Recognition of Divorces and Legal Separations Act 1971



Recognition of Divorces andLegal Separations Act 1971

1971 CHAPTER 53

An Act to amend the law relating to the recognition of divorces and legal separations.

[27th July 1971]

Whereas a Convention on the recognition of divorces and legal separations was opened for signature at the Hague on 1st June 1970 and was signed on behalf of the United Kingdom on that date:

And whereas with a view to the ratification by the United Kingdom of that Convention, and for other purposes, it is expedient to amend the law relating to the recognition of divorces and legal separations:

Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Decrees of divorce and judicial separation granted in British Isles

Decrees of divorce and judicial separation granted in British Isles

S-1 Recognition in Great Britain of divorces and judicial separations granted in the British Isles.

1 Recognition in Great Britain of divorces and judicial separations granted in the British Isles.

1. Subject to section 8 of this Act, the validity of a decree of divorce or judicial separation granted after the commencement of this section shall—

a ) if it was granted under the law of Scotland, be recognised in England and Wales, and, if it was granted under the law of England and Wales, be recognised in Scotland and
b ) if it was granted under the law of any other part of the British Isles, be recognised in Great Britain
Overseas divorces and legal separations

Overseas divorces and legal separations

S-2 Recognition in Great Britain of overseas divorces and legal separations.

2 Recognition in Great Britain of overseas divorces and legal separations.

2. Sections 3 to 5 of this Act shall have effect, subject to section 8 of this Act, as respects the recognition in Great Britain of the validity of overseas divorces and legal separations, that is to say, divorces and legal separations which—

a ) have been obtained by means of judicial or other proceedings in any country outside the British Isles and
b ) are effective under the law of that country.
S-3 Grounds for recognition.

3 Grounds for recognition.

(1) The validity of an overseas divorce or legal separation shall be recognised if, at the date of the institution of the proceedings in the country in which it was obtained—

(a ) either spouse was habitually resident in that country; or

(b ) either spouse was a national of that country.

(2) In relation to a country the law of which uses the concept of domicile as a ground of jurisdiction in matters of divorce or legal separation, subsection (1)(a ) of this section shall have effect as if the reference to habitual residence included a reference to domicile within the meaning of that law.

(3) In relation to a country comprising territories in which different systems of law are in force in matters of divorce or legal separation, the foregoing provisions of this section (except those relating to nationality) shall have effect as if each territory were a separate country.

S-4 Cross-proceedings and divorces following legal separations.

4 Cross-proceedings and divorces following legal separations.

(1) Where there have been cross-proceedings, the validity of an overseas divorce or legal separation obtained either in the original proceedings or in the cross-proceedings shall be recognised if the requirements of paragraph (a ) or (b of this Act are satisfied in relation to the date of the institution either of the original proceedings or of the cross-proceedings.

(2) Where a legal separation the validity of which is entitled to recognition by virtue of the provisions of section 3 of this Act or of subsection (1) of this section is converted, in the country in which it was obtained, into a divorce, the validity of the divorce shall be recognised whether or not it would itself be entitled to recognition by virtue of those provisions.

S-5 Proof of facts relevant to recognition.

5 Proof of facts relevant to recognition.

(1) For the purpose of deciding whether an overseas divorce or legal separation is entitled to recognition by virtue of the foregoing provisions of this Act, any finding of fact made (whether expressly or by implication) in the...

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