Family legal studies

Essay by adernays August 2014

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1) Yes. Maintenance is a financial payment made by one spouse to contribute to the care and welfare of the other spouse and/or children of the marriage. Under s.72 of theFamily Law Act 1975 (Cth), a spouse may be obligated to provide maintenance to the other spouse if the proposed payee spouse is unable to support themselves and the proposed payer spouse has the capacity to pay.Factors needed to be taken into account are children and property. The Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988 (Cth) established the Child Support Scheme and the Child Support Agency (CSA) for the collection and enforcement of court orders, child support agreements and spousal maintenance. The agencies main aim is to ensure that both parents fulfil their financial responsibility for their children. To assess the amount of child support needed the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 (Cth) was established and set formulas in determining the value of child support needed.

Property is the largest and most disputed asset. Factors used to decide ownership of property if relationship breaks down include the assessment of both partner's assets and liabilities, contribution to the acquisition and maintenance of assets and liabilities, future needs factors and justice and equity check. Thus, maintenance should be fulfilled and determined on the factors of children and property.

2) A blended family is one where one parent is a stepparent. Step-parents do not have the same legal responsibilities for step children as they are not the natural parent and are denied the automatic right to discipline, cannot make day-to-day decisions concerning the health and welfare of the child and are not responsible for maintenance unless court orders. Consequently, step-children do not have an automatic claim to the estate of their intestate step-parent however they canclaim estate and a family provision...