Grace and George married in the year 2006. They have a 7 year-old daughter. Grace has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, while George is an Engineer by training. Grace has been a housewife since their marriage and George is the sole breadwinner of the family.
Sometime in 2010, Grace found out that George was secretly indulging in heavy gambling and had chalked up a huge debt. They had a heated argument. After the quarrel, George stormed out of their house. Grace was upset, but she thought that George would return home after he had cooled down.
A few months passed, and George did not return home. Grace was beginning to feel insecure. She apologized to George again and again, but George firmly said that he did not want the marriage anymore, and that he could not live with her anymore. Grace was sad, but decided not to pester George for the time being. George did not even visit their daughter.
Grace patiently waited for George to return home, thinking that he just needed some “space”. Months ran into years, and 4½ years had rolled by. One day, Grace received George’s Writ for Divorce. George also stated that he wished to have custody, care and control of their daughter, because Grace was unemployed and, therefore, unable to provide for the child’s needs. He also refuses to pay any maintenance for her because she holds a Master’s Degree.
Grace is very upset and has come to you for your opinion. She has not given up on the marriage. She wants to reconcile with George. She has also been a good mother to their child, and has been single-handedly raising the child when George walked out of the marriage.
She has the following questions for you:
(a) Explain if Grace will be able to refuse to consent to George’s application for divorce. She tells you firmly that she did not forsake George at any time, and that it was he who walked away against her wishes. (15 marks)
(b) Will Grace have to give up custody of their daughter to George? She wants to have custody of the child, but she does not mind George visiting the child as often as he wants.
Applying what you have learnt, discuss the facts that would be relevant to decide whether Grace would be able to get custody of her child. List the factors that the Court would consider in making a decision under the Women’s Charter.
Finally, provide your opinion to Grace with respect to her question regarding custody. (35 marks)
GSP165 Tutor-Marked Assignment
SIM UNIVERSITY Tutor-Marked Assignment – Page 4 of 5
Question 2 (50 marks)
Aaron, 53, and his wife, Angela, 50, have no children of their own.
Aaron and Angela own a house as joint-tenants. It is a beautiful house that they have lived in for many years. Since they have no children, they invited Aaron’s aged mother (his only surviving parent) to live with them. Angela took very good care of her mother-in-law. Aaron’s only sibling, Arthur, visits their mother at Aaron’s house often.
Angela’s only surviving family member was her sister, Judy. Judy’s 2 daughters, Jolene and Paula, were very fond of Angela, and often stayed over in Angela’s house during school vacations.
Aaron owned other assets, such as his car, 5 personal bank accounts and an antique collection worth $2 million.
Angela, too, had her own assets, such as her car, 2 personal bank accounts and a treasure box full of jewellery.
Aaron had to travel to London for a conference, and Angela accompanied him. Unfortunately, the plane they were travelling in crashed, and they were both found dead. Neither of them had made a Will.
The family members are in a state of shock. After the funeral matters were settled, the family members had to attend to the estate matters of Aaron and Angela. They have a few questions and would like your opinion on them:
(i) Identify and list the assets of the estate of Aaron. (4 marks)
(ii) Identify and list the assets of the estate of his wife, Angela. (4 marks)
(iii) Who will inherit their house? Identify and explain the route of transmitting the house to the final beneficiary or beneficiaries. Apply the relevant laws to your process of tracing the beneficiary or beneficiaries. (9 marks)
(iv) Who would be in Aaron’s beneficiary list for the house? Explain briefly. (8 marks)
(v) Who would be in the beneficiary list of his wife, Angela? Explain briefly. (5 marks)
(vi) Identify the relatives of the couple mentioned in this case study who would not inherit any part of the estate of either Aaron or Angela. Outline the applicable laws of succession and explain why this is the case. (15 marks)
GSP165 Tutor-Marked Assignment
SIM UNIVERSITY Tutor-Marked Assignment – Page 5 of 5
(vii) If Angela were older than Aaron, then who would inherit their house? Explain why. (5 marks)