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Family Law Act 1986

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46 Grounds for recognition.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)The validity of an overseas divorce, annulment or legal separation obtained by means of proceedings shall be recognised if—

(a)the divorce, annulment or legal separation is effective under the law of the country in which it was obtained; and

(b)at the relevant date either party to the marriage—

(i)was habitually resident in the country in which the divorce, annulment or legal separation was obtained; or

(ii)was domiciled in that country; or

(iii)was a national of that country.

(2)The validity of an overseas divorce, annulment or legal separation obtained otherwise than by means of proceedings shall be recognised if—

(a)the divorce, annulment or legal separation is effective under the law of the country in which it was obtained;

(b)at the relevant date—

(i)each party to the marriage was domiciled in that country; or

(ii)either party to the marriage was domiciled in that country and the other party was domiciled in a country under whose law the divorce, annulment or legal separation is recognised as valid; and

(c)neither party to the marriage was habitually resident in the United Kingdom throughout the period of one year immediately preceding that date.

(3)In this section “the relevant date” means—

(a)in the case of an overseas divorce, annulment or legal separation obtained by means of proceedings, the date of the commencement of the proceedings;

(b)in the case of an overseas divorce, annulment or legal separation obtained otherwise than by means of proceedings, the date on which it was obtained.

(4)Where in the case of an overseas annulment, the relevant date fell after the death of either party to the marriage, any reference in subsection (1) or (2) above to that date shall be construed in relation to that party as a reference to the date of death.

(5)For the purpose of this section, a party to a marriage shall be treated as domiciled in a country if he was domiciled in that country either according to the law of that country in family matters or according to the law of the part of the United Kingdom in which the question of recognition arises.

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