Family Law: civil partnership

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Even at first blush, it cannot be gainsaid that the legal system has been biased in favor of marriage and married couples, affording a wide gamut of options, benefits and safety mechanisms for the couple that has undertaken matrimonial vows as opposed to the cohabiting couple.


This is clear from the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1973. Pursuant to Section 23 of the said Act, the Court may make several orders that relate to income, capital and property. It may order the payment of periodical payments by either party to the other, or it may also issue an order for the payment of lump sums. an order that either party to the marriage shall pay to the other such lump sum or sums as may be so specified. A petition for ancillary relief, may likewise be made, which is an order for maintenance pending suit pursuant to 2.53 of The Family Proceeding Rules 1991. It must be made clear that though a divorce terminates a marriage, it does not terminate the relations of the spouse to each other, in the sense that the court may validly order one spouse to financially support the other, particularly if there is a disparity in financial resources.
Unfortunately, while a 22-year-old may in theory avail of such legal remedies after a one-week marriage to a 65-year-old, an individual who has been in a long-term relationship and cohabitation with another may find herself without any means of redress after the relationship breaks down and the cohabitation is dissolved. ...
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