LW320 Family Law: Marriage And Adult Relationships Assignment Example Maynooth University Ireland
In this module, you will explore the law as it relates to marriage and relationship formation. You’ll learn about nullity marriages (when they happen), separation agreements including divorces by mutual consent or court orders, civil partnerships that can be dissolved when one partner wants out of their commitment so long as there is no adoption involved in proceedings.
The module seeks throughout to highlight the increasingly international dimensions of family law, with an emphasis on cross-border recognition for relationships and court orders. It also emphasizes that leveraging different methods like conciliation, mediation, and collaborative practices can help resolve disputes more efficiently where appropriate.
Assessment Answers of Family Law: Marriage And Adult Relationships (LW320)
On successful completion of the module, students should be able to:
Assignment Activity 1: Outline and analyze the legal formalities that apply to the formation of marriages, together with the rules that govern the recognition of cohabitants and qualified cohabitants
The legal formalities for marriage in Ireland are quite simple. In order to get married, you must first apply for a marriage license from your local registrar. You must then give notice of your intention to marry at least three months before the date of the wedding.
Under Irish law, there is no requirement to have witnessed at your wedding ceremony. However, it is customary to have two witnesses present, who must be over the age of 18. Your marriage will be recognized in Ireland provided that it is valid under the law of the country where it was performed. If you get married in a foreign country, you should check to see whether your marriage will be recognized in Ireland.
Cohabitation can be defined as two people living together as a couple who are not married to each other. Cohabiting couples should make an agreement about their financial and property arrangements if they separate. Under Irish law, cohabitants (both same-sex and opposite-sex) have certain legal rights in respect of their income and property when living together. They do not have the same rights as married couples have under Irish law.
Legally, a spouse is a husband or wife who is legally married to another person. A couple need not be married in order to be ‘spouses’ for the purposes of family law legislation. In Ireland, there is no such legal concept as a ‘qualified cohabitant’. However, the rights of certain people who live together in a close and committed relationship other than marriage may be recognized by the courts.
Assignment Activity 2: Critically examine the concepts of nullity of marriage, judicial separation, divorce, and civil partnership dissolution, with particular emphasis on the grounds for each remedy
- Nullity of Marriage: Under Irish law, a court cannot ‘declare’ that two people are married if they were not legally capable of being married. This is called an action for nullity of marriage.
- Judicial Separation (formerly called ‘judicial separation of bed and board’): If you or your spouse is no longer living with the other, you may apply to the court for a judicial separation. This is a court order that says you are no longer living together as husband and wife. Judicial separation does not legally end your marriage – it just separates you from each other. You may still get a divorce if you want to end your marriage.
- Divorce: A divorce is the legal ending of a marriage. To get a divorce, you must first apply for a divorce decree from the court. You must then give notice of your intention to divorce at least three months before the date of the hearing.
- Civil Partnership Dissolution: Irish law does not recognize a civil partnership as a legal relationship. However, same-sex couples who have registered their civil partnership in another country will have their civil partnership recognized in Ireland. If you are in a civil partnership and want to end it, you will need to go to the court in the country where you registered your civil partnership. The court there will dissolve your civil partnership.
Assignment Activity 3: Outline and critique the court-ordered remedies available to spouses, civil partners, and qualified cohabitants following the breakdown of a marriage, civil partnership, or cohabiting relationship, and the criteria applied by judges in awarding such remedies
In the event of the breakdown of a marriage, judicial separation is possible and this gives one spouse (the petitioner) the option to separate from their partner and live apart. The court does not force anyone to seek a judicial separation; it simply gives them that option.
Divorce can be an extremely emotive issue and as such, you should consider all the options, as well as issues such as your children and finances. In Ireland, you need a legally valid reason to end your marriage. There are two types of divorce: contested and undefended.
In order for a divorce to be granted, the petitioner must prove that their marriage has broken down irretrievably. A court will not grant a divorce if it feels that the marriage can be saved. The petitioner must also prove one of the following five facts:
- That the other spouse has committed adultery
- That the other spouse has deserted them for a continuous period of at least two years
- That the other spouse has been convicted of a felony and is serving a sentence of imprisonment
- That the other spouse has been habitually cruel to them
- That the other spouse has been living in adultery or desertion with another person for a continuous period of at least two years.
In the event of the breakdown of a civil partnership, dissolution can only take place in the country where it was registered. As Irish law does not recognize civil partnerships as legal relationships, dissolution will take place in the country where the party registered their partnership.
In order for a civil partnership to be dissolved, proof of the breakdown of the civil partnership must be provided and it must also be proven that there is no reasonable prospect of a reconciliation between the two parties. Evidence needs to be provided of one of the following five facts:
- That the civil partnership has been terminated by death
- That the parties to the civil partnership have lived separately and apart for a continuous period of at least two years
- That the parties have mutually agreed to end the civil partnership
- That one of the parties to the civil partnership has been continually absent from the other party for a three-month period preceding the presentation of the case in court
- That one of the parties to the civil partnership has committed adultery since the establishment of their civil partnership.
One spouse (the respondent) can accept or contest this fact. If they contest this fact, they will be required to defend their case in court.
In the event of the breakdown of a cohabiting relationship, the court can make a number of orders, including an order for financial provision, an order for the custody or guardianship of any children, and an order restraining either party from molesting or disturbing the peace of the other.
The test that the court applies when awarding remedies to cohabiting couples is whether it would be fair, just, and reasonable to order such remedies. This is a lower standard than the one applied in marriage cases, where the petitioner must prove their case beyond all reasonable doubt. As cohabitation is not a legal relationship, it should be stressed that no formal dissolution process exists, and courts only make orders if they feel it would be fair and just to do so.
Assignment Activity 4: Outline and critically assess strategies to avoid or minimize court-based litigation including mediation, collaborative practice, and agreement, in particular, separation agreements, pre-nuptial agreements, and cohabitation agreements
There are a number of strategies that can be used to avoid or minimize court-based litigation, including mediation, collaborative practice, and agreement.
- Mediation is a process where both parties meet with a mediator who helps them to come to an agreement. The advantage of mediation is that it is usually cheaper and faster than going to court. However, not all disputes are suitable for mediation, and when they are it can be difficult to get both parties to agree.
- Collaborative practice is a process where both parties come together in an attempt to negotiate an agreement without the need for either party to go to court. The mediator involved will give each party equal power. This method of negotiation has the advantage that the parties retain control over the process and that everyone is able to keep their costs down.
- The agreement is another method of negotiation with its own advantages and disadvantages. Agreement means that the couple enters into a legally binding agreement without going to court. However, this can be very expensive and complicated with couples often needing legal advice throughout the process. It can also be difficult to get both parties to agree.
- Separation agreements involve both parties coming to an agreement about the division of their assets and liabilities, as well as arrangements for any children they may have. These agreements can be entered into at any time, but are particularly useful for couples who are about to separate.
- Pre-nuptial agreements are agreements that are entered into by a couple before they get married. These agreements usually deal with the division of assets and liabilities in the event of a separation or divorce. They can also be used to deal with issues such as maintenance and custody of children.
- Cohabitation agreements are agreements that are entered into by couples who are living together but are not married. These agreements usually deal with the division of assets and liabilities in the event of a separation or divorce. They can also be used to deal with issues such as maintenance and custody of children.
Each of these strategies has its own advantages and disadvantages. Separation agreements are relatively simple to negotiate and can be entered into without the need for any court involvement. However, they are only binding on the parties if they are made in writing and signed by both parties. Pre-nuptial agreements are more complex to negotiate, but they are binding on both parties once they have been signed. Cohabitation agreements are the most complex to negotiate, but they are also the most binding on both parties.
There are a number of strategies that can be used to avoid or minimize court-based litigation. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to choose the one that is most suitable for your situation. If you are unable to come to an agreement using any of these methods, then you may have to go to court. However, this should be seen as a last resort.
Assignment Activity 5: Demonstrate an informed understanding of the rules on the cross-border recognition of marriages, civil partnerships, and divorces:
There are a number of different rules that apply to the cross-border recognition of marriages, civil partnerships, and divorces. These rules vary depending on the country involved.
In some countries, such as the United States, there is no requirement for marriages to be recognized by other countries. This means that a marriage that is valid in the United States will be valid in other countries as well.
In other countries, such as the United Kingdom, marriages must be recognized by other countries in order to be valid. This means that a marriage that is not recognized by other countries will not be valid in the United Kingdom.
Civil partnerships and divorces are usually recognized by other countries without any problems. However, there have been a number of cases where civil partnerships or divorces have not been recognized by other countries. This can be because the countries have different definitions of what constitutes a marriage, civil partnership, or divorce.
It is important to check the rules that apply to the cross-border recognition of marriages, civil partnerships and divorces before getting married or entering into a civil partnership or divorce. These rules can sometimes be very complicated and it is important to make sure you fully understand all the issues involved before making any decisions. For example, if your country does not recognize same-sex marriages carried out in other countries, then there may be legal difficulties if you wish to get married in a place that does recognize same-sex marriages.
Assignment Activity 6: Engage in independent research and analysis of relevant topics of family law and apply the law to unseen fact scenarios:
There are a number of different topics that fall under the umbrella of family law. These topics can include things such as marriage, divorce, child custody, and maintenance.
Each of these topics can be complicated and it is important to have a good understanding of the law before making any decisions. For example, if you are getting divorced, you will need to know about things such as the grounds for divorce, the financial implications of divorce, and how to deal with child custody and maintenance. If you are getting married, you will need to know about things such as what constitutes a valid marriage, the implications of civil partnerships, and how to deal with issues related to child custody.
It is important to make sure that you fully research these topics before making any decisions. For example, if you are getting divorced it will be necessary for two parties to come to an agreement about the division of assets. If this is not possible, then the parties may have to go to court in order to resolve the dispute. In some cases, it may be advisable to seek legal advice before making any decisions.
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