Sharing of matrimonial property under the Matrimonial Property Act, 2013

Article 45(3) of the Constitution provides that parties to a marriage are entitled to equal rights at the time of the marriage during the marriage and at the dissolution of the marriage.  This article clearly gives both parties to a marriage equal rights before, during and after a marriage ends.  It arguably extends to matrimonial property and is a constitutional statement of the principle that marital property is shared 50-50 in the event that a marriage ends.Image

However pursuant to Article 68 parliament is obligated to pass laws to recognize and protect matrimonial property, particularly the matrimonial home.  Such law will no doubt direct a court when or after granting a decree of annulment, divorce or separation, order a division between the parties of any assets acquired by them during the coveture.

The Matrimonial Property Act, 2013 which received assent on 24th December 2013 and commenced on 16th January 2014. That is an important development in the law of Matrimonial Property for this country. Section 7 is of paramount significance. It provides:-
“7. Subject to section 6(3), ownership of matrimonial property vests in the spouses according to the contribution of either spouse towards its acquisition, and shall be divided between the spouses if they divorce or their marriage is otherwise dissolved.”

Contribution is defined by Section 2 to mean monetary and non-monetary contribution. And non-monetary contribution includes:-

a. Domestic work and management of the matrimonial home;

b. Child care;

c. Companionship;

d. Management of family business or property; and

e. Farm work;

“Family business” means any business which-

a) is run for the benefit of the family by both spouses or either spouse; and

b) generates income or other resources wholly or part of which are for the benefit of the family;”

By    recognizing that both monetary and non-monetary contribution  must be taken into account,   it is congruent with the Constitutional   provisions of Article 45 (3) of The Constitution that parties to a marriage are entitled to equal rights at the time of the marriage,   during the marriage and at the dissolution of the marriage.

At the dissolution of    the marriage each partner should  walk away with what he/she deserves.  What one deserves must be  arrived Imageat by considering her/his respective contribution whether it be    monetary or non-monetary.  The bigger the contribution, the bigger  the entitlement.  Where there is evidence that a non-monetary   contribution entitles a spouse to half of the marital property then,  the Courts   should give it effect. But to hold that Article 45(3)   decrees an automatic 50:50 sharing could imperil the marriage  institution.  It would give opportunity to    a fortune seeker to contract  a marriage, sit back without making any monetary or non-monetary    contribution, distress the union and wait to reap half the marital  property.  That   surely is oppressive to the spouse who makes the bigger contribution.  That cannot be the sense of equality  contemplated by Article 45(3).

In Division of matrimonial property that right is safeguarded by vesting in each spouse ownership according to their respective contributions be it monetary or non-monetary.

case law available on


Copyright Alert System Begins

Astronomy and Law

The Copyright Alert System officially has begun. The system, also referred to as the “Six Strikes” program, is intended to deter copyright infringement committed through illegal file sharing.

The Center for Copyright Information (CCI) operates the alert system. Members of the coalition include the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc., the Recording Industry Association of America, and major ISPs, including AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon.

The system allows content owners to notify Internet service providers (ISPs) when they believe their copyrights are being infringed. The ISP will then notify the subscriber that his/her account may have been misused for potentially illegal file sharing. If the activity continues, the warnings issued to the subscriber will escalate and can ultimately result in “mitigation measures,” which include slowing the subscriber’s Internet connection.

Now that the program is officially underway, content holders can begin sending notices of alleged copyright infringement to…

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The Atlantic: Why Martin Luther King’s ‘Dream’ Speech Is So Hard to Find Online

Murray State Business

Students often assume everything they need is available online. Here’s an example of why that isn’t the case: Why Martin Luther King’s ‘Dream’ Speech Is So Hard to Find Online by Dustin Volz for The Atlantic.

Photo source: Library of Congress

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The Atlantic: Why Martin Luther King’s ‘Dream’ Speech Is So Hard to Find Online

Murray State Business

Students often assume everything they need is available online. Here’s an example of why that isn’t the case: Why Martin Luther King’s ‘Dream’ Speech Is So Hard to Find Online by Dustin Volz for The Atlantic.

Photo source: Library of Congress

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How New Zealand banned software patents without violating international law

The New Zealand Solution


By Karl Spain

There are a lot of theories about what’s wrong with our economy and most of them contradict each other, leaving the public with no clear sense of what to do about our sluggish growth rate.

My theory about what is fundamentally wrong with our growth rate is a little obscure so please, please, bear with me. The key to my theory about what will improve the economy goes like this, the economy produces wealth (the sum of all the work done and product produced) as a function of overall productivity, which is a cumulative factor that can be influenced most easily, and quickly, by innovation.

Innovation doesn’t just improve the overall marginal productivity of the people using improved tools, the actual products produced by innovative processes, which lower their costs, have the same net effect. Conversely, when products get more expensive from a productivity point (productivity here…

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Do Trademark Lawyers Matter?

Briskin, Cross & Sanford - Business Law Blog

This is not an existential question, but the title of a new research study by Deborah Gerhardt and Jon McClanahan, soon to be published in the Stanford Technology Law Review, 2013.

It is no secret that non-lawyers can file federal trademark applications, just as individuals can incorporate companies and perform any number of legal tasks for themselves.  The question is, is it really smart for them to do so?  Lawyers are often asked, if the online, self-help sites file all the documents you need for a whole range of legal services, all at what seem like reasonable prices, what do you gain by hiring a lawyer to do these things for you?

Gerhardt and McClanahan provide empirical evidence that may help to make the decision simpler.  On average, they discovered, only 42% of trademark applications filed by pro se (i.e., “do-it-yourself”) applicants were ultimately successful in registering.  When they…

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How to answer the ‘patent protection’ question?


by Kamal Hassan

I sometimes answer questions at OnStartups. One recent questioner asked “what intellectual property protection do you have (for your web application)?” This was the same question that I got asked over a year ago on BNN’s ‘The Pitch‘. It was especially funny to me because the investor who asked it turned me down in a previous hardware business which had five patents. As you can imagine, I have replayed that moment over and over in my mind trying to come up with a great answer. I haven’t been able to come up with one.

I think this question says something about the investor rather than about your business.  

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What is an Evidence in court of Law


The law of evidence is a procedural law,i.e it neither abridges or gives any right, it is lexfori. The Evidence act permits that evidence can only be tendered for the-: 

1. Facts in Issue

2. Relevant Facts

There can be two types of Evidence which can be tendered.

1. Oral Evidence

2. Documentary Evidence(Includes Electronic records)

The Evidence contains three states

1. Evidence which has proved a fact in issue.

2. Evidence which has been disproved and that the fact in issue is inadmissible.

3. Evidence which needs to be tendered.

Evidence in the form of Admission is a weak form of evidence which needs scrutiny.

Confessional statements to the magistrate is a strong form of evidence.

Dying Declaration to magistrate is strong evidence, whereas to police officer is a weak form of evidence.

Documentary evidence can be of two types-Primary for those whose original copies are produced, Secondary means…

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