Marriage is an emotional decision about an emotional undertaking. It may not seem that economics has any role in emotions during and after the thrill of a wedding, but the science can save precious time and pain for people going through a divorce.
Many people consider common law marriage to be common sense and common knowledge. The English tradition of assigning rights to partners who have lived in the same place for seven years or more has made its way into the laws of a few states. These privileges, however, can cut both ways when they are recognized.
Divorce is never easy; no one ever thinks it will happen to his or her marriage, and the emotional toll can be severe even if spouses are not bitterly divided. Although the top concern for married parents should be the welfare and well-being of their children, the dispensation of property is often the most contested part of a divorce.
You and your spouse have been saving for your children's college education since they were in diapers. You've managed to put away a little something on a regular basis, and the college savings accounts are reaching a respectable level. Then your marriage ended. What happens to the college savings?