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Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Act 1970

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Provisions relating to property of married persons

37Contributions by spouse in money or money's worth to the improvement of property

It is hereby declared that where a husband or wife contributes in money or money's worth to the improvement of real or personal property in which or in the proceeds of sale of which either or both of them has or have a beneficial interest, the husband or wife so contributing shall, if the contribution is of a substantial nature and subject to any agreement between them to the contrary express or implied, be treated as having then acquired by virtue of his or her contribution a share or an enlarged share, as the case may be, in that beneficial interest of such an extent as may have been then agreed or, in default of such agreement, as may seem in all the circumstances just to any court before which the question of the existence or extent of the beneficial interest of the husband or wife arises (whether in proceedings between them or in any other proceedings).

38Rights of occupation under Matrimonial Homes Act 1967 of spouse with equitable interest in home, etc.

There shall be inserted in section 1 of the Matrimonial Homes Act 1967 (which protects against eviction from the home the spouse not entitled by virtue of any estate or interest, etc., to occupy it) a new subsection—

(9)It is hereby declared that a spouse who has an equitable interest in a dwelling house or in the proceeds of sale thereof, not being a spouse in whom is vested (whether solely or as a joint tenant) a legal estate in fee simple or a legal term of years absolute in the dwelling house, is to be treated for the purpose only of determining whether he or she has rights of occupation under this section as not being entitled to occupy the dwelling house by virtue of that interest.

39Extension of s. 17 of Married Women's Property Act 1882

An application may be made to the High Court or a county court under section 17 of the Married Women's Property Act 1882 (powers of the court in disputes between husband and wife about property) (including that section as extended by section 7 of the Matrimonial Causes (Property and Maintenance) Act 1958) by either of the parties to a marriage notwithstanding that their marriage has been dissolved or annulled so long as the application is made within the period of three years beginning with the date on which the marriage was dissolved or annulled; and references in the said section 17 and the said section 7 to a husband or a wife shall be construed accordingly.

40Judicially separated spouses not entitled to claim in intestacy of each other

(1)If while a decree of judicial separation is in force and the separation is continuing either of the parties whose marriage is the subject of the decree dies after the commencement of this Act intestate as respects all or any of his or her real or personal property, the property of that party as respects which he or she died intestate shall devolve as if the other party to the marriage had then been dead.

(2)Notwithstanding anything in section 2(1) (a) of the Matrimonial Proceedings (Magistrates' Courts) Act 1960, a provision in force in an order made, or having effect as if made, under that section that a party to a marriage be no longer bound to cohabit with the other party to the marriage shall not have effect as a decree of judicial separation for the purposes of this section.

(3)Section 20(3) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1965 (which provides that in a case of judicial separation certain property of the wife shall, if she dies intestate, devolve as if her husband had then been dead) shall cease to have effect except in relation to a case where the death occurred before the commencement of this Act.

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