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Matrimonial Causes (Northern Ireland) Order 1978

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  1. Introductory Text

  2. PART I INTRODUCTORY

    1. 1.Title and commencement

    2. 2.Interpretation

  3. PART II DIVORCE, NULLITY AND OTHER MATRIMONIAL SUITS

    1. Divorce

      1. 3.Divorce on breakdown of marriage

      2. 4.Supplemental provisions as to facts raising presumption of breakdown

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

      4. 6.Divorce not precluded by previous judicial separation

      5. 7.Refusal of decree in five year separation cases on grounds of grave hardship to respondent

      6. 8.Encouragement of reconciliation of parties to marriage

      7. 9.Consideration by the court of certain agreements or arrangements

      8. 10.Intervention by Crown Solicitor

      9. 11.Proceedings after decree nisi: general powers of court

      10. 12.Proceedings after decree nisi: special protection for respondent in separation cases

    2. Nullity

      1. 13.Grounds on which a marriage is void

      2. 14.Grounds on which a marriage is voidable

      3. 15.Jurisdiction of court, and form of order, etc., in nullity proceedings

      4. 16.Bars to relief where marriage is voidable

      5. 17.Marriages governed by foreign law or celebrated abroad under certain enactments or under common law

      6. 18.Effect of decree of nullity in case of voidable marriage

    3. Other matrimonial suits

      1. 19.Judicial separation

      2. 20.Effects of judicial separation

      3. 21.Presumption of death and dissolution of marriage

    4. General

      1. 22.Relief for respondent in proceedings for divorce, judicial separation or nullity

  4. PART III FINANCIAL RELIEF FOR PARTIES TO MARRIAGE AND CHILDREN OF FAMILY

    1. Financial provision and property adjustment orders

      1. 23.Financial provision and property adjustment orders

      2. 23A.Pension sharing orders

      3. 23B.Pension compensation sharing orders

      4. 23C.Pension compensation: interpretation

    2. Ancillary relief in connection with divorce proceedings, etc.

      1. 24.Maintenance pending suit

      2. 25.Financial provision orders in connection with divorce proceedings, etc.

      3. 26.Property adjustment orders in connection with divorce proceedings, etc.

      4. 26A.Pension sharing orders in connection with divorce proceedings, etc.

      5. 26B.Pension sharing orders: duty to stay

      6. 26C.Pension sharing orders: apportionment of charges

      7. 26D.Pension compensation sharing orders in connection with divorce proceedings

      8. 26E.Pension compensation sharing orders: duty to stay

      9. 26F.Pension compensation sharing orders: apportionment of charges

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

      11. 27A.Exercise of court's powers in favour of party to marriage on decree of divorce or nullity of marriage

      12. 27B.Pensions

      13. 27C.Pensions: lump sums

      14. 27D.Pensions: supplementary

      15. 27E.The Pension Protection Fund

      16. 27F.Attachment of pension compensation

      17. 27G.Pension compensation: supplementary

      18. 28.Commencement of proceedings for ancillary relief, etc.

    3. Financial provision in case of neglect to maintain

      1. 29.Financial provision orders in case of neglect by party to marriage to maintain other party or child of the family

    4. Additional provisions with respect to financial provision and property adjustment orders

      1. 30.Duration of continuing financial provision orders in favour of party to marriage, and effect of remarriage or formation of civil partnership

      2. 31.Duration of continuing financial provision orders in favour of children, and age limit on making certain orders in their favour

      3. 32.Direction for settlement of instrument for securing payments or effecting property adjustment

    5. Variation, discharge and enforcement of certain orders, etc.

      1. 33.Variation, discharge, etc., of certain orders for financial relief

      2. 34.Payment of certain arrears unenforceable without the leave of the court

      3. 35.Orders for repayment in certain cases of sums paid under certain orders

    6. Consent orders

      1. 35A.Consent orders for financial provision or property adjustment

    7. Maintenance agreements

      1. 36.Validity of maintenance agreements

      2. 37.Alteration of agreements by the court, or by a court of summary jurisdiction, during lives of parties

      3. 38.Alteration of agreements by the High Court, or by a county court, after death of one party

    8. Miscellaneous and supplemental

      1. 39.Avoidance of transactions intended to prevent or reduce financial relief

      2. 40.Orders for repayment in certain cases of sums paid after cessation of order by reason of remarriage or formation of civil partnership

      3. 41.Settlement, etc., made in compliance with a property adjustment order may be avoided on bankruptcy of settlor

      4. 42.Payments, etc., under order made in favour of person suffering from mental disorder

      5. 42A.Appeals relating to pension sharing orders which have taken effect

      6. 42B.Appeals relating to pension compensation sharing orders which have taken effect

  5. PART IV PROTECTION, CUSTODY, ETC., OF CHILDREN

    1. 43.Reference for conciliation and report on children

    2. 44.Restrictions on decrees for dissolution, annulment or separation affecting children

    3. Arts. 45‐47 rep. by 1995 NI 2

  6. PART V MISCELLANEOUS AND SUPPLEMENTAL

    1. 48.The court

    2. 49.Jurisdiction of court

    3. 50.Matrimonial relief in respect of polygamous marriages

    4. 51.Collusion, etc.

    5. 52.Evidence

    6. 53.Parties to proceedings under this Order

    7. Art. 54 rep. by 1993 NI 6

    8. 55.Extension of section 17 of married Women's Property Act 1882

    9. Art. 56 rep. with saving by 1980 NI 5

    10. 57.Abolition of right to claim damages for adultery

    11. 58.Abolition of actions for enticement and harbouring of a spouse

    12. 59.Abolition of right to claim restitution of conjugal rights

    13. 60.Abolition of wife's agency of necessity

    14. Art. 61 rep. by 1984 NI 14

    15. 62.Transitional provisions and savings

    16. Art.63(a), with Schedules 3, 4, effects amendments; para.(b), with Schedules...

  7. SCHEDULES

    1. SCHEDULE 1

      STAYING OF MATRIMONIAL PROCEEDINGS

      1. Interpretation

        1. 1.Paragraphs 2 to 6 have effect for the interpretation of...

        2. 2.“Matrimonial proceedings” means any proceedings so far as they are...

        3. 3.(1) “Another jurisdiction” means any country other than Northern Ireland....

        4. 4.(1) References to the trial or first trial in any...

        5. 5.Any reference in this Schedule to proceedings in another jurisdiction...

        6. 6.“Prescribed” means prescribed by rules of court.

      2. Duty to furnish particulars of concurrent proceedings in another jurisdiction

        1. 7.While matrimonial proceedings are pending in the court in respect...

      3. Obligatory stays

        1. 8.(1) Where before the beginning of the trial or first...

      4. Discretionary stays

        1. 9.(1) Where before the beginning of the trial or first...

      5. Supplementary

        1. 10.(1) Where an order staying any proceedings is in force...

        2. 11.(1) The provisions of sub-paragraphs (2) and (3) shall apply...

      1. Schedule 2 rep. by 1993 NI 6

    2. SCHEDULE 3

      TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS AND SAVINGS

      1. PART I MISCELLANEOUS AND GENERAL

        1. Interpretation

          1. 1.(1) In this Schedule— “the Act of 1939” means the...

        2. General transitional provisions and savings

          1. 2.Subject to paragraph 3, any application made or proceeding begun...

          2. 3.Nothing in Part II of this Order shall apply in...

          3. 4.Notwithstanding any repeal or amendment made by this Order, the...

          4. 5.Subject to the provisions of this Order (and, in particular,...

        3. Specific transitional provisions and savings

          1. 6.In Article 6 any reference to a decree of judicial...

          2. 7.Article 16(1) replaces, in relation to any decree to which...

          3. 8.In the application of Article 25(1)( d), ( e) or...

          4. 9.Where the party chargeable under a maintenance agreement within the...

          5. 10.No right or liability shall attach by virtue of Article...

          6. 11.In relation to such proceedings as are mentioned in Article...

          7. 12.Article 45(2) shall not apply in relation to an order...

          8. 13.(1) No proceedings for divorce shall be entertained by the...

          9. 14.(1) Article 51(1) shall not apply in relation to any...

          10. 15.In Article 54(3) any reference to rules of court as...

          11. 16.In paragraph 2 of Schedule 2 in sub-paragraph ( d)...

          12. 17.The amendment made by Schedule 4 in section 1(1) of...

      2. PART II PRESERVATION FOR LIMITED PURPOSES OF CERTAIN STATUTORY PROVISIONS

        1. Nullity

          1. 18.(1) Subject to sub-paragraphs (2) to (5), a marriage celebrated...

          2. 19.Where a decree of nullity was granted before the commencement...

        2. Succession on intestacy in case of judicial separation

          1. 20.Article 20(2) shall not apply in a case where the...

      3. PART III ASSIMILATION IN CERTAIN RESPECTS TO ORDERS UNDER THIS ORDER OF ORDERS MADE, ETC., UNDER THE ACT OF 1939, ETC.

        1. Cesser on remarriage of orders made, etc., under the Act of 1939 or 1951 and recovery of sums mistakenly paid thereafter

          1. 21.(1) An order made under section 19(1) or (2) of...

          2. 22.Article 40 shall apply in relation to an order made...

        2. Variation, etc., of certain orders made, etc., under the Act of 1939, etc.

          1. 23.(1) Subject to the provisions of this paragraph, Article 33...

          2. 24.(1) Paragraphs (1) and (3) of Article 33 shall apply...

          3. 25.Article 45(7) shall apply in relation to an order for...

        3. Orders made under the Acts of 1939 and 1951 to count as orders under this Order for certain purposes

          1. 26.The power of the court under Article 25(1) or (2)(...

        4. Application of provisions of this Order with respect to enforcement of arrears and recovery of excessive payments to certain orders made, etc., under the Acts of 1939 and 1951

          1. 27.Article 34 shall apply in relation to the enforcement, by...

          2. 28.Article 35 shall apply to an order made or deemed...

        5. Avoidance under this Order of transactions intended to defeat claims for relief and relief granted under the Acts of 1939 and 1951

          1. 29.(1) Article 39 shall apply in relation to proceedings for...

        6. Care and supervision of children

          1. 30.Articles 46 and 47 shall apply where the court has...

      4. PART IV SAVING FOR INTERPRETATION ACT

        1. 31.Except where specific provision to the contrary is made in...

      1. Schedule 4—Amendments

      1. Schedule 5—Repeals

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