public policy of requiring the husband to support the wife.
- Prof: This case about gender roles is probably not good law.
Rule: A bargain between married persons or persons contemplating marriage to change the essential incidents of marriage is illegal.