Search Legislation

Matrimonial Causes (Northern Ireland) Order 1978

What Version

 Help about what version
  • Latest available (Revised)
  • Original (As made)

Advanced Features

 Help about advanced features

Changes to legislation:

There are outstanding changes not yet made by the legislation.gov.uk editorial team to Matrimonial Causes (Northern Ireland) Order 1978. Any changes that have already been made by the team appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

Close

Changes to Legislation

Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. Changes and effects are recorded by our editorial team in lists which can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area. Where those effects have yet to be applied to the text of the legislation by the editorial team they are also listed alongside the legislation in the affected provisions. Use the ‘more’ link to open the changes and effects relevant to the provision you are viewing.

Changes and effects yet to be applied to the whole Order associated Parts and Chapters:

 Help about changes and effects
Close

Changes and effects

This section lists the changes and effects yet to be applied to the whole Order, associated Parts and Chapters where applicable. This includes any insertions of whole new Parts, Chapters or provisions yet to be inserted into this Order. These effects are included in this view as they may be (but won’t necessarily be) relevant to the specific provision that you are viewing.

Whole provisions yet to be inserted into this Order (including any effects on those provisions):

Commencement Orders yet to be applied to the Matrimonial Causes (Northern Ireland) Order 1978

 Help about changes and effects
Close

Commencement Orders

This section lists the commencement orders yet to be applied to the whole Order. These effects are included in this view as they may be (but won’t necessarily be) relevant to the specific provision that you are viewing. Where applicable the commencement orders are listed under two headings, firstly those that bring some part of the Order you are viewing into force and secondly, those that bring into force legislation that affects some part of the legislation you are viewing. If you are viewing a prospective version or there is a prospective version available there may be commencement orders listed here that are relevant to the provision you are viewing.

Commencement Orders bringing legislation that affects this Order into force:

Maintenance agreementsN.I.

Validity of maintenance agreementsN.I.

36.—(1) If a maintenance agreement includes a provision purporting to restrict any right to apply to a court for an order containing financial arrangements, then—

(a)that provision shall be void; but

(b)any other financial arrangements contained in the agreement shall not thereby be rendered void or unenforceable and shall, unless they are void or unenforceable for any other reason (and subject to Articles 37 and 38), be binding on the parties to the agreement.

(2) In this Article and in Article 37—

  • “maintenance agreement” means any agreement in writing made, whether before or after the commencement of this Article, between the parties to a marriage, being—

    (a)

    an agreement containing financial arrangements, whether made during the continuance or after the dissolution or annulment of the marriage; or

    (b)

    a separation agreement which contains no financial arrangements in a case where no other agreements in writing between the same parties contains such arrangements;

  • “financial arrangements” means provisions governing the rights and liabilities towards one another when living separately of the parties to a marriage (including a marriage which has been dissolved or annulled) in respect of the making or securing of payments or the disposition or use of any property, including such rights and liabilities with respect to the maintenance or education of any child, whether or not a child of the family.

Alteration of agreements by the court, or by a court of summary jurisdiction, during lives of partiesN.I.

37.—(1) Where a maintenance agreement is for the time being subsisting and each of the parties to the agreement is for the time being either domiciled or resident in Northern Ireland, then, subject to paragraph (3), either party may apply to the court or to a court of summary jurisdiction for an order under this Article.

(2) If the court to which the application is made is satisfied either—

(a)that by reason of a change in the circumstances in the light of which any financial arrangements contained in the agreement were made or, as the case may be, financial arrangements were omitted from it (including a change foreseen by the parties when making the agreement), the agreement should be altered so as to make different, or, as the case may be, so as to contain, financial arrangements, or

(b)that the agreement does not contain proper financial arrangements with respect to any child of the family,

then subject to paragraphs (3), (4) and (5), that court may by order make such alterations in the agreement—

(i)by varying or revoking any financial arrangements contained in it, or

(ii)by inserting in it financial arrangements for the benefit of one of the parties to the agreement or of a child of the family,

as may appear to that court to be just having regard to all the circumstances, including, if relevant, the matters mentioned in[F1 Article 27(4)]; and the agreement shall have effect thereafter as if any alteration made by the order had been made by agreement between the parties and for valuable consideration.

(3) A court of summary jurisdiction shall not entertain an application under paragraph (1) unless both the parties to the agreement are resident in Northern Ireland and at least one of the parties is resident in[F1 the country court division which includes] the petty sessions district for which the court acts, and shall not have power to make any order on such an application except—

(a)in a case where the agreement includes no provision for periodical payments by either of the parties, an order inserting provision for the making by one of the parties of periodical payments for the maintenance of the other party or for the maintenance of any child of the family;

(b)in a case where the agreement includes provision for the making by one of the parties of periodical payments, an order increasing or reducing the rate of, or terminating, any of those payments.

(4) Where a court decides to alter, by order under this Article, an agreement by inserting provision for the making or securing by one of the parties to the agreement of periodical payments for the maintenance of the other party or by increasing the rate of the periodical payments which the agreement provides shall be made by one of the parties for the maintenance of the other, the term for which the payments or, as the case may be, the additional payments attributable to the increase are to be made under the agreement as altered by the order shall be such term as the court may specify, subject to the following limits, that is to say—

(a)where the payments will not be secured, the term shall be so defined as not to extend beyond the death of either of the parties to the agreement or the remarriage of[F2, or formation of a civil partnership by,] the party to whom the payments are to be made;

(b)where the payments will be secured, the term shall be so defined as not to extend beyond the death or remarriage of[F2, or formation of a civil partnership by,] that party.

(5) Where a court decides to alter, by order under this Article, an agreement by inserting provision for the making or securing by one of the parties to the agreement of periodical payments for the maintenance of a child of the family or by increasing the rate of the periodical payments which the agreement provides shall be made or secured by one of the parties for the maintenance of such a child, then, in deciding the term for which under the agreement as altered by the order the payments or, as the case may be, the additional payments attributable to the increase are to be made or secured for the benefit of the child, the court shall apply the provisions of Article 31(2) and (3) as to age limits as if the order in question were a periodical payments or secured periodical payments order in favour of the child.

(6) For the avoidance of doubt it is hereby declared that nothing in this Article or in Article 36 affects any power of a court before which any proceedings between the parties to a maintenance agreement are brought under any other statutory provision (including a provision of this Order) to make an order containing financial arrangements or any right of either party to apply for such an order in such proceedings.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
Close

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.

Alteration of agreements by the High Court, or by a county court, after death of one partyN.I.

38.—(1) Where a maintenance agreement within the meaning of Article 36 provides for the continuation of payments under the agreement after the death of one of the parties and that party dies domiciled in Northern Ireland, the surviving party or the personal representatives of the deceased party may, subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), apply to the High Court or a county court for an order under Article 37 and, accordingly, for the purposes of this Article, any reference in Article 37 to the court includes a reference to a county court (whether a divorce county court or not).

(2) An application under this Article shall not, except with the permission of the High Court or a county court, be made after the end of the period of six months from the date on which representation in regard to the estate of the deceased is first taken out.

(3) A county court shall have jurisdiction by virtue of this Article only where it is shown to the satisfaction of the court that, at the date of the death of the deceased, the property included in his net estate (that is to say, all property of which he had power to dispose by his will, otherwise than by virtue of a special power of appointment, less the amount of his funeral, testamentary and administration expenses, debts and liabilities, including any capital transfer tax payable out of his estate on his death) did not exceed [F3 £15,000] in value.

(4) If a maintenance agreement is altered by a court on an application made in pursuance of paragraph (1), the like consequences shall ensue as if the alteration had been made immediately before the death by agreement between the parties and for valuable consideration.

(5) The provisions of this Article shall not render the personal representatives of the deceased liable for having distributed any part of the estate of the deceased after the expiration of the period of six months referred to in paragraph (2) on the ground that they ought to have taken into account the possibility that a court might permit an application by virtue of this Article to be made by the surviving party after that period; but this paragraph shall not prejudice any power to recover any part of the estate so distributed arising by virtue of the making of an order in pursuance of this Article.

(6) Article 33(9) shall apply for the purposes of paragraph (2) as it applies for the purposes of paragraph (6) of Article 33.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
Close

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.

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

See additional information alongside the content

Geographical Extent: Indicates the geographical area that this provision applies to. For further information see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Show Timeline of Changes: See how this legislation has or could change over time. Turning this feature on will show extra navigation options to go to these specific points in time. Return to the latest available version by using the controls above in the What Version box.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as made version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources