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The Matrimonial and Family Proceedings (Northern Ireland) Order 1989

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Orders for financial provision and property adjustment

Orders for financial provision and property adjustment

21.  Subject to Article 24, the court on an application by a party to a marriage for an order for financial relief under this Article, may make any one or more of the orders which it could make under Part III of the principal Order if a decree of divorce, a decree of nullity of marriage or a decree of judicial separation in respect of the marriage had been granted in Northern Ireland, that is to say—

(a)any order mentioned in Article 25(1) of the principal Order (financial provision orders);

(b)any order mentioned in Article 26(1) of that Order (property adjustment orders).

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

22.—(1) In deciding whether to exercise its powers under Article 21 and, if so, in what manner the court shall act in accordance with this Article.

(2) The court shall 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.

(3) As regards the exercise of those powers in relation to a party to the marriage, the court shall in particular have regard to the matters mentioned in Article 27(2)(a) to (h) of the principal Order and shall be under duties corresponding with those imposed by Article 27A(1) and (2) of the principal Order where it decides to exercise under Article 21 powers corresponding with the powers referred to in those paragraphs.

(4) As regards the exercise of those powers in relation to a child of the family, the court shall in particular have regard to the matters mentioned in Article 27(3)(a) to (e) of the principal Order.

(5) As regards the exercise of those powers against a party to the marriage in favour of a child of the family who is not the child of that party, the court shall also have regard to the matters mentioned in Article 27(4)(a) to (c) of the principal Order.

(6) Where an order has been made by a court outside Northern Ireland for the making of payments or the transfer of property by a party to the marriage, the court in considering in accordance with this Article the financial resources of the other party to the marriage or a child of the family shall have regard to the extent to which that order has been complied with or is likely to be complied with.

Consent orders for financial provision or property adjustment

23.—(1) Notwithstanding anything in Article 22, on an application for a consent order for financial relief the court may, unless it has reason to think that there are other circumstances into which it ought to inquire, make an order in the terms agreed on the basis only of the prescribed information furnished with the application.

(2) Paragraph (1) applies to an application for a consent order varying or discharging an order for financial relief as it applies to an application for an order for financial relief.

(3) In this Article—

  • “consent order”, in relation to an application for an order, means an order in the terms applied for to which the respondent agrees;

  • “order for financial relief” means an order under Article 21; and

  • “prescribed” means prescribed by rules of court.

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

24.—(1) Where the court has jurisdiction to entertain an application for an order for financial relief by reason only of the situation in Northern Ireland of a dwelling-house which was a matrimonial home of the parties, the court may make under Article 21 any one or more of the following orders (but no other)—

(a)an order that either party to the marriage shall pay to the other such lump sum as may be specified in the order;

(b)an order that a party to the marriage shall pay to such person as may be so specified for the benefit of a child of the family, or to such a child, such lump sum as may be so specified;

(c)an order that a party to the marriage shall transfer to the other party, to any child of the family or to such person as may be so specified for the benefit of such a child, the interest of the first-mentioned party in the dwelling-house, or such part of that interest as may be so specified;

(d)an order that a settlement of the interest of a party to the marriage in the dwelling-house, or such part of that interest as may be so specified, be made to the satisfaction of the court for the benefit of the other party to the marriage and of the children of the family or either or any of them;

(e)an order varying for the benefit of the parties to the marriage and of the children of the family or either or any of them any ante-nuptial or post-nuptial settlement (including such a settlement made by will or codicil) made on the parties to the marriage so far as that settlement relates to an interest in the dwelling-house;

(f)an order extinguishing or reducing the interest of either of the parties to the marriage under any such settlement so far as that interest is an interest in the dwelling-house;

(g)an order for the sale of the interest of a party to the marriage in the dwelling-house.

(2) Where, in the circumstances mentioned in paragraph (1) the court makes an order for the payment of a lump sum by a party to the marriage, the amount of the lump sum shall not exceed, or where more than one such order is made the total amount of the lump sums shall not exceed in aggregate, the following amount, that is to say—

(a)if the interest of that party in the dwelling-house is sold in pursuance of an order made under paragraph (1)(g), the amount of the proceeds of the sale of that interest after deducting therefrom any costs incurred in the sale thereof;

(b)if the interest of that party is not so sold, the amount which in the opinion of the court represents the value of that interest.

(3) Where the interest of a party to the marriage in the dwelling-house is held jointly or in common with any other person or persons—

(a)the reference in paragraph (1)(g) to the interest of a party to the marriage shall be construed as including a reference to the interest of that other person, or the interest of those other persons, in the dwelling-house, and

(b)the reference in paragraph (2)(a) to the amount of the proceeds of a sale ordered under paragraph (1)(g) shall be construed as a reference to that part of those proceeds which is attributable to the interest of that party to the marriage in the dwelling-house.

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

25.  The following provisons of Part III of the principal Order (financial relief for parties to marriage and children of family) shall apply in relation to an order made under Article 18 or 21 as they apply in relation to a like order made under that Part of that Order, that is to say—

(a)Article 25(3) (provisions as to lump sums);

(b)Article 25(6) (consequential directions by court);

(c)Article 30(1) and (2) (duration of continuing financial provision orders in favour of party to marriage);

(d)Article 31 (duration of continuing financial provision orders in favour of children, and age limit on making certain orders in their favour);

(e)Article 32 (direction for settlement of instrument for securing payments or effecting property adjustment), except paragraph (b);

(f)Article 33 (variation, discharge etc. of certain orders for financial relief), except paragraph (2)(e) and paragraph (4);

(g)Article 34 (payment of certain arrears unenforceable without the leave of the court);

(h)Article 35 (orders for repayment of sums paid under certain orders);

(i)Article 40 (orders for repayment of sums paid after cessation of order by reason of remarriage);

(j)Article 41 (settlements etc. made in compliance with a property adjustment order may be avoided on bankruptcy of settlor); and

(k)Article 42 (payments etc. under order made in favour of person suffering from mental disorder).

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