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Marriage Laws, Property Regimes and Poverty with Gender Bias

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This paper analyses the relationship between property regimes of marriages in Mexico from 1996 to 2013. It starts by describing different marriage property regimes that exist in state laws in Mexico finding that 25% of Mexico’s 32 states does not assign a patrimonial regime when the spouses do not decide which regime will govern their marriage. This implies that at the time of divorce many women do not know what their legal rights are as they ignore the property regime in their marriage contract. These property regimes can generate economic inequality between men and women at the time of a marriage’s dissolution because custody of children is in 99% of the cases allocated to women, which implies more time devoted to care and less to paid work, and the food pension, when allocated, is for the children not for women´s household expenses leaving them more vulnerable in the event of a divorce.

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