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LAW30400 Matrimonial Law and Reliefs UCD Assignment Example

In this module, students will be introduced to the law of marriage and civil partnership in Ireland, including the grounds for divorce, separation, and judicial separation. In addition, students will learn about the various matrimonial reliefs available in Ireland, including maintenance, property adjustment orders, and contact with children.

The first part of the module will deal with the formation of marriage, while the second part will focus on the dissolution of marriage. This is a complex area of law and it is not possible to cover all areas within the scope of this short module. However, key concepts that will be covered include the grounds for divorce, the various reliefs available to spouses and civil partners, and the implications of a divorce or dissolution on children.

Assignment Activity 1: Demonstrate knowledge of the principles governing each area of the module through the use of appropriate legal terminology.

Formation of Marriage

  • The law of marriage in Ireland is based on the English Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.
  • A marriage is a voluntary union between two people who are over 18 years of age and who are not already married to each other.
  • To marry, the parties must have the capacity to marry. This means that they must be over 18 years of age, not be already married to each other, and not be within the prohibited degrees of relationship.
  • The parties must also exchange consents in the presence of two witnesses.
  • Marriage is a civil contract and, as such, it can only take place in a civil ceremony.

Grounds for Divorce

  • A divorce may be granted on one of the following five grounds: (1) adultery; (2) desertion; (3) separation for at least three years; (4) imprisonment for at least two years; or (5) habitual drunkenness or drug addiction.
  • The petitioner must prove that the ground for divorce exists.
  • If the parties have been living apart for at least three years, it is not necessary to establish any of the other grounds for divorce.

Matrimonial Reliefs

  • In Ireland, there are three main types of matrimonial reliefs: maintenance, property adjustment orders, and contact with children.
  • Maintenance is a financial payment from one spouse to the other. It can be periodic (e.g. monthly) or lump sum.
  • A property adjustment order is an order made by a court that alters the ownership of assets between spouses or civil partners.
  • Contact with children is the right of a child to have contact with both of their parents. The amount and nature of contact will be determined by the court based on the best interests of the child.

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Assignment Activity 2: Comprehend the principles of each area of the module and the difference between each area of the module.

Matrimonial law is the area of law that governs marriage and divorce. It is generally broken down into two categories: family law and contract law. Family law encompasses a wide range of topics, including child custody, child support, alimony, and property division. Contract law governs the formation and dissolution of marriages, as well as the terms of any marital agreements.

Reliefs Ireland is a government program that provides financial assistance to qualifying individuals and families. There are several different types of relief available, including housing assistance, childcare assistance, medical expenses assistance, and education expenses assistance. To be eligible for reliefs, applicants must meet certain income requirements.

The grounds for divorce in Ireland are adultery, desertion, separation for at least three years, imprisonment for at least two years, or habitual drunkenness or drug addiction. The petitioner must prove that the ground for divorce exists.

Maintenance is a financial payment from one spouse to the other. It can be periodic (e.g. monthly) or lump sum. A property adjustment order is an order made by a court that alters the ownership of assets between spouses or civil partners.

Contact with children is the right of a child to have contact with both of their parents. The amount and nature of contact will be determined by the court based on the best interests of the child.

Assignment Activity 3: Provide an analysis, discussion, and commentary on each area of the module.

The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (Irish: An tAcht um Chearta Pósta 1973) is an Irish act of parliament that governs the law relating to marriage in Ireland. The act sets out the grounds on which a person may apply for a decree of nullity, divorce, or judicial separation. It also sets out the reliefs available to persons who are married or in a civil partnership.

Grounds for divorce include adultery, cruelty, and desertion. A decree of nullity may be granted where one of the parties was not validly married to the other party, e.g. they are within prohibited degrees of consanguinity or affinity. A decree of judicial separation may be granted where the parties are no longer living together and one of them wishes to live apart.

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Assignment Activity 4: Apply the principles arising from each area to novel factual scenarios.

  • Anna and Brian are married and have two children. Anna has been having an affair with Dave for the past year. Brian finds out about the affair and decides to file for a divorce. Can he rely on the grounds of adultery to establish a valid basis for divorce?

-Yes, Anna’s adultery would be sufficient grounds for Brian to file for a divorce.

  • Sally and John are married and have two children. They have been separated for two years and Sally has since moved in with her new partner, Alex. John wants to move out of the family home and take the children with him. Can he do this?

-No, as Sally is the primary caretaker of the children, they cannot be removed from her care without a court order.

  • Tom and his wife Margaret have been married for 25 years. Tom has been having an affair with his secretary for the past two years. Margaret finds out about the affair and decides to file for a divorce. Can she rely on the grounds of adultery to establish a valid basis for divorce?

-Yes, adultery is a ground for divorce even after many years of marriage.

  • Emma and her husband Kevin have been married for six years. They have no children and have been living apart for the past two years. Emma wants to file for a divorce but Kevin does not. Can she do this without his consent?

-No, Emma would need Kevin’s consent to file for a divorce. If he does not give it, she may apply to the court for an order requiring him to do so.

  • David and his wife Elizabeth have been married for four years. They have a two-year-old son. David has been unemployed for the past two years and has been living with his parents. Elizabeth wants to file for a divorce but David does not. Can she do this without his consent?

-Yes, Elizabeth can file for a divorce without David’s consent. If he does not respond to the divorce petition, the court will automatically grant it.

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