Family Law


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Family Law

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