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Family Legal Case - Essay Example

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The essay "Family Legal Case" presents an analysis of legislation dealing with family cases. In considering how the court is likely to resolve ancillary matters, the relevant statutory provision is the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA) and in particular, the section 25 criteria…
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Family Legal Case
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Download file to see previous pages The main financial orders available are periodical payment orders (secured or unsecured), and a lump sum order. Under the MCA, a lump sum order can be made to enable the payee to comply with pre-existing liabilities and expenses already incurred such as the outstanding mortgage payments in the current scenario; alternatively, it could be used to enable a spouse to take training, as Ann has indicated. In such cases, an order can only be made if Timothy has the appropriate capital.
Section 25A requires courts to consider the desirability of promoting cessation of financial obligations between the parties. In ancillary relief applications, there is a mandatory judicial obligation to consider a clean break or impose a time limit on financial obligations. However, as highlighted in SRJ v DWJ, there is no judicial presumption towards a clean break. It is further evident from the decision in Miller and Mcfarlane, that the court's favor wives of wealthier spouses in divorce, which places Ann at an advantage.
Nevertheless, the overriding sentiment of the MCA is to encourage spouses to become independent and the courts will follow the section 25 guidelines. Concerning the judicial approach to Ann’s demands for maintenance, in Wachtel v Wachtel, the courts adopted a one-third formula as a starting point. Moreover, as a result of the decision in White v White, the House of Lords determined a benchmark approach of equal division in surplus asset cases.
Concerning the property and maintenance, the house is jointly owned and Ann and Timothy’s children are adults and have moved away. Accordingly, the appropriate approach as highlighted in Piglowska v Piglowska is to consider the specific criteria in section 25(2) of the MCA, which creates no priority. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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