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The Family Proceedings Rules (Northern Ireland) 1996

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Filing of answer to petition

2.14.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2) and to rules 2.12, 2.16 and 2.35, a respondent or co-respondent who has given notice of intention to defend and who—

(a)wishes to defend the petition or to dispute any of the facts alleged in it,

(b)being the respondent wishes to make in the proceedings any charge against the petitioner in respect of which the respondent prays for relief, or

(c)being the respondent to a petition to which Article 7(1) of the Order of 1978 applies, wishes to oppose the grant of a decree on the ground mentioned in that paragraph,

shall within 21 days after the expiration of the time limited for giving notice of intention to defend, file an answer to the petition.

(2) An answer may be filed at any time before the certificate of readiness has been lodged, notwithstanding that the time for filing the answer has expired.

(3) Where in a cause in which relief is sought under Article 14(d) of the Order of 1978 the respondent files an answer containing no more than a simple denial of the facts stated in the petition, he shall, if he intends to rebut the charges in the petition, give the proper officer notice to that effect either when filing his answer or later by leave of the court.

(4) On the filing of an answer to a petition presented to a divorce county court the Master shall order the cause to be transferred to the High Court, unless it is a case to which paragraph (3) applies and the respondent has not given any such a notice as is mentioned in that paragraph.

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