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Family Law 01
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Family Law 01


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  • Transcript

    • 1. Intro to U.S. Law
        • Family Law and Related Topics
    • 2. Sources of Law
      • Primarily State Law
        • Statutes set forth general elements
        • Court interpret and create precedent
      • Federal Law
        • Mostly concerns fundamental rights
        • Welfare benefits and child support enforcement
    • 3. Ceremonial Marriage
      • Legal Capacity to Marry
        • Legal age – usually 16 to 18 years old
        • Mentally competent
          • Person must understand nature of act
        • Not already married
    • 4. Michigan Age Statute
    • 5. Additional Considerations
      • Valid formation
        • Voluntary
        • No fraud
      • Blood relationship
        • Many prohibit Uncle/Niece and Aunt/Nephew
        • Some prohibit first cousins
    • 6. Incapacity Statutes
    • 7. Marriage Procedure
      • First must obtain license from state
        • Must apply with the state
        • License usually issued by county clerk
          • Many states have waiting period between application and issuance date.
        • Few states require blood tests
      • Then marriage must be “solemnized”
        • Can be done by religious representative or civil official
    • 8. Common Law Marriage
      • Recognized in about ¼ of states
      • Does not technically meet marriage requirement
        • No license, no solemnization, etc.
        • Considered as implied agreement to be married.
      • When this becomes issue?
        • Death benefits, taxes, etc.
    • 9. Validity of Foreign Marriages
      • Foreign – different state OR different country
        • Between the States – Full Faith and Credit Clause
        • Between State and Foreign Country
          • Generally conflict of law, private law question
          • States generally do not have statutes directly on point
      • Gay Marriage and the recognition of “foreign” marriages
    • 10. Foreign Marriage Statute
    • 11. Marital Property
      • Under Common Law
        • “by marriage, the husband and wife are one person in the law; that is, the very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least is incorporated and consolidated into that of the husband.”
            • Blackstone, Commentaries of the Laws of England (1765-1769)
    • 12. Married Women Property Act
      • Rules developed by equity courts in England started creating exceptions to common law.
      • By 1900, England and all states passed laws permitting woman to have and control separate property.
        • Eventually these laws provided full rights and responsibilities to married women.
    • 13. Modern Approach
      • Common Law Separate Property Approach Upon Divorce
        • Followed in vast majority of states
        • Allows for “separate” property to be kept
        • MWPA laws plus “equitable distribution” of property upon divorce.
          • Requires equal distribution of property upon divorce
    • 14. Community Approach
      • Similar to laws in civil law system
      • Used in only a minority of states
      • All property acquired during marriage becomes marital property with spouses being joint owners.
        • Equitable distribution upon divorce
    • 15. Premarital Agreements
      • Contract setting forth property rights upon marriage.
        • Sometimes called “prenuptial” or “antenuptial”
        • Traditional use = death.
        • Modern use = divorce.
    • 16. The Case of Anna Nicole Smith
      • Anna Nicole Smith
        • Age 26, former Playboy Playmate.
      • J. Howard Marshall
        • Age 89
        • Billionaire oilman
      • Marriage ends 14 months later upon his death.
    • 17. Legal Responsibilities
      • Both parents have a legal duty to financially support their children.
      • All Assets and Debts are joint property unless otherwise noted.
        • Property brought into a marriage – differs from state to state.
      • Surviving spouse is legally entitled to portion of state upon death of spouse.
    • 18. Legal Rights
      • Tax Benefits
        • Impacts particularly how business receipts are taxed.
        • What about the marriage penalty?
      • Estate Planning Benefits
        • Automatic inheritance
        • Estate tax exemption
      • Government Benefits
        • Spouse entitled to receive benefits
    • 19. Legal Rights
      • Employment Benefits
        • Insurance via spouse's employer, Leave (family, bereavement, Pension
      • Medical Benefits
        • Visitation, making medical decisions
      • Death Benefits
        • Autopsies, burial decisions
    • 20. Legal Rights
      • Family Benefits
        • Alimony, child support, etc.
      • Housing Benefits
        • Renewal of lease signed by spouse, living in “family only” neighborhoods.
      • Other legal protections
        • Immigration, marital privilege, crime victim's recovery benefits, etc.
    • 21. Same-Sex Marriage & Rights
      • States Allowing for Same-gender Marriage
        • MA, CT (Hawaii for a few years, CA for a few months)
      • States Allowing for Domestic Partnerships
        • VT, NJ, NH, (full rights)
        • ME, HI, DC, OR, WA (limited rights)
      • These marriages/unions will not be recognized by Federal government or other states.
    • 22. Gay Marriage by State