Her paper, Nonmarital Contracts, is forthcoming in the Stanford Law Review
University of Arizona Law Professor Albertina Antognini was invited to present at the 2020 Stanford | Harvard | Yale Junior Faculty Forum, which brings together junior faculty members to workshop papers selected through a blind-review process. This is the second time that Antognini presented at the Forum, which took place virtually this year due to COVID-19.
Antognini presented her paper, Nonmarital Conflicts (forthcoming, Stanford Law Review, 2021), which considers how the right to contract fares in nonmarital relationships. Marriage has long been a recognized limit on the right to contract; outside of marriage then, scholars have generally assumed that individuals experience no similar impediments in exercising their rights to contract. Her paper shows that—contrary to conventional wisdom—courts routinely invalidate express agreements between unmarried couples. In particular, courts restrict the right to contract outside of marriage in precisely the same ways it is restricted within marriage. At a time when the number of individuals marrying is exceptionally low, and there are no ex ante rules regulating the rights of nonmarital couples, it is imperative to analyze whether contract is a viable legal option. Given how the right to contract is limited outside of marriage, the Article argues that as currently constituted, it fails to provide a complete resolution to the problem of what rights individuals ought to have in a nonmarital relationship.
Earlier this year, Antognini also contributed the Jotwell post Reflections on Family Law, reviewing Jia Tolentino's recently published book, Trick Mirror.
Antognini joined University of Arizona Law in 2018 and teaches family law, property, trusts and estates, and a seminar. Her research focuses on the regulation of nonmarital relationships and considers how marriage and nonmarriage interact across legal doctrines.