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Legitimacy Act (Northern Ireland) 1961

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Legitimacy Act (Northern Ireland) 1961

1961 CHAPTER 5

An Act to amend the Legitimacy Act (Northern Ireland), 1928, to legitimate the children of certain void marriages, and to provide for the revocation of adoption orders in cases of legitimation and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

[4th July 1961]

1Application of the Legitimacy Act (Northern Ireland)N.I.

Subs. (1) rep. by SLR (NI) 1973

(2)In relation to an illegitimate person to whom it applies by virtue of this section, the Legitimacy Act (Northern Ireland), 1928, shall have effect as if for references to the commencement of that Act there were substituted references to the commencement of this Act.

2Legitimacy of children of certain void marriages.N.I.

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section, the child of a void marriage, whether born before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be treated as the legitimate child of his parents if at the time of the[F1 insemination resulting in the birth or, where there was no such insemination, the child's conception]F1 (or at the time of the celebration of the marriage if later) both or either of the parties reasonably believed that the marriage was valid.

(2)This section applies, and applies only, where the father of the child was domiciled in Northern Ireland at the time of the birth or, if he died before the birth, was so domiciled before his death.

[F1(2A)Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), that subsection applies notwithstanding that the belief that the marriage was valid was due to a mistake of law.

(2B)In relation to a child born after the commencement of paragraph 14 of Schedule 9 to the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995, it shall be presumed for the purposes of subsection (1), unless the contrary is shown, that one of the parties to the void marriage reasonably believed at the time of the insemination resulting in the birth or, where there was no such insemination, the child's conception (or at the time of the celebration of the marriage if later) that the marriage was valid.]

F1(3)This section does not affect—

(a)any rights under the intestacy of a person who died before the commencement of this Act;

(b)the operation or construction of any disposition coming into operation before the commencement of this Act; or

(c)the succession to any dignity or title of honour or the devolution of any property limited by any disposition in such a way as to devolve with any dignity or title of honour as nearly as the law permits.

(4)In this section the following expressions have the meanings hereby assigned to them, that is to say—

  • “void marriage” means a marriage, not being voidable only, in respect of which the High Court has or had jurisdiction to grant a decree of nullity, or would have or would have had such jurisdiction if the parties were domiciled in Northern Ireland;

  • “disposition” has the same meaning as in the Legitimacy Act (Northern Ireland), 1928 [1928 c.5] .

Subs. (5) rep. by 1989 NI 4

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

F11995 NI 2

S. 3 rep. by 1987 NI 22

4Short title, citation and commencement.N.I.

(1)This Act may be cited as the Legitimacy Act (Northern Ireland), 1961.

(2)This Act and the Legitimacy Acts (Northern Ireland), 1928 and 1958, may be cited together as the Legitimacy Acts (Northern Ireland), 1928 to 1961.


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