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Family Law Coursework - Essay Example

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Introduction In the fact pattern, James and Cara lived together and bought a home together. However, they split up nine years prior, and James has not been paying anything towards child support nor towards the maintenance of the home. The case law that will be further explained below would hint that James would not be entitled to much equity in the home, at all, because this was the result of a leading case, Jones v…
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Family Law Coursework
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Download file to see previous pages Analysis First of all, the issue that is at hand is that James and Cara have not been living together for the past eight years. However, Cara has been performing all of the housework and maintaining of children since the two have been split up. Therefore, one can argue that Cara’s caring for the children might be considered to be domestic work that would influence her share of how much she would receive, equity-wise, in the house. However, different courts have treated the value of housework and child care differently in this regard. For instance, take the case of Burns v. Burns.2 In this case, the plaintiff did not contribute monetarily to the property and the maintenance of the property. However, she contributed value to the household by her role as a homemaker. The Burns court found, however, that this was not enough, and that the plaintiff did not have the right to a beneficial entitlement to the home because she did not contribute monetarily towards this. This case was backed up by the case of Oxley v. Hiscock.3 In Oxley, there were two unmarried people who owned a home and were cohabiting, just as in the case of Burns, and in the case at bar. While both parties had contributed towards the purchase of the home in Oxley, but the court did not consider the value of the plaintiff being a homemaker in that case, either, so the plaintiff did not get an increased value in her beneficial stake in the home because she was a homemaker. Abbott v. Abbott4 came to the same conclusion, stating that only monetary contributions could suffice for determining an equitable stake in property, although some conduct may be considered, if the conduct is directly related to the house itself. For instance, conduct which improved the value of the house, such as manually making repairs, would be considered, but conduct which is indirect, such as homemaking or housekeeping, would not be considered. However, another case, Drake v. Whipp5 came to a different conclusion. In this case, the female partner made under 20% of the financial contributions towards the shared home, but was awarded 33% of the property, in part because of her contributions as a homemaker. Other cases that were before the Burns case are also relevant. For instance, in Pettit v. Pettit,6 which involved a married couple, the husband did not contribute financially towards the couple's home, which was in the separate name of the wife before marriage. He labored on the home, but the court still found that he was not entitled to a beneficial interest in the home. In Gissing v. Gissing,7 the couple was unmarried, and the husband did not contribute financially to the home. He did, however, buy furniture and do chores, such as mow the lawn. Again, the court did not find a beneficial interest for the husband in this case. Lloyds Bank v. Rosset8 is yet another case that found that conduct alone would not give rise to a beneficial interest – in that case, the wife undertook actions that improved the home, yet she did not contribute financially to the home. The wife was denied a beneficial interest, and the Lloyds court found that anything less than direct contributions to the purchase price of a home, or towards the mortgage, would suffice to show the intention of the parties that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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