Family Law Final
Terms in this set (101)
In colonial America, if parents divorced, the children were typically awarded to:
The paternal preference rule:
Gave fathers a near absolute right to custody.
The tender years presumption:
Gradually displaced the paternal preference standard.
The modern best interest test:
Is a child-centered approach; Gives considerable discretion to judges; and is the current standard in PA.
Child support is different from other family law matters because:
The federal gov't plays a critical role.
Under federal law, IV-D agencies must provide all of the following services except:
A. Assistance in custody and visitation matters. -ANSWER
B. Paternity establishment
C. The location of absent parents.
D. The enforcement of support awards.
The primary purpose of a civil contempt action is
To secure compliance with a support order.
In some states, support can be extended beyond the age of majority:
a. if an adult child is still in high school
b. if an adult child cannot find a full-time job
c. if an adult child is physically or mentally disabled
d. in all of the above circumstances
e. A and C.-ANSWER
is a tax neutral event.
results in taxable income to the recipient and is a deductible expense for the payor.
The transfer of property between spouses subsequent to a divorce
Is a tax neutral event.
Reimbursement alimony may be used
To compensate a spouse for financial contribution made to the professional education of the other spouse.
Rehabilitative alimony may be used
To enable a spouse to become self-supporting.
Which is a key historical difference between the community property and the common law approach?
A. The view of the marital relationship
B. The legal status of the wife
C. The principle of co-ownership
D. All of the above- ANSWER
Equitable division statutes typically:
A. Require an equal division of property
B. Divide property according to title
C. Require that the party responsible for the divorce receive a smaller share of the assets
D. Require the court to consider a range of different factors in determining how to most fairly divide up the marital assets.-ANSWER
Under which of the following scenarios will Sally lose her alimony payments in PA?
A. Sally gets remarried
B. Sally moves in with her boyfriend
C. Sally's brother, Bill, moves in to her apartment
D. Both A and B (ANSWER)
E. A, B, and C.
In PA, which of the following is marital property?
A. The painting Tom purchased prior to marriage
B. The inheritance Tom received during marriage
C. The birthday gift Tom received from his spouse during the marriage--(ANSWER)
D. None of the above.
In PA, which of the following factors are relevant in determining whether alimony should be awarded?
A. The marital fault of the party seeking alimony
B. The contribution made by one spouse to the other spouse's education
C. the education of the parties
D. All of the above. (ANSWER)
Before Beth and John married, Beth purchased a vacation home in New Jersey for $200,000. Before their marriage, they each signed a pre-nuptial agreement which specifically stated that all property they currently owned and any increase in value would remain the parties separate property. Beth filed for divorce. The vacation home is now valued at $500,000. What portion of the vacation property is marital property?
A. $0. --(ANSWER)
Transmutation can occur
Which of the following is sought prior to the divorce complaint being filed?
b. alimony pendente lite
c. spousal support-- (ANSWER)
d. all of the above
Which of the following is sought following the filing of the divorce complaint but during the pendency of the action?
a. spousal support
b. alimony pendente lite (ANSWER)
d. all of the above
Which of the following is sought following the entry of the divorce decree?
a. alimony pendente lite
b. alimony (ANSWER)
c. spousal support
d. all of the above
Marital misconduct is relevant in equitable distribution proceedings in PA. T or F?
Parties are permitted to negotiate their own custody agreements. T or F?
Lycoming County currently favors shared custody arrangements. T or F?
All custody complaints are initially heard ex parte. T or F?
False. ONLY emergency custody PFA's complaints.
When a custody dispute involves a parent versus a third party, there is a presumption that the parent should have custody. T or F?
Common law marriages can no longer be validly entered into in PA. T or F?
The court will not enforce voluntary agreements to pay alimony entered into by the parties. T or F?
The federal government entered the child support filed because women were turning to public assistance because they were not receiving the child support they were entitled receive. T or F?
In PA, once a child turns 13, the child's preference will dictate who has custody of the child. T or F?
The duty to pay child support ends if a parent's parental rights are involuntarily terminated by the court. T or F?
The tender years presumption assumes that children of "tender years" do better following a divorce if they can maintain a relationship with both parents. T or F?
A common concern about the "best interest" standard is that it is too rigid. T or F?
It is impermissible in all states for a court to take a child's racial/cultural heritage into account when determining custody. T or F?
Following a divorce, a parent may not seek to change the custody or visitation arrangement absent proof of potential dire harm to the child. T or F?
Child support is never awarded in cases where parents share physical custody. T or F?
Our spousal support laws are rooted in the English ecclesiastical practice of ordering support as part of a divorce from board and bed. T or F?
Prior to the no-fault era, the basic rule was that alimony could be awarded to an "innocent" wife to compensate her for the losses caused by the wrongful acts of her husband. T or F?
Since no-fault divorce reform, alimony has been the preferred approach to adjusting the post-divorce economic rights of spouses. T or F?
False. It is equitable distribution.
As with child support, most states have adopted spousal support guidelines. T or F?
The community property approach is based on English common law. T or F?
False. It's based on French/Spanish law.
Most states employ equitable principles when dividing marital property. T or F?
Only tangible property is subject to division.
False. Also intangible.
When it comes to the family pet, most states use property concepts rather than custody rules to resolve disputes over ownership. T or F?
Separate property typically includes inheritances, and property owned by either spouse at the time of marriage.
Courts typically enforce the rules pertaining to the filing of an answer very strictly in divorce cases.
Does PA treat inter-spousal gifts as marital property? Why?
Yes, because those gifts were purchased with marital assets.
What is the difference between legal custody and physical custody?
Legal custody: refers to a parent having control over their child's education; having control over important matters regarding their child.
Physical custody: refers to either parent physically having their child; physically with them.
When the parties are unable to resolve custody issues on their own and a custody petition or complaint is filed, what is the process or procedure in Lycoming County?
1. Conference with master
2. Pre-trial conference
If both of the parties do not consent to entry of the divorce decree, how long must the parties be separated in PA in order for a no-fault divorce to be entered?
They must be separated for 2 years, and are not together in any way; do not share money or belongings anymore.
How does a party seek changes to an existing custody order?
1. Modification 2. Change in Circumstances. Must prove these though.
In PA, if an engagement is broken, the issue of the ring is resolved as follows:
a. the person who received the ring gets to keep the ring, as it was a gift
b. the ring must be retuned to the person who gave it-(ANSWER)
c. the court will determine who was at fault for the break-up and the party not at fault gets the ring
d. the court evaluates each case on a case by case basis to make a determination as to who gets to keep the ring
Under the common law tradition, a husband was responsible for his wife's
b. debts- (ANSWER)
The civil law tradition was influenced by
a. Italian and Spanish law
b. Italian and French law
c. Spanish and French law- (ANSWER)
d. English common law
Most states prohibit persons from marrying all but the following:
a. same-ex partner
b. more than one person at a time
c. convicted felons- (ANSWER)
d. a close relative
Which of the following is NOT true? In order to be enforceable, most states require that a premarital contract:
a. be witnessed by a notary- (ANSWER)
b. evidence the agreement of the parties
c. be entered into by parties with contractual capacity
d. be in writing
Provisions in a premarital agreement related to children
a. Are almost always enforceable
b. will not be enforced if they are in the best interest of the children
c. are not enforceable- (ANSWER)
d. are enforceable if children are over the age of 16 are consulted
Courts may be reluctant to enforce provisions relating to the waiver of spousal support because
a. of the possibility of spousal impoverishment- (ANSWER)
b. they may interfere with a spouse's ability to make child support payments
c. they are typically unfair to husbands
d. of the potential tax implications
Which statement is true about post-nuptial agreements?
a. they enable a couple to make arrangements regarding child custody and support in the event of divorce
b. they are void as against public policy
c. they are never considered coercive in the way that premarital agreements may be
d. they may more accurately reflect a couple's actual circumstances than a premarital agreement- (ANSWER)
Which of the following is most likely to fall outside of the scope of protection in seeking a protection from abuse order?
a. an individual seeking protection from a spouse
b. an individual seeking protection for a cohabitating partner
c. an individual seeking protection from a parent
d. an individual seeking protection from an unrelated non-intimate co-worker- (ANSWER)
Which type of harm is least likely to be covered by an abuse prevention law?
a. physical abuse
b. threats of physical abuse
c. emotional abuse- (ANSWER)
d. sexual abuse
All of the below are common types of relief under abuse prevention laws except:
a. a temporary order for support
b. a stay-away order
c. an order that the abuser move out of the house
d. an order that all joint property be transferred to the victim-(ANSWER)
A divorce on the grounds of desertion will not be granted if:
a. the separation is voluntary
b. the separation is involuntary- (ANSWER)
c. the separation is without justification
d. the separation is without consent
Which of the following is not a divorce defense?
d. insanity- (ANSWER)
Common criticisms of no-fault divorce include all of the following except:
a. that it diminishes respect for the institution of marriage
b. that it empowers the spouse who wishes to walk away from the marriage
c. that children are its primary victims
d. that it favors women- (ANSWER)
All states prohibit marriages between first cousins. True or False?
It is necessary to obtain a marriage license in PA in order to be married. T or F?
PA law permits recovery for breach of promise to marry. T or F?
Under the English common law tradition, wives were fully equal to their husbands in every way. T or F?
Portions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) were declared unconstitutional in a recent U.S. Supreme Court case. T or F?
The case of Loving v. Virginia involved a challenge to a state law that prohibited inmates from marrying. T or F?
The first Married Women's Property Acts were passed in the south in response to concerns raised by women's rights activists. T or F?
According to Simeone v. Simeone, premarital agreements will not be enforced if there is no opportunity for one or both of the parties to have the agreement reviewed by an attorney of his/her choice.
False, Full and Fair Disclosure.
As a general rule, premarital agreement contracts do not need to be in writing in order to be enforceable. T or F?
Public policy has always favored the enforceability of premarital agreements as a way of enabling married couples to avoid the bitter struggles associated with divorce. T or F?
In reviewing a premarital agreement for "substantive fairness," the court focuses on the process by which the contract was entered into rather than the actual terms of the agreement. T or F?
Parties to a premarital agreement are said to stand at "arms-length" distance from one another. T or F?
The modern trend is for courts to emphasize contractual fairness over contractual freedom when evaluating premarital agreements.
Temperance reformers sought to make it easier for abused women to divorce their husbands. T or F?
When it comes to fatal intimate partner violence, the majority of victims are men. T or F?
Most abuse prevention laws contain a qualifying relationship requirement. T or F?
When issuing a protective order, courts do not have the authority to make orders pertaining to custody or visitation. T or F?
Some statutes have amended their laws to provide for the safety and well-being of household pets. T or F?
Although restraining orders are civil in nature, violations can be criminally prosecuted. T or F?
The Puritans introduced the idea of no-fault divorce. T or F?
No-fault reformers pointed to the practice of collusive divorce as one indication that the fault system was in need of repair. T or F?
Describe the status of married women under the common law by identifying 3 things that a married woman gave up upon marriage.
1. Last Name
2. Property Rights
Outline the basic steps for obtaining a protection from abuse order.
1. Party obtaining order files complaint
2. Complaint is heard on an ex parte basis
3. Temporary Protective order is issued
4. Defendant is served
5. A second hearing is held in which the original order can be modified, vacated, or extended
Name 2 penalties that can be imposed for violation of a protection from abuse order in PA. Be specific.
1. Jail- up to 6 months
2. Fines- up to $1,000 per incident
What is the waiting period to obtain a marriage license in PA?
Are applicants in PA required to be examined and/or tested for any STDS prior to obtaining a marriage license?
Outline the 3 basic steps required for a valid ceremonial marriage to take place:
1. Obtain a marriage license
2. Once license is issued, a marriage ceremony must be performed by an authorized person.
3. License must be recorded in timely manner.
What is the primary difference between a divorce and an annulment?
A divorce is a dissolution of a valid marriage and an annulment is a declaration by a court that a valid marriage never existed (despite the fact that the parties may have obtained a marriage license, gone through a ceremony, lived together, and perhaps had children together over a period of many years.)
What are the 3 primary fault grounds? Briefly describe each.
1. Adultery- when one spouse is intimate with someone who is not their spouse.
2. Cruelty- when one spouse abuses physically or threatens other spouse in ways that are inhumane.
3. Desertion- one spouse leaves other spouse voluntarily.
Briefly identify 2 arguments advanced by proponents of no-fault divorce.
A no-fault divorce was a way out for women who may be abused or just don't love their husbands anymore and don't want to be "stuck." Also, children wouldn't have to grow up in an angry household.
What state was the first to pay a covenant marriage law? Briefly explain the concept of a covenant marriage.
Louisiana. A covenant marriage gives couples who are contemplating marriage a choice- either to opt for "regular" marriage or choose to enter in a "covenant" marriage.
What are the two major no-fault grounds for divorce?
Marital breakdown and Living Separate and Apart.
Name 2 grounds recognized for the granting of an annulment:
Bigamy (Pre-existing marriage) and Fraud.
What is the standard amount of time a protection from abuse order is in place in PA?