Legal Essay - Family Law

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Society places laws upon different family arrangements to ensure that members of all families have legal protection. Marriage is the union of man and women to become husband and wife. However, when a couple undergoes divorce, in order for each individual to achieve justice, there are various laws that come into place. The laws regarding dissolution are: Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) and Property (Relationships) Act 1984 (NSW).

The Family Law Act 1975 (Cwlth) is a statute that governs divorce law. Under this act there is only one ground for divorce and this is to prove that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of marriage, which means that the marriage has broken down to such an extent that it cannot be put back together. Divorce breaks the legal bonds of marriage between couples. It does not deal with other matters such as: maintenance, the division of property, where children will live and who will be responsible for children’s care. To prove this couples must live separately and a part for a period of 12 months before applying for divorce. Separately and apart can be defined by five different criteria’s; Intention, Separation under one roof, The ‘Kiss and make up’ clause, Marriages of less than two years and Decree nisi and decree absolute. For a couple to be living separately and apart there must be the intention on the part of at least one of the parties to the marriage to end the relationship. Under the Family Law Act, couples who are separates may try living together again for one period of up to three months.

Property settlements are often made by agreements between the parties, which saves the cost of going to court. According to the Property (Relationships) Act 1984 (NSW), when deciding on how to divide the property after the end of a marriage, the court will consider four things: the financial contribution of each party, the non-financial contribution of each party, the future needs and obligations of each party and whether or not there is a...
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