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Contractual Aspects of Marriage and Divorce

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Presentation on theme: "Contractual Aspects of Marriage and Divorce"— Presentation transcript:

1 Contractual Aspects of Marriage and Divorce
Business Law Ch 12 Contractual Aspects of Marriage and Divorce

2 Premarital Relationships and the Law
Marriage – Legal union of a man and a woman

3 Age and Premarital Relationships
No law specifies a minimum age for dating Nearly all states have laws setting minimum age for marriage with or without parental consent Minimum age without parental consent is 18 No law restricts the choice of marital partners except for – Close relatives may not marry

4 Age and Premarital Relationships
Parents that tell their minor child not to date or not to see a specific person, they can enforce that order only with the “reasonable force” that they may use If that fails, the parents may have their child labeled as “incorrigible” (not manageable, out of control) Parent uses excessive force may result in child abuse charges

5 Premarital Pregnancy and Child Birth
If pregnancy results and the male responsible is identified, he will be required to pay his share of the female’s medical bills and to contribute to the child’s support until the child reaches adulthood even if the father is a minor

6 Cohabitation Man and women live together outside of marriage
Considered illegal until the late 1970s

7 Marital Contract If one party in a heterosexual relationship proposes marriage and the other accepts, a binding contract results If both mutually agree to end their engagement, the contract is annulled (law considers their agreement void and never to have existed)

8 Breach-of-Promise Lawsuit
If only one party wants out of the contract and refuses to perform, a breach-of-promise suit may be brought by the other party Some states allow such suit only where the women is pregnant and her ex-fiance is the father Many states have banned such suits altogether

9 Breach-of-Promise Lawsuit
If a third party interferes with the engagement, a few states allow damage suits against the intruders. Cannot be brought against parents If a ring is given in expectation of marriage, the courts generally order it to be returned.

10 Legalizing the Marital Contract
State Statutory Requirements Must apply for and pay a fee for a marriage license Most states allow minors as young as 16 to marry with parental consent Some states require a blood test to show that the applicants are free from various communicable diseases

11 Legalizing the Marital Contract
State Statutory Requirements Once licenses has been issued any authorized religious or civil official can perform ceremony Court clerks, Mayors, Judges, Rabbis, Ministers, Priests, and even Ship Captains

12 Legalizing the Marital Contract
Common-Law Marriages Single man and Single woman live together, share common property, and held themselves out as husband and wife over a prolonged period of time (10 year)

13 Legalizing the Marital Contract
Civil Unions Offers many of the rights, duties, and benefits as marriage to those who elect to form it. Known as same-sex marriage First legalized in 2000 by Vermont Federal government of the US has chosen not to recognize Civil Union

14 Marital Rights and Duties
Marital Consortium The law recognizes purpose for marriage is to procreate, raising children, and filling sexual, economic and companionship needs and these duties are mutual of the husband and wife If either spouse suffers an injury that prevents fulfillment of there marital duties, the other can sue the party who caused the harm for damages for “loss of consortium”

15 Marital Rights and Duties
Marital Consortium The most important duty of both spouses is to provide for the support, nurture, welfare, and education of their children.

16 Marital Rights and Duties
Parenthood Rights and Duties Parents are obligated by state law to support their children until they reach adulthood. Exception to this is “Emancipated” Financial support of the children is a joint obligation Adoption – Parents have the same rights and duties

17 Marital Rights and Duties
Property Rights and Duties Some times a spouse brings property into marriage that they want to keep They don’t want their spouse to have claim over it Prenuptial Agreement Before we marry, agree to keep your personal property coming in Agree on a settlement if you divorce

18 Nullifying the Marriage Contract
Ways to end a Marriage Death of Spouse Annulment Divorce Variety of Illegalities

19 Nullifying the Marriage Contract
Annulment Legal procedure for declaring that a voidable marriage is null and void Voidable Marriage – Results from a problem that existed from the beginning of the supposed union Examples – Refusal to having children or fraudulent grounds for the marriage contract

20 Nullifying the Marriage Contract
Fraudulent Grounds Spouse lying to the other Wealth Condition of pregnancy Freedom from disease Willingness to have a child Past marriage Age

21 Nullifying the Marriage Contract
Void Marriage Creates no rights or duties for either party and is considered invalid from the beginning Declaration of Nullity Not an annulment Must be sought from an appropriate court to confirm that status Such marriage occurs whenever laws are violated by the matrimonial union

22 Nullifying the Marriage Contract
Declaration of Nullity Examples – If one partner is already married when the second marriage occurs (Bigamist) Is a crime Stem from an incestuous relationship Marriage between close relatives Mental Incompetence

23 Terminating the Marriage Contract
Divorce or Dissolution Court actions that end the marriage and divides the property and remaining responsibilities between the parties No-Fault Divorce Requesting spouse does not have a list a grievence No-Fault Marriage Dissolution Granted after testimony that there is no chance of repairing the marriage relationship (Irreconcilable Differences)

24 Terminating the Marriage Contract
Divorce Procedure Separation – Spouse maintain separate living quarters, but their marital rights and obligations remain intact To alter those rights, must negotiate a legal separation agreement Must contain: Child Custody Child Support Alimony Property Division

25 Terminating the Marriage Contract
Divorce Procedure Counseling – Attend marriage counseling Resolution of Issues Division of Property – Property brought into a marriage by a spouse will remain with that spouse Remaining property is equally divided between spouses

26 Terminating the Marriage Contract
Divorce Procedure Resolution of Issues Child Custody The welfare of the child is the most important consideration in determining who will have custody Parent wishes Child’s wishes Childs relationships Child adjustments Physical and mental health of all persons concerned Joint Custody – responsibility is shared

27 Terminating the Marriage Contract
Divorce Procedure Resolution of Issues Child Support – Money payments by a parent to provide a dependent child with economic maintenance Help pay for the needs and wants of the child Alimony Support paid by the wage earner of the family to the other spouse Set by the court

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