UNIVERSITY OF KWAZULU-NATAL – PIETERMARITZBURG
SCHOOL OF LAW: FAMILY LAW WORKSHEET
MODULE AND CODE: FAMILY LAW (LAWS2FM/LAWS3FM/LAWP2FM)
PART AND FULL-TIME
Mr and Mrs Grumpy were involved in a serious motor-vehicle accident. Mr Grumpy has fully recovered from his injuries, while Mrs Grumpy is still in a state of unconsciousness caused by head injuries she sustained during the accident. Mr Grumpy tells you that he had discussed divorce with Mrs Grumpy prior to the accident because their marriage had irretrievably broken down a couple of years into their marriage and that Mrs Grumpy was in agreement with the suggestion of a divorce. He would like to know whether he is compelled to sue for divorce in terms of section 5(2) of the Divorce Act or whether he can obtain a divorce based on section 4. Advise Mr Grumpy with reference to those cases dealing with the relationship between sections 4 and 5(2) of the Act.
H and W were married to each other in a civil marriage, in community of property for 20 years. H has decided that he no longer loves W because he has met someone else whom he intends to marry soon after the divorce. H is a successful businessman who has had numerous affairs during the marriage and is supporting two extra-marital children. W has been a stay at home mom ever since her children were born (a girl aged 12 and a boy aged 15). She has taken care of the home and the children and even hosts dinner parties for H’s business clients. W believes that her marriage relationship to H broke down years ago and that they don’t even share the same bedroom anymore. The only reason she has stayed married to H is because of the children and the fact that they have everything that they need and more. H decides that in addition to the divorce, he also wants the court to make a forfeiture order against W because he believes that it would be unfair for W to benefit by receiving half of his assets as she has not contributed at all towards the growth of his businesses. H comes to you as his attorney. As an expert in the field of Family Law you are required to give H the following advice:
(a) Explain to H citing relevant case law how our courts’ interpret an ‘irretrievable breakdown of a marriage relationship’.
(10 marks) (b) Advice H on what the three factors are that the court takes into account when deciding on a forfeiture of marriage benefits order. Provide a detailed discussion of the interpretation of these factors by referring to relevant case law.
(10 marks) (c) H discloses to you that W has said that she is going to apply for spousal maintenance. Explain in detail to H what factors the court looks and what the concepts are regarding ‘rehabilitative maintenance’ and ‘permanent maintenance’. Relevant case law must be referred to.
In the Fourie v Minister of Home Affairs 2006 (1) SA 524 (CC) the court made a judgment that changed the traditional concept of Family Law. Explain the following:
(a) How was marriage defined according to the common law.
(5 marks) (b) What constitutional arguments can be raised against the common law definition of marriage.
(10 marks) (c) What difficulty was caused by s 30(1) of the Marriage Act 25 of 1961.
Mr and Mrs X were married out of community of property on 1 January 2000. They did not expressly exclude the accrual system from their marriage. At the time of the dissolution of the marriage Mr X’s liabilities exceeded his assets while Mrs X had R15 000 in cash.
Mr X’s net estate at the time of his death is worth R100 000 and consists of the following:
* R5 000 which he received as satisfaction for pain and suffering after being in a motor vehicle accident * R6 000 which he received as compensation for the loss of income he sustained while he was in...
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