This Article traces the historical roots of the putative spouse doctrine, its codification in California, its application in California, and recommends that California adopt a pure putative spouse system and simply include putative spouses as legal spouses for all purposes as it has done for registered domestic partners. To allow some but not all of the incidents of marriage to putative spouses is confusing, sometimes inequitable, and contrary to the expectations of the innocent spouse. California has a history of piecemeal legislation in family law without consideration of varying consequences and without regard to the historical purpose and policy of the rule.
44 Sw. L. Rev. 327 (2015).