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Family Law - case study - Essay Example

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A decree absolute of divorce ends the legal status of marriage previously existing between the parties, and thereafter neither party has the legal rights or owes the legal duties of a spouse," (Cretney et al, 2002, p. 265) 11-001. Whatever is the emotional impact of divorce on the couple, courts deal only with legal status and legal rights and duties…
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Family Law - case study
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Download file to see previous pages In this case, there is no adultery. Dorothy can get divorce by consent if George agrees to it. It is the easiest way as there are a few problems in this divorce. George is not of incurably unsound mind. The 1937 Act allowed divorce for misfortune and 1964 decision of the House of Lords allowed cruelty as a ground for divorce. George cannot be divorced under cruelty, adultery and physical and mental violence, and hence, mutual consent would be the best way for the divorce.
According to Divorce Reform Act 1969, provided that "the sole ground on which a petition for divorce may be presented to the court..shall be that the marriage has broken down irretrievably" (11-008, p.275). Desertion for a continuous period of at least two years cannot be a ground here. Nor George 'has behaved in such a way that the petitioner could not reasonably be expected to live with the respondent.' Parties have not lived apart for two years. According to the Act, court has to grant a divorce decree "unless it is satisfied on all the evidence that the marriage has not broken down irretrievably." If Dorothy insists that marriage has broken down, it is impossible for George to prove otherwise.
There are no children under the age of 16 in this case. Marital breakdown becomes the main issue, as Dorothy believes that her marriage cannot be saved. If she makes a statement under section 5(1)(a) on the marital breakdown, she has to state that:
1. The party is aware of the reflection and consideration period under section 7;
2. Wishes to make arrangements for the future.
If both make the statements, each of them have to state the above.
Dorothy has to prove that George spends all his time and money on his hobby, neglecting her and home. She has to prove negligence on his part and also that she is shouldering all the responsibility on her own. Another point in Dorothy's favour is that she should be able to prove that George's financial contribution to the family home had been inadequate for years. Meeting with the marriage Counsellor becomes an important prerequisite of divorce. According to Family Law Act, 1996, there is no point in allowing the 'empty legal shell' of the marriage to continue, when the actual marriage has already broken down completely.
With the divorce, Dorothy will also be entitled to the share of the property, if any. She is also entitled for retirement benefit sharing, pension sharing and
Cretney et al (2002), Principles of Family Law, (Family Law Act, 1996, 11-043 to 11-057, pp. 297 - 309).
Ancillary relief can be made to either of the party, as in the eyes of law both are equal. In spite of that, Ancillary orders mostly are made in favour of the wives, mainly because their need and closeness to children is thought to be more important. No doubt, every case is weighed according to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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