[*] The author thanks Diane K. McClellan for providing the inspiration for this Comment. Return to text.

[1] Gates v. Foley, 247 So. 2d 40, 43 (Fla. 1971). Return to text.

[2] See Phillips v. Sanchez, 35 Fla. 187, 17 So. 363 (1895). Return to text.

[3] See Note, The Unnecessary Doctrine of Necessaries, 82 MICH. L. REV. 1767, 1767 (1984) [hereinafter Unnecessary Doctrine]. Return to text.

[4] See id.; see also Connor v. Southwest Fla. Reg'l Med. Ctr., Inc., 668 So. 2d 175, 175 (Fla. 1995). Return to text.

[5] See Connor, 668 So. 2d at 175. Return to text.

[6] See id. Return to text.

[7] See Act effective June 4, 1943, ch. 21932, 1943 Fla. Laws 484; see also FLA. STAT. § 708.08 (1995) (stating that a married woman has the right, without the joinder of her husband, to contract and be contracted with as though she were unmarried). Return to text.

[8] See Connor, 668 So. 2d at 179. Return to text.

[9] See id. at 176; Webb v. Hillsborough County Hosp. Auth., 521 So. 2d 199, 202 (Fla. 2d DCA 1988) (holding that, without a reciprocal duty, the doctrine of necessaries violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution). Return to text.

[10] 497 So. 2d 644 (Fla. 1986). Return to text.

[11] See id. at 646. Return to text.

[12] 668 So. 2d 175 (Fla. 1995). Return to text.

[13] See id. at 177. Return to text.

[14] See id. at 177-79 (Overton, J., dissenting). Return to text.

[15] See id. Return to text.

[16] See Fla. HB 1211 (1996); Fla. SB 906 (1996); see also FLA. LEGIS., FINAL LEGISLATIVE BILL INFORMATION, 1996 REGULAR SESSION, HISTORY OF HOUSE BILLS at 320, HB 1211; FLA. LEGIS., FINAL LEGISLATIVE BILL INFORMATION, 1996 REGULAR SESSION, HISTORY OF SENATE BILLS at 94, SB 906.

At the time this Comment was being prepared for publication, a bill that would impose joint and several liability for hospital bills on husbands and wives living together was pending in the Florida House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services. See Fla. CS for HB 349, § 12 (1997) (proposed FLA. STAT. § 395.301(7)). Return to text.

[17] 35 Fla. 187, 17 So. 363 (1895). For a more complete discussion of the history of the doctrine of necessaries in Florida, see Mary Elizabeth Borja, Functions of Womanhood: The Doctrine of Necessaries in Florida, 47 U. MIAMI L. REV. 397 (1992). Return to text.

[18] See Phillips, 35 Fla. at 190, 17 So. at 364. Return to text.

[19] See id., 17 So. at 364. Return to text.

[20] See id., 17 So. at 364. Return to text.

[21] Id. at 191, 17 So. at 364. Return to text.

[22] Id., 17 So. at 364. Return to text.

[23] See id. at 192, 17 So. at 364. In his dissent in Connor, Justice Overton found irony in the fact that the dispute in Phillips focused on necessary medical services for the husband: "Interestingly, the case in which we established the doctrine involved circumstances where the wife, acting as an agent for the husband, incurred obligations for the care of her invalid husband and the claim was against his estate." 668 So. 2d at 179 (Overton, J., dissenting). Return to text.

[24] 392 So. 2d 1356 (Fla. 2d DCA 1980). Return to text.

[25] See id. at 1359. Return to text.

[26] See id. at 1357. Return to text.

[27] See id.; see also Act effective June 22, 1971, ch. 71-241, 1971 Fla. Laws 1319. Return to text.

[28] See McDonald, 392 So. 2d at 1357; see also ch. 71-241, § 10, 1971 Fla. Laws at 1323. Return to text.

[29] See 392 So. 2d at 1357. Return to text.

[30] 400 So. 2d 166 (Fla. 3d DCA 1981). Return to text.

[31] 497 So. 2d 644 (Fla. 1986). Return to text.

[32] See id. at 646. Return to text.

[33] See id. at 645. Return to text.

[34] See id. Return to text.

[35] See id. Return to text.

[36] See id. Return to text.

[37] See id. at 646. Return to text.

[38] Id. Return to text.

[39] The court called the situation a "decisional quandary," id., and explained why it was hesitant to change the longstanding rule. The court stated that the issue had such broad social implications that its resolution required input from the public in general and that the judiciary was the branch of government least capable of receiving this input. See id. As such, the court looked to Gates v. Foley, 247 So. 2d 40 (Fla. 1971), and Zorzos v. Rosen, 467 So. 2d 305 (Fla. 1985), to determine what it believed to be the controlling question: whether the court was the proper institution to resolve the issue. In Gates, the court expanded the common-law right of consortium to allow wives a cause of action. See 247 So. 2d at 45. In contrast, the Zorzos court declined to create a common-law right to sue for parental consortium when the parent does not die, leaving the Legislature to make any change in the law. See 467 So. 2d at 307. Unlike the parties in Gates, the parties in Shands did not raise a valid equal protection argument. Therefore, the court distinguished the case and followed Zorzos. See Shands, 497 So. 2d at 646. Return to text.

[40] See Shands, 497 So. 2d at 646 n.1. Return to text.

[41] 521 So. 2d 199 (Fla. 2d DCA 1988). Return to text.

[42] See id. at 200. Return to text.

[43] See id. at 203. Return to text.

[44] See id. Return to text.

[45] See id. Return to text.

[46] Id. Return to text.

[47] Id. at 207. Return to text.

[48] 585 So. 2d 1162 (Fla. 4th DCA 1991). Return to text.

[49] 598 So. 2d 1029 (Fla. 4th DCA 1991). Return to text.

[50] See Heinemann, 585 So. 2d at 1162; Faulk, 589 So. 2d at 1029. Return to text.

[51] 582 So. 2d 789 (Fla. 5th DCA 1991). Return to text.

[52] See id. at 790. Return to text.

[53] See Connor v. Southwest Fla. Reg'l Med. Ctr., Inc., 643 So. 2d 681, 681 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994). Return to text.

[54] See id.at 682. Return to text.

[55] See id. Return to text.

[56] See id. Return to text.

[57] See id. at 682. Return to text.

[58] See id. Return to text.

[59] Id. at 684. Return to text.

[60] See Connor v. Southwest Fla. Reg'l Med. Ctr., Inc., 668 So. 2d 175, 175 (Fla. 1995). Return to text.

[61] See id. at 176. Return to text.

[62] See id. Return to text.

[63] See id. Return to text.

[64] See id. Return to text.

[65] See id. (citing Emanuel v. McGriff, 596 So. 2d 578 (Ala. 1992); Schilling v. Bedford County Mem'l Hosp., Inc., 303 S.E.2d 905 (Va. 1983); Condore v. Prince George's County, 425 A.2d 1011 (Md. 1981)). Return to text.

[66] See id. (citing Landmark Med. Ctr. v. Gauthier, 635 A.2d 1145 (R.I. 1994); Bartrom v. Adjustment Bureau, Inc., 618 N.E.2d 1 (Ind. 1993); St. Francis Reg'l Med. Ctr., Inc. v. Bowles, 836 P.2d 1123 (Kan. 1992); North Carolina Baptist Hosps., Inc. v. Harris, 354 S.E.2d 471 (N.C. 1987); Richland Mem'l Hosp. v. Burton, 318 S.E.2d 12 (S.C. 1984); Jersey Shore Med. Ctr.- Fitkin Hosp. v. Estate of Baum, 417 A.2d 1003 (N.J. 1980)). Return to text.

[67] See id. at 177. Return to text.

[68] See id. (citing OKLA. STAT. tit. 43, § 209 (1994)); KY. REV. STAT. ANN. § 404.040 (Banks-Baldwin 1994)). Return to text.

[69] See id. (citing 1979 Ga. Laws 466, 491). Return to text.

[70] See id. (citing N.D. CENT. CODE § 14-07-08 (1993)). Return to text.

[71] See id. Return to text.

[72] See id. Return to text.

[73] See id. Return to text.

[74] See id. Return to text.

[75] See id. Return to text.

[76] See id. (Overton, J., dissenting). Return to text.

[77] See id. at 179. Return to text.

[78] See id. at 177. Return to text.

[79] Id. Return to text.

[80] Id. Return to text.

[81] See id. Return to text.

[82] See id. at 177-78. Return to text.

[83] See id. at 178. Return to text.

[84] See id. Return to text.

[85] See id. (citing North Carolina Baptist Hosps. v. Harris, 354 S.E.2d 471 (N.C. 1987)). Return to text.

[86] See id. (citing Bartrom v. Adjustment Bureau, Inc., 618 N.E.2d 1, 8 (Ind. 1983)). Justice Overton incorrectly cited South Carolina as being under this category. See id.; see also Richland Mem'l Hosp. v. Burton, 318 S.E.2d 12, 13-14 (S.C. 1984) (stating that the necessaries doctrine allows third parties providing necessaries to a husband or wife to bring an action against the other spouse). Return to text.

[87] See id. (citing Ohio State Univ. v. Kinkaid, 549 N.E.2d 517 (Ohio 1990) (noting that the Ohio Legislature extended the doctrine to both parties)). Return to text.

[88] See id. (citing Emanuel v. McGriff, 596 So. 2d 578 (Ala. 1992); Condore v. Prince George's County, 425 A.2d 1011 (Md. 1981); Govan v. Medical Credit Servs., Inc., 621 So. 2d 928 (Miss. 1993); Schilling v. Bedford County Mem'l Hosp., Inc., 303 S.E.2d 905 (Va. 1983)). Return to text.

[89] See id. (citing Hitchcock Clinic, Inc. v. Mackie, 648 A.2d 817, 819 (Vt. 1993); Medlock v. Fort Smith Serv. Fin. Corp., 803 S.W.2d 930, 931 (Ark. 1991)). Return to text.

[90] Id. at 179. Return to text.

[91] 382 So. 2d 1197 (Fla. 1980). Return to text.

[92] 576 So. 2d 267 (Fla. 1991). Return to text.

[93] See Connor, 688 So. 2d at 179. Return to text.

[94] See 382 So. 2d at 1203-04. Return to text.

[95] See 576 So. 2d at 268. Return to text.

[96] 656 So. 2d 460 (Fla. 1995). Return to text.

[97] See Connor, 688 So. 2d at 179. Return to text.

[98] Id. (quoting Putnam, 656 So. 2d at 465 (quoting in turn In re Estate of Yohn, 238 So. 2d 290, 296 (Fla. 1970))). Return to text.

[99] 354 S.E.2d 471 (N.C. 1987). Return to text.

[100] See id. at 471. Return to text.

[101] See id. Return to text.

[102] See id. at 472. Return to text.

[103] See id. at 471-72 Return to text.

[104] See id. at 475. Return to text.

[105] See id. at 473. Return to text.

[106] See id. Return to text.

[107] See id. Return to text.

[108] See id. Return to text.

[109] Id. at 474. Return to text.

[110] See Kilbourne v. Hanzelik, 648 S.W.2d 932, 934 (Tenn. 1983). Return to text.

[111] See id. at 932; Manatee Convalescent Ctr., Inc. v. McDonald, 392 So. 2d 1356 (Fla. 2d DCA 1980). Return to text.

[112] See Kilbourne, 648 S.W.2d at 932. Return to text.

[113] See id. Return to text.

[114] See id. Return to text.

[115] See id. at 932. Return to text.

[116] See id. at 933. Return to text.

[117] See id. at 934 (Harbison, J., concurring). Return to text.

[118] See id. Return to text.

[119] See id. Return to text.

[120] See COLO. REV. STAT. § 14-6-110 (1995); D.C. CODE ANN. § 30-201 (1996); HAW. REV. STAT. ANN. § 572-24 (Michie 1995); 750 ILL. COMP. STAT. ANN. 65/15 (West 1996); MINN. STAT. § 519.05 (1995); MONT. CODE ANN. § 40-2-106 (1995); S.D. CODIFIED LAWS §25-2-11 (Michie 1996); VA. CODE ANN. § 55-37 (Michie 1995); WASH. REV. CODE § 26.16.205 (1995). Return to text.

[121] See Fla. HB 1211 (1996); Fla. SB 906 (1996). Return to text.

[122] See FLA. LEGIS., FINAL LEGISLATIVE BILL INFORMATION, 1996 REGULAR SESSION, HISTORY OF HOUSE BILLS at 320, HB 1211; FLA. LEGIS., FINAL LEGISLATIVE BILL INFORMATION, 1996 REGULAR SESSION, HISTORY OF SENATE BILLS at 94, SB 906. Return to text.

[123] Fla. HB 1211 § 1 (1996); Fla. SB 906 § 1 (1996). Interestingly, the bill pending before the Florida House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services as this Comment was being prepared for publication would impose joint and several liability only for hospital bills. See Fla. CS for HB 349, § 12 (1997) (proposed FLA. STAT. § 395.301(7)) ("Hospital bills are considered family expenses in which the husband and wife, while living together, are jointly and severally liable for each other and their minor children."). Return to text.

[124] See HAW. REV. STAT. ANN. § 572-24 (Michie 1995):

Both spouses of a marriage, whether married in this State or in some other jurisdiction, and residing in this, shall be bound to maintain, provide for, and support one another during marriage, and shall be liable for all debts contracted by one another for necessaries for themselves, one another, or their family during marriage . . . .
See also MONT. CODE ANN. § 40-2-106 (1995):
Neither husband nor wife, as such, is answerable for the acts of the other or liable for the debts contracted by the other; provided, however, that the expenses for necessaries of the family and of the education of the children are chargeable upon the property of both husband and wife, or either of them, and in relation thereto they may be sued jointly or separately.
See also VA. CODE ANN. § 55-37 (Michie 1995):

Except as otherwise provided in this section, a spouse shall not be responsible for the other spouse's contract or tort liability to a third party, whether such liability arose before or after the marriage. The doctrine of necessaries as it existed at common-law shall apply equally to both spouses, except where they are permanently living separate and apart, but shall in no event create any liability between such spouses as to each other . . . . Return to text.

[125] See N.D. CENT. CODE § 14-07-08 (1995). Return to text.

[126] See Borja, supra note 17, at 423 n.162; Unnecessary Doctrine, supra note 3, at 1784; see also generally Alan P. Woodruff & Arthur H. Lester, Claims for Medical Expenses Under the Doctrine of Necessaries, FLA. B.J., Dec. 1993, at 30. Return to text.

[127] See Borja, supra note 17, at 423 n.162. Return to text.

[128] See, e.g., Connor v. Southwest Fla. Reg'l Med. Ctr., Inc., 668 So. 2d 175 (Fla. 1995); Schilling v. Bedford County Mem'l Hosp., 303 S.E.2d 905 (Va. 1983); Jersey Shore Med. Ctr.-Fitkin Hosp. v. Estate of Baum, 417 A.2d 1003 (N.J. 1980); Webb v. Hillsborough County Hosp. Auth., 521 So. 2d 199 (Fla. 2d DCA 1988). The spouses in these cases were unwilling to pay for the debts of their living spouses. A spouse who refuses to pay when the estate of the deceased spouse is either insufficient to cover the debt or not subject to probate is another factual scenario prevalent in doctrine-of-necessaries cases. See, e.g., Landmark Med. Ctr. v. Gauthier, 635 A.2d 1145 (R.I. 1994); Marshfield Clinic v. Discher, 314 N.W.2d 326 (Wis. 1982); Condore v. Prince George's County, 425 A.2d 1011 (Md. 1981); Heinemann v. John F. Kennedy Mem'l Hosp., 585 So. 2d 1162 (Fla. 4th DCA 1991). Return to text.

[129] See Marcus L. Moxley, North Carolina Baptist Hosps., Inc. v. Harris: North Carolina Adopts a Gender-Neutral Approach to the Doctrine of Necessaries, 66 N.C. L. REV. 1241, 1246-47 (1987). Return to text.

[130] Baum, 417 A.2d at 1009. Return to text.

[131] Id. Return to text.

[132] See Moxley, supra note 129, at 1250-51. Return to text.

[133] See id. Return to text.

[134] See, e.g., MINN. STAT. § 19.05 (1995); S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 25-2-11 (Michie 1996); VA. CODE ANN. § 55-37 (Michie 1995). Return to text.

[135] Fla. HB 1211 (1996); Fla. SB 906 (1996). Return to text.

[136] See COLO. REV. STAT. § 14-6-110 (1995); O'Brien v. Galley-Stockton Shoe Co., 173 P. 544, 544 (Colo. 1918) (holding that the statute making a husband and wife jointly liable for family expenses does not apply where the husband and wife have separated and are living apart). Return to text.

[137] 618 N.E.2d 1 (Ind. 1993). Return to text.

[138] See id. at 9. Return to text.

[139] See id. at 8 (citing Welling v. Welling, 272 N.E.2d 598 (Ind. 1971)). Return to text.

[140] See id. Return to text.

[141] Fla. HB 1211 § 1 (1996); Fla. SB 906 § 1 (1996). Return to text.

[142] See Landmark Med. Ctr. v. Gauthier, 635 A.2d 1145, 1148 (R.I. 1994); Bartrom, 618 N.E.2d at 8; St. Francis Reg'l Med. Ctr., Inc. v. Bowles, 836 P.2d 1123, 1128 (Kan. 1992); Jersey Shore Med. Ctr.-Fitkin Hosp. v. Estate of Baum, 417 A.2d 1003, 1010 (N.J. 1980). Return to text.

[143] See Baum, 417 A.2d at 1009. Return to text.

[144] Id. at 1010. Return to text.

[145] See id. Return to text.

[146] Id. Return to text.

[147] See id. Return to text.

[148] See 668 So. 2d at 179 (Overton, J., dissenting). Return to text.

[149] See id. Return to text.

[150] See id. at 178; see also Thompson v. Thompson, 576 So. 2d 267, 270 (Fla. 1991) (holding that the court should consider goodwill accumulated during a marriage as a marital asset); Canakaris v. Canakaris, 382 So. 2d 1197, 1203-04 (Fla. 1980). Return to text.

[151] See Unnecessary Doctrine, supra note 3, at 1791-94. But see Borja, supra note 17, at 429-35. Return to text.

[152] See Connor, 668 So. 2d at 178-79, (citing Canakaris, 382 So. 2d at 1203-04; Thompson, 576 So. 2d at 268). Return to text.

[153] See Canakaris, 382 So. 2d at 1204 (stating that a trial court must ensure that neither spouse passes automatically from misfortune to prosperity or from prosperity to misfortune, and, in viewing the totality of the circumstances, one spouse should not be "shortchanged."). Return to text.

[154] See Thompson, 576 So. 2d at 270; Canakaris, 382 So. 2d at 1204. The Thompson court quoted Prahinski v. Prahinski, 540 A.2d 833 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 1988), for the proposition that it would be inequitable to ignore goodwill attributable to a spouse if in fact it exists. See 576 So. 2d at 270 (quoting Prahinski, 540 A.2d at 841). Return to text.

[155] See Jersey Shore Med. Ctr.-Fitkin Hosp. v. Estate of Baum, 417 A.2d 1003, 1105 (N.J. 1980) (stating that marriage is a partnership and that in most marriages, a husband and wife consider themselves a financial unit); Unnecessary Doctrine, supra note 3, at 1793 (stating that the partnership theory of marriage is superficially tempting because most spouses, like business partners, pool their assets); see also Judith Treas, Money in the Bank: Transaction Costs and the Economic Organization of Marriage, 58 AM. SOC. REV. 723, 723 (1993) (stating that Americans expect married couples to pool their income and assets and discussing a study in which 69% of wives and 75% of husbands favored pooling when asked whether spouses should combine all their income and assets). Return to text.

[156] See Unnecessary Doctrine, supra note 3, at 1795-97:

Superficially, the interest that married people have in apportioning support obligations for themselves may seem to be simply an economic one. The implications of this decision, however, transcend family economics. The choice of support obligations affects the emotional character of the marital relationship and the internal power structure of the family. Return to text.

[157] See Treas, supra note 155, at 723. Treas states:

Despite general support for common ownership, some married individuals hold money back from the common pot as demonstrated by studies of British working class couples, of readers of an American women's magazine, and of dual career couples in Chicago. In extreme cases, all money is segregated and common expenditures are met according to an agreed upon formula or end-of-the-month bargaining. Separate accounting systems are apparently on the rise-the proportion of married women with checking or savings accounts in their own names nearly doubled between 1972 and 1980.

Id. (emphasis added). Return to text.

[158] Very few courts deny that the original common-law doctrine of necessaries has no place in modern society. As the court in Manatee Convalescent Ctr., Inc. v. McDonald stated, "Changing times demand reexamination of seemingly unchangeable legal dogma. Equality under law and even handed treatment of the sexes in the modern market place must also carry the burden of responsibility which goes with the benefits." 392 So. 2d 1356, 1358 (Fla. 2d DCA 1980). Return to text.

[159] With respect to the state's interest in promoting stable marriages, one commentator writes:

Spousal support obligations, it is argued, benefit spouses and society by encouraging sharing and mutual support in marriage. This behavior is thought to foster individual contentment which in turn promotes social harmony. The problem with applying this reasoning to the necessaries doctrine is that law cannot coerce these benefits; sharing produces cooperation and happiness only when it is voluntary. The necessaries doctrine forces sharing on reluctant partners and thus seems unlikely to promote the State's goal of marital happiness.

Unnecessary Doctrine, supra note 3, at 1795 (footnotes omitted). Return to text.

[160] See North Carolina Baptist Hosps., Inc. v. Harris, 354 S.E.2d 471, 472 (N.C. 1987); see also supra text accompanying notes 101-02. Return to text.

[161] The controversy surrounding the doctrine of necessaries is evidence of the courts' reluctance to create an exception to this principle. Return to text.

[162] See Unnecessary Doctrine, supra note 3, at 1792. To ensure that a spouse's separate property may be applied to debts for necessaries incurred by the other spouse, some community property states have statutes expressly codifying the doctrine to impose joint and several liability. See CAL. FAM. CODE § 94 (West 1996); NEV. REV. STAT. § 123.090 (1995). Return to text.

[163] Connor, 668 So. 2d at 179. Return to text.

[164] One of the few doctrine-of-necessaries cases that involves an insurance dispute, Kilbourne v. Hanzelik, 648 S.W.2d 932 (Tenn. 1983), is discussed above. See supra text accompanying notes 110-19. Return to text.

[165] See, e.g., Connor, 668 So. 2d at 175; St. Francis Reg'l Med. Ctr., Inc. v. Bowles, 836 P.2d 1123, 1124 (Kan. 1992); Harris, 354 S.E.2d at 471. Return to text.

[166] See Estate of Stromsted v. St. Michael Hosp. of Franciscan Sisters, 299 N.W.2d 226, 230 (Wis. 1980). Return to text.

[167] See id. at 230-31. Return to text.

[168] 314 N.W.2d 326 (Wis. 1982). Return to text.

[169] See id. at 328 (citing Wengler v. Druggists Mut. Ins. Co., 446 U.S. 142, 150 (1980); Califano v. Westcott, 443 U.S. 76, 85 (1979); Orr v. Orr, 440 U.S. 268, 279 (1979)). Return to text.

[170] Id. Return to text.

[171] Id. at 331. Return to text.

[172] See Mark S. Brennan, Comment, The New Doctrine of Necessaries in Virginia, 19 U. RICH. L. REV. 317, 328-29 (1985); Unnecessary Doctrine, supra note 3, at 1777-78. Return to text.

[173] See Brennan, supra note 172, at 329. Return to text.

[174] Arguing that Wisconsin's necessaries rule remains unconstitutional under Orr. v. Orr, 440 U.S. 268 (1979), the commentator observes:

Using an intermediate level of scrutiny, the Court held that although the legislative purpose—help for "needy spouses"—was an important governmental objective, there was no justification for using sex as a proxy for need when individualized hearings to ascertain need were already part of the procedure for awarding alimony. Similarly, the Wisconsin and traditional necessaries rules have aid for needy spouses as their primary purpose and require individual hearings to determine liability. By analogy to Orr, this use of sex as a proxy for need appears to be unconstitutional.

Unnecessary Doctrine, supra note 3, at 1777 (footnotes omitted). Return to text.

[175] See Brennan, supra note 172, at 329. Return to text.

[176] See Govan v. Medical Credit Servs., Inc., 621 So. 2d 928, 931 (Miss. 1993); Emanuel v. McGriff, 596 So. 2d 578, 580 (Ala. 1992); Condore v. Prince George's County, 425 A.2d 1011, 1019 (Md. 1981); Schilling v. Bedford County Mem'l Hosp., Inc., 303 S.E.2d 905, 908 (Va. 1983). Return to text.

[177] See Emanuel, 596 So. 2d at 580; Condore, 425 A.2d at 1019; Schilling, 303 S.E.2d at 908. Return to text.

[178] 668 So. 2d at 177. Return to text.

[179] Govan, 621 So. 2d at 931. Return to text.

[180] Id. at 931. Return to text.

[181] Other states have codified some form of the doctrine or created family expense statutes without prompting by a court. See supra notes 68, 74, 124 and accompanying text. Return to text.

[182] See Schilling, 303 S.E.2d at 908. Return to text.

[183] VA. CODE ANN. §§ 55-37 to -47 (Michie 1996). Return to text.

[184] Id. § 55-37. Return to text.

[185] See Brennan, supra note 172, at 329-30 (arguing that such a modification of the doctrine would leave creditors no recourse to collect debts). Return to text.

[186] See Unnecessary Doctrine, supra note 3, at 1791 (arguing that creditors do not need the protection the necessaries doctrine affords them because creditors can protect themselves through their own actions). Return to text.

[187] See id. at 1795-97. Return to text.

[188] See id. at 1798. Return to text.

[189] See id.:

People obey symbolic laws not for fear of legal sanction, but because they are backed by the consensus of society and the force of major social institutions. This symbolic or instructional effect of law is probably strongest in areas of traditional morality . . . . According to this system of analysis, legal endorsement of spousal support has a real, if unmeasurable, impact on spousal behavior. Return to text.

[190] Id. Return to text.