Search Legislation

Family Law Act 1986

 Help about what version

What Version

  • Latest available (Revised)
  • Original (As enacted)
 Help about advanced features

Advanced Features

Changes to legislation:

Family Law Act 1986, Section 42 is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 26 February 2020. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

Close

Changes to Legislation

Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. Changes and effects are recorded by our editorial team in lists which can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area. Where those effects have yet to be applied to the text of the legislation by the editorial team they are also listed alongside the legislation in the affected provisions. Use the ‘more’ link to open the changes and effects relevant to the provision you are viewing.

View outstanding changes

Changes and effects yet to be applied to Section 42:

Changes and effects yet to be applied to the whole Act associated Parts and Chapters:

Whole provisions yet to be inserted into this Act (including any effects on those provisions):

  • s. 2A(1)(1A) substituted for s. 2(1) by 1996 c. 27 Sch. 8 para. 37(3) (This amendment not applied to legislation.gov.uk. Sch. 8 Pt. I repealed (except for paras. 4, 16(1)(5)(a)(6)(b)(7)) (13.5.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), ss. 18(2)(e), 139(4))
  • s. 38(4) inserted by 1996 c. 27 Sch. 8 para. 37(9) (This amendment not applied to legislation.gov.uk. Sch. 8 Pt. I repealed (except for paras. 4, 16(1)(5)(a)(6)(b)(7)) (13.5.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), ss. 18(2)(e), 139(4))

42 General interpretation of Part I.U.K.

(1)In this Part—

  • certified copy”, in relation to an order of any court, means a copy certified by the prescribed officer of the court to be a true copy of the order or of the official record of the order;

  • [F1parental responsibilities” and “parental rights” have the meanings respectively given by sections 1(3) and 2(4) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995;]

  • part of the United Kingdom” means England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland;

  • prescribed” means prescribed by rules of court or act of sederunt.

  • [F2“the Council Regulation” means Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27th November 2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and matters of parental responsibility;]

  • [F3“the Hague Convention” means the Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-Operation in respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children that was signed at The Hague on 19 October 1996.]

( 2)For the purposes of this Part proceedings in England and Wales or in Northern Ireland for divorce, nullity or judicial separation in respect of the marriage of the parents of a child shall, unless they have been dismissed, be treated as continuing until the child concerned attains the age of eighteen (whether or not a decree has been granted and whether or not, in the case of a decree of divorce or nullity of marriage, that decree has been made absolute).

[F4(2A)For the purposes of this Part proceedings in England and Wales or in Northern Ireland for dissolution, annulment or legal separation in respect of the civil partnership of the parents of the child shall, unless they have been dismissed, be treated as continuing until the child concerned attains the age of eighteen (whether or not a dissolution, nullity or separation order has been made and whether or not, in the case of a dissolution or nullity order, that order has been made final).]

(3)For the purposes of this Part, matrimonial proceedings [F5or civil partnership proceedings] in a court in Scotland which has jurisdiction in those proceedings to make a [F6Part I order] with respect to a child shall, unless they have been dismissed or decree of absolvitor has been granted therein, be treated as continuing until the child concerned attains the age of sixteen.

(4)Any reference in this Part to proceedings in respect of the marriage [F7or civil partnership] of the parents of a child shall, in relation to a child who, although not a child of both parties to the marriage [F7or civil partnership] , is a child of the family of those parties, be construed as a reference to proceedings in respect of that marriage [F7or civil partnership]; and for this purpose “child of the family”—

(a)if the proceedings are in England and Wales, means any child who has been treated by both parties as a child of their family, except a child who [F8is placed with those parties as foster parents] by a local authority or a voluntary organisation;

(b)if the proceedings are in Scotland, means any child [F9who has been treated by both parties as a child of their family, except a child who has been placed with those parties as foster parents by a local authority or a voluntary organisation;]

(c)if the proceedings are in Northern Ireland, means any child who has been treated by both parties as a child of their family, except a child who [F10is placed with those parties as foster parents by an authority within the meaning of the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995] or a voluntary organisation.

[F11(4A)Any reference in this Part to proceedings in respect of the civil partnership of the parents of a child shall, in relation to a child who, although not a child of the civil partners, is a child of the family of the civil partners, be construed as a reference to proceedings in respect of that civil partnership; and for this purpose “child of the family” has the meaning given in paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (4) (but substituting references to the civil partners for references to the parties to the marriage).]

(5)References in this Part to custody orders include (except where the context otherwise requires) references to custody orders as varied.

(6)For the purposes of this Part each of the following orders shall be treated as varying the [F6Part I order] to which it relates—

(a)an order which provides for a person [F12to be allowed contact with or] to be given access to a child who is the subject of a [F6Part I order], or which makes provision for the education of such a child,

F13(b). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F14(7)In this Part—

(a)references to Part I proceedings in respect of a child are references to any proceedings for a Part I order or an order corresponding to a Part I order and include, in relation to proceedings outside the United Kingdom, references to proceedings before a tribunal or other authority having power under the law having effect there to determine Part I matters; and

(b)references to Part I matters are references to matters that might be determined by a Part I order or an order corresponding to a Part I order.]

Textual Amendments

F1S. 42(1): definition of "parental responsibilities" inserted (1.11.1996) by 1995 c. 36, s. 105(4), Sch. 4 para. 41(9)(a); S.I. 1996/2203, art. 3(3), Sch.

F9Words in s. 42(4)(b) substituted (1.11.1996) by 1995 c. 36, s. 105(4), Sch. 4 para. 41(9)(b); S.I. 1996/2203, art. 3(3), Sch

F10Words in s. 42(4)(c) substituted (4.11.1996) by S.I. 1995/756, art. 12(4); S.R. 1996/297, para. 3

F13S. 42(6)(b)-(d) and words repealed (4.11.1996) by S.I. 1995/756, art. 15, Sch.; S.R. 1996/297, para. 3

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made): The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

See additional information alongside the content

Geographical Extent: Indicates the geographical area that this provision applies to. For further information see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Show Timeline of Changes: See how this legislation has or could change over time. Turning this feature on will show extra navigation options to go to these specific points in time. Return to the latest available version by using the controls above in the What Version box.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

Timeline of Changes

This timeline shows the different points in time where a change occurred. The dates will coincide with the earliest date on which the change (e.g an insertion, a repeal or a substitution) that was applied came into force. The first date in the timeline will usually be the earliest date when the provision came into force. In some cases the first date is 01/02/1991 (or for Northern Ireland legislation 01/01/2006). This date is our basedate. No versions before this date are available. For further information see the Editorial Practice Guide and Glossary under Help.

Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources