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(1)Sections 33 to 35 above shall not prevent the commencement of any proceedings in the principal registry except where rules of court under section 34(2) above otherwise provide; and the following provisions of this section shall have effect for the purposes of enabling proceedings to be dealt with in that registry as in a divorce county court.
(2)The jurisdiction in matrimonial causes or matters conferred by sections 33, 34 and 35 above on divorce county courts shall be exercised in the principal registry—
(a)so far as it is exercisable by judges of such courts, at such sittings and in such places as the Lord Chancellor may direct; and
(b)so far as it is exercisable by registrars of such courts, by such registrars or by registrars and other officers of the principal registry according as rules of court may provide;
and rules of court may make provision for treating, for any purposes specified in the rules, matrimonial causes and matters pending in the registry with respect to which that jurisdiction is exercisable as pending in a divorce county court and for the application of section 74(3) of the M1Solicitors Act 1974 (costs) with respect to proceedings so treated.
(3)Where, by virtue of rules under subsection (2) above, a matrimonial cause is pending in the registry as in a divorce county court, any ancillary or related proceedings which could be taken in a divorce county court and which are not of a description excluded by the rules from the operation of this subsection may be taken and dealt with in the registry as in a divorce county court.
(4)The principal registry shall be treated as a divorce county court—
(a)for the purposes of any provision to be made by rules of court under section 33(2) above;
(b)for the purpose of any provision to be made under section 34(2) above prescribing the county court in which any proceedings are to be commenced; and
(c)for the purposes of any transfer of family proceedings under section 38 or 39 above between the High Court and a divorce county court.
[F1(4A)Where a district judge of the principal registry is exercising jurisdication in any matrimonial cause or matter which could be exercised by a district judge of a county court, he shall have the same powers in relation to those proceedings as if he were a district judge of a county court and the proceedings were in a county court.]
(5)Rules of court shall make provision for securing, with respect to family proceedings dealt with under this section, that, as nearly as may be, the same consequences shall follow—
(a)as regards service of process, as if proceedings commenced in the principal registry had been commenced in a divorce county court; and
(b)as regards enforcement of orders, as if orders made in that registry in the exercise of the family jurisdiction conferred by sections 33, 34 and 35 above on divorce county courts were orders made by such a court.
(6)In this section “the principal registry” means the principal registry of the Family Division of the High Court and, for the purposes of subsection (3) above, proceedings are “ancillary” to a matrimonial cause if they are connected with the cause and are “related” to a matrimonial cause if they are for protecting or otherwise relate to any rights, or the exercise of any rights, of the parties to the marriage as husband and wife or any children of the family.
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