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Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
Family Law
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Family Law


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  • 1. Chapter 53: Family Law Business Law Legal, E-Commerce, Ethical, and International Environments
  • 2. Premarriage Issues
    • Promise to Marry
      • 19 th century courts recognized actions for breach of a promise to marry.
    • Today, courts do not recognize this breach.
      • Persons breaking engagement could be responsible for costs incurred.
  • 3. Engagement
    • Fault Rule: If groom breaks engagement, woman keeps ring. If she breaks engagement, she returns ring.
    • Objective Rule : If an engagement is broken off, the prospective bride must return the engagement ring, irrespective as to which party broke off the engagement.
  • 4. Prenuptial Agreements
    • A contract that is entered into prior to marriage.
    • Specifies how property will be distributed up the termination of the marriage either by divorce of death of a spouse.
    • Each party must make full disclosure of all assets and liabilities.
    • Each party should be represented by an attorney.
  • 5. Marriage
    • Legal union between spouses.
    • Confers certain legal rights and duties upon the spouse and the children born of the marriage.
  • 6. Marriage Requirements
    • State law establishes requirements.
    • Most states require that parties be a man and a woman.
    • Must be of certain age, or have parental consent.
    • Marriages between close relatives prohibited.
  • 7. Marriage License
    • State law requires marriage licenses.
      • Obtained at county clerk’s office.
    • Some states require marriage ceremony.
      • After ceremony, license is recorded.
  • 8. Common Law Marriage
    • Type of marriage recognized in some states.
      • No marriage license required
      • Certain requirements must be met
      • Parties must intend to be husband and wife
      • Parties must hold themselves out as husband and wife
  • 9. Parents’ Rights and Duties
    • Parents have obligations to provide food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and other necessities.
    • Must provide these until child is 18 or emancipated.
    • Child neglect if a parent does not provide.
  • 10. Paternity Actions
    • Suit to determine identity of father.
      • Brought by government to get financial assistance payments.
      • Brought by father to establish if he is biological father.
    • Most states presume that the husband of woman who bears a child is the father.
  • 11. Parent’s Liability for Child’s Wrongful Act
    • Parents are not generally liable for child’s negligent acts.
    • Parents are liable if their negligence caused their child’s act.
    • Some states have enacted child liability statutes.
      • Make parents financially liable for intentional torts of child.
  • 12. Adoption
    • Person becomes the legal parent to a child that is not biologically theirs.
    • Can be an agency adoption or an independent adoption.
    • Procedures established by state.
    • Biological parents’ rights are terminated by legal decree or death.
    • Court must formally approve.
  • 13. Agency Adoption
    • Person adopts child from social services organization of the state.
    • May be open-adoption.
      • Biological and adoptive parents introduces before adoption.
      • Some states give visitation rights to biological parents.
    • Requires court approval.
  • 14. Independent Adoption
    • Private arrangement between biological and adoptive parents, usually through an intermediary.
      • Attorney
      • Adoption agency
      • Stepparent adoption
    • Requires court approval.
  • 15. Foster Care
    • Children placed under state care as temporary arrangement.
    • State pays foster parent to care for child.
    • Arrangement terminated when child returned to biological parents or adopted.
  • 16. Marriage Termination
    • Can occur through and annulment or divorce.
    • Annulment can occur when parties lacked capacity or consent. Declaration that marriage never existed.
    • Divorce is an order of the court that marriage is terminated.
  • 17. Divorce
    • Legal proceeding
    • Must file a petition for divorce.
      • Traditionally, had to prove fault.
      • Today, most states are no-fault.
    • Divorce is final when a court orders that the marriage is terminated.
  • 18. Annulment
    • Order of court declaring that marriage did not exist.
    • Certain ground must be asserted.
      • One party lacked the capacity to consent.
      • Duress
      • Fraud
    • Children born of annulled marriage are legitimate.
  • 19. Divorce Proceedings
    • Commenced with filing a petition for divorce.
    • Petition served on other party.
    • Other party has limited time to file an answer.
    • If parties do not reach settlement, case goes to trial.
    • Both parties call witnesses and introduce evidence.
    • Judge issues a decree of divorce.
      • Some states have waiting periods after trial before it is issued.
  • 20. Settlement
    • Termination of marriage could be settled with a settlement.
      • Mediation frequently employed
    • Divorcing parties must sign a settlement agreement.
      • Document states that parties have settled all property rights and other issues.
  • 21. Division of Assets
    • Two types of property:
    • Separate property owned by spouse prior to marriage, as well as inheritance and gifts received during marriage.
      • Each spouse usually is awarded separate property.
    • Marital property acquired during marriage, or separate property which changes title to jointly owned is considered marital asset.
  • 22. Marital Property
    • Some states follow the rule of equitable distribution.
      • Means fair distribution of property to both parties of the divorce.
    • Other states follow the community property rule which means equal distribution of property.
    • Community property means all property acquired during the marriage is divided equally between the individuals.
  • 23. Division of Debts
    • Type of debt and state law determine how they are divided.
    • Debts incurred during marriage for necessities are considered joint marital debts.
    • Spouses are jointly liable for taxes incurred.
  • 24. Spousal Support
    • Spousal support: also called alimony. Money paid by one divorced spouse to another.
      • Can be temporary, rehabilitation, or permanent alimony.
    • Spousal support terminates at death of spouse, remarriage, or if they become self-sufficient.
  • 25. Child Support
    • Payments made by non- custodial parent to help pay for the financial support of his or her children.
    • Duty to pay continues until child reaches the age of majority or is emancipated.
    • Award may be modified based on changed circumstances.
  • 26. Child Custody
    • The awarding of legal custody of a child to a parent.
    • Based on the best interest of the child.
    • Parent awarded custody is the custodial parent and has legal custody .
  • 27. Joint Custody
    • Custody could be joint.
    • Both parents are responsible for making major decisions concerning the child.
    • Sometimes awarded joint physical custody.
      • Child spends certain portion of time being raised by each parent.
  • 28. Visitation Rights
    • If there is no joint custody, the non-custodial parent may have visitation rights.
    • Can order court-supervised visitation.