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The Family Proceedings Rules (Northern Ireland) 1996

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Application by spouse for failure to maintain

3.1.—(1) An application under Article 29 of the Order of 1978 by a party to a marriage who alleges that the other party to the marriage—

(a)has failed to provide reasonable maintenance for the applicant, or

(b)has failed to provide, or to make a proper contribution towards, reasonable maintenance for any child of the family,

shall be made by originating summons in Form M18. Such summons shall be issued out of—

(i)the Matrimonial Office in relation to applications to the High Court;

(ii)a county court office, in relation to applications to a county court.

(2) There shall be filed in support of the summons an affidavit by the applicant which shall state—

(a)the names of the parties to the marriage, the place and date of the marriage;

(b)the names of each child and his date of birth, or if it be the case that he is over 18 years of age, and in the case of each minor child over the age of 16 years whether he is, or will be, or if an order for provision were made would be, receiving instruction at an educational establishment or undergoing training for a trade, profession or vocation and the person with whom any such child is residing;

(c)if there have been any previous proceedings in any court in Northern Ireland or elsewhere with reference to the marriage or children of the marriage or between the applicant and respondent with reference to any property of either or both of them, the date and effect of any decree or order, and in the case of proceedings in reference to the marriage if there has been any resumption of cohabitation since the making of the decree or order;

(d)where the application is for periodical payments or secured periodical payments for a child—

(i)whether the application is

  • for a stepchild;

  • in addition to child support maintenance already payable under a Child Support Agency assessment;

  • to meet expenses arising from a child’s disability;

  • to meet expenses incurred by a child being educated or trained for work; or

  • made on some other specified ground;

(ii)if the child or the person with care of the child or the absent parent of the child is not habitually resident in the United Kingdom;

(e)particulars of the alleged failure to maintain;

(f)whether there are or have been any proceedings in the Child Support Agency with reference to the maintenance of each child and if so the details of those proceedings;

(g)the means of the applicant and the respondent;

(h)the facts upon which it is claimed that the court has jurisdiction to entertain the proceedings.

(3) If the proper officer or chief clerk, as the case may be, does not consider it practicable to fix a day for the hearing of the application at the time when it is issued he may do so subsequently and in that case he shall forthwith give notice of the day to all parties.

(4) Within 21 days after the time limited for giving notice of intention to defend, the respondent shall, if he intends to contest the application, file an affidavit in answer setting out the grounds on which he relies (including any allegation which he wishes to make against the applicant), and shall in any case, unless the court otherwise directs, file an affidavit containing full particulars of his property and income and serve a copy of the affidavit on the applicant.

(5) Where the respondent’s affidavit alleges adultery the alleged adulterer shall, unless the court otherwise directs, be made a party cited and be served with a copy of the affidavit, with notice in Form M19, and rule 2.8 shall apply, with the necessary modifications, as if the affidavit were a petition and the party cited were a co-respondent.

(6) A party cited who wishes to defend all or any of the charges made against him shall within 21 days after the time limited for giving notice of intention to defend, file an affidavit in answer and serve a copy of the affidavit on the respondent.

(7) If the respondent does not file an affidavit in accordance with paragraph (4), the court may order him to file an affidavit containing full particulars of his property and income and serve a copy of any such affidavit on the applicant.

(8) Within 14 days after being served with a copy of any affidavit in answer filed by the respondent the applicant may file an affidavit in reply and serve a copy on the respondent and on any party cited. No further affidavit shall be filed without leave.

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