Matrimonial and Family Proceedings (Northern Ireland) Order 1989

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
CitationSI 1989/677

1989No. 677

NORTHERN IRELAND

The Matrimonial and Family Proceedings (Northern Ireland)

Order 1989

18thApril1989

PART I INTRODUCTORY

Article

1. Title and commencement.

2. Interpretation.

PART II TIME RESTRICTIONS ON PRESENTATION OF PETITIONS FOR DIVORCE OR NULLITY OF MARRIAGE

3. Bar on petitions for divorce within two years of marriage.

4. Extension of period for proceedings for decree of nullity in respect of voidable marriage.

PART III FINANCIAL RELIEF IN MATRIMONIAL PROCEEDINGS

Provisions relating to powers of the High Court and county courts

5. Interest on lump sums.

6. Orders for financial relief after divorce, etc.

7. Orders for financial relief in case of neglect to maintain.

8. Duration of orders for periodical payments and effect of remarriage.

9. Variation and discharge of orders for periodical payments.

10. Consent orders for financial provision or property adjustment.

11. Restrictions imposed in divorce proceedings etc., on applications under Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) (Northern Ireland) Order 1979.

Provisions relating to powers of courts of summary jurisdiction

12. Orders for financial relief made by courts of summary jurisdiction in matrimonial proceedings.

13. Orders for payments which have been agreed by the parties.

14. Variation of consent orders by courts of summary jurisdiction.

15. Domestic proceedings in courts of summary jurisdiction to include applications to alter maintenance agreements.

PART IV FINANCIAL RELIEF IN NORTHERN IRELAND AFTER OVERSEAS DIVORCE ETC.

Applications for financial relief

16. Applications for financial relief after overseas divorce etc.

17. Leave of the court required for applications for financial relief.

18. Interim orders for maintenance.

19. Jurisdiction of the court.

20. Duty of the court to consider whether Northern Ireland is appropriate venue for application.

Orders for financial provision and property adjustment

21. Orders for financial provision and property adjustment.

22. Matters to which the court is to have regard in exercising its powers under Article 21.

23. Consent orders for financial provision or property adjustment.

24. Restriction of powers of court where jurisdiction depends on matrimonial home in Northern Ireland.

25. Application to orders under Articles 18 and 21 of certain provisions of Part III of the principal Order.

Orders for transfer of tenancies

26. Powers of the court in relation to certain tenancies of dwelling-houses.

Avoidance of transactions intended to prevent or reduce financial relief

27. Avoidance of transactions intended to defeat applications for financial relief.

28. Prevention of transactions intended to defeat prospective applications for financial relief.

Financial provision out of estate of deceased party to marriage

29. Extension of powers under Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) (Northern Ireland) Order 1979 in respect of former spouses.

Interpretation

30. Interpretation of Part IV.

PART V DECLARATIONS OF STATUS

31. Declarations as to marital status.

32. Declarations as to legitimacy or legitimation.

33. Declarations as to adoptions effected overseas.

34. General provisions as to the making and effect of declarations.

35. Provisions relating to the Attorney-General.

36. Supplementary provisions as to declarations.

37. Declarations in respect of polygamous marriages.

38. Repeal of certain statutory provisions relating to declarations.

39. Abolition of right to petition for jactitation of marriage.

40. Meaning of "the court" and appeals from county courts.

PART VI TRANSFER OF CERTAIN TENANCIES ON DIVORCE, ETC.

41. Transfer of certain tenancies on divorce, etc.

PART VII SUPPLEMENTAL PROVISIONS

42. Amendments and repeals.

43. Transitional provisions.

Schedule 1- Transfer of certain tenancies on divorce, etc.

Schedule 2-

Amendments.

Schedule 3-

Repeals.

At the Court at Windsor Castle, the 18th day of April 1989

Present,

The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty in Council

Whereas a draft of this Order has been approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament:

Now, therefore, Her Majesty, in exercise of the powers conferred by paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the Northern Ireland Act 1974 ( a)and of all other powers enabling Her in that behalf, is pleased, by and with the advice of Her Privy Council, to order, and it is hereby ordered, as follows:-

PART I

INTRODUCTORY

Title and commencement

1.-(1) This Order may be cited as the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings (Northern Ireland) Order 1989.

(2) Except as provided by paragraph (3), this Order shall come into operation on the expiration of two months from the day on which it is made.

(3) The following provisions namely-

(a) Article 10;(b) Article 13;(c) Part IV;(d) Part V;(e) Part VI and Schedule 1;(f) in Schedule 2, paragraphs 1 to 9, 15 and 16(a) and (b); and(g) Schedule 3, except so far as it relates to the principal Order,

shall come into operation on such day or days as the Secretary of State may by order appoint.

Interpretation

2.-(1) The Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 ( b) shall apply to Article 1 and the following provisions of this Order as it applies to a Measure of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

(2) In this Order "the principal Order" means the Matrimonial Causes (Northern Ireland) Order 1978.

PART II

TIME RESTRICTIONS ON PRESENTATION OF PETITIONS FOR DIVORCE OR NULLITY OF MARRIAGE

Bar on petitions for divorce within two years of marriage

3. For Article 5 of the principal Order (which provides that no petition for divorce shall be presented within three years of marriage unless the leave of the court has been obtained) there shall be substituted the following Article- Bar on petitions for divorce within two years of marriage

" 5.-(1) No petition for divorce shall be presented to the court before the expiration of the period of two years from the date of the marriage.

(2) Nothing in this Article shall prohibit the presentation of a petition based on matters which occurred before the expiration of that period. " .

Extension of period for proceedings for decree of nullity in respect of voidable marriage

4.-(1) Article 16 of the principal Order (which imposes restrictions on the institution of proceedings for a decree of nullity in respect of a voidable marriage) shall be amended as follows.

(2) For paragraph (2) there shall be substituted the following paragraph-

" (2) Without prejudice to paragraph (1), the court shall not grant a decree of nullity by virtue of Article 14 on the grounds mentioned in paragraph (c), (d), (e) or (f) of that Article unless-

(a) it is satisfied that proceedings were instituted within the period of three years from the date of the marriage, or

(a) 1974 c. 28

(b) 1954 c. 33 (N.I.)

(b) leave for the institution of proceedings after the expiration of that period has been granted under paragraph (4). " .

(3) At the end of the Article there shall be added the following paragraphs-

" (4) In the case of proceedings for the grant of a decree of nullity by virtue of Article 14 on the grounds mentioned in paragraph (c), (d), (e) or (f) of that Article, a judge of the court may, on an application made to him, grant leave for the institution of proceedings after the expiration of the period of three years from the date of the marriage if-

(a) he is satisfied that the petitioner has at some time during that period suffered from mental disorder within the meaning of the Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986; and(b) he considers that in all the circumstances of the case it would be just to grant leave for the institution of proceedings.

(5) An application for leave under paragraph (4) may be made after the expiration of the period of three years from the date of the marriage. " .

PART III

FINANCIAL RELIEF IN MATRIMONIAL PROCEEDINGS

Provisions relating to powers of the High Court and county courts

Interest on lump sums

5. In Article 25 of the principal Order (financial provision orders in connection with divorce proceedings, etc.) after paragraph (6) there shall be added the following paragraph-

" (7) Where the court

(a) makes an order under this Article for the payment of a lump sum; and(b) directs-(i) that payment of that sum or any part of it shall be deferred, or(ii) that that sum or any part of it shall be paid by instalments,

the court may order that the amount deferred or the instalments shall carry interest at such rate as may be specified by the order from such date, not earlier than the date of the order, as may be so specified until the date when payment of it is due. " .

Orders for financial relief after divorce, etc.

6. For Article 27 of the principal Order there shall be substituted the following Articles-

Matters to which court is to have regard in deciding how to exercise its powers under Articles 25 and 26

"27.-(1) It shall be the duty of the court in deciding whether to exercise its powers under Article 25 or 26 and, if so, in what manner, to have regard to all the circumstances of the case, first consideration being given to the welfare while a minor of any child of the family who has not attained the age of 18.

(2) As regards the exercise of the powers of the court under Article 25(1)(a), (b) or (c) or 26 in relation to a party to the marriage, the court shall in particular have regard to the following matters-

(a) the income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future, including in the case of earning capacity any increase in that capacity which it would in the opinion of the court be reasonable to expect a party to the marriage to take steps to acquire;(b) the financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;(c) the standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;(d) the age of each party to the marriage and the duration of...

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