Under the traditional common law doctrine of necessaries, a husband has the duty to support his wife and is responsible for the cost of necessary goods and services furnished to his wife by third parties if he has failed to provide the necessaries himself. However, the recent influx of women into the marketplace and the United States Supreme Court's decisions on gender discrimination have caused a significant number of courts and state legislatures to modify the doctrine or abolish it altogether.
Mark S. Brennan,
The New Doctrine of Necessaries in Virginia,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol19/iss2/7