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Matrimonial Homes (Family Protection) (Scotland) Act 1981

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Miscellaneous and GeneralS

19 Rights of occupancy in relation to division and sale.S

Where a spouse brings an action for the division and sale of a matrimonial home which the spouses own in common, the court, after having regard to all the circumstances of the case including—

(a)the matters specified in paragraphs (a) to (d) of section 3(3) of this Act; and

(b)whether the spouse bringing the action offers or has offered to make available to the other spouse any suitable alternative accommodation,

may refuse to grant decree in that action or may postpone the granting of decree for such period as it may consider reasonable in the circumstances or may grant decree subject to such conditions as it may prescribe.

20 Spouse’s consent in relation to calling up of standard securities over matrimonial homes. S

Section 19(10) of the Conveyancing and Feudal Reform (Scotland) Act 1970 M1shall have effect as if at the end there were added the following proviso—

Provided that, without prejudice to the foregoing generality, if the standard security is over a matrimonial home as defined in section 22 of the Matrimonial Homes (Family Protection) (Scotland) Act 1981, the spouse on whom the calling-up notice has been served may not dispense with or shorten the said period without the consnt in writing of the other spouse..

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1The text of ss. 6(4), 13(12)(a), 20 is in the form in which it was originally enacted: it was not reproduced in Statutes in Force and does not reflect any amendments or repeals which may have been made prior to 1.2.1991

Marginal Citations

F121 Procedural provisionS

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

22 Interpretation.S

F2(1)In this Act—

  • caravan” means a caravan which is mobile or affixed to the land;

  • child of the family” includes any child or grandchild of either spouse, and any person who has been brought up or [F3treated] by either spouse as if he or she were a child of that spouse, whatever the age of such a child, grandchild or person may be;

  • the court” means the Court of Session or the sheriff;

  • furniture and plenishings” means any article situated in a matrimonial home which—


    is owned or hired by either spouse or is being acquired by either spouse under a hire-purchase agreement or conditional sale agreement; and


    is reasonably necessary to enable the home to be used as a family residence,

    but does not include any vehicle, caravan or houseboat, or such other structure as is mentioned in the definition of “matrimonial home”;

  • matrimonial home” means [F4subject to subsection (2),]any house, caravan, houseboat or other structure which has been provided or has been made available by one or both of the spouses as, or has become, a family residence and includes any garden or other ground or building F5... usually occupied with, or otherwise required for the amenity or convenience of, the house, caravan, houseboat or other structure; [F6but does not include a residence provided or made available by [F7a person for one] spouse to reside in, whether with any child of the family or not, separately from the other spouse.]

  • occupancy rights” has, subject to section 18(6) of this Act, the meaning assigned by section 1(4) of this Act;

  • the sheriff” includes the sheriff having jurisdiction in the district where the matrimonial home is situated;

  • tenant” includes sub-tenant and a statutory tenant as defined in section 3 of the [F8Rent (Scotland) Act 1984 and a statutory assured tenant as defined in section 16(1) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988] and “tenancy” shall be construed accordingly;

  • “entitled spouse” and “non-entitled spouse”, subject to sections 6(2) and 12(2) of this Act, have the meanings respectively assigned to them by section 1 of this Act.


(a)the tenancy of a matrimonial home is transferred from one spouse to the other by agreement or under any enactment; and

(b)following the transfer, the spouse to whom the tenancy was transferred occupies the home but the other spouse does not,

the home shall, on such transfer, cease to be a matrimonial home.]

23 Short title, commencement and extent.S

(1)This Act may be cited as the Matrimonial Homes (Family Protection) (Scotland) Act 1981.

(2)This Act (except this section) shall come into operation on such day as the Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument appoint, and different days may be so appointed for different provisions and for different purposes.

(3)This Act extends to Scotland only.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C2Power of appointment conferred by s. 23(2) fully exercised: 1.9.1982 appointed by S.I. 1982/972, art. 2

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