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Civil Partnership Act 2004

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Commencement Orders bringing legislation that affects this Act into force:

IntroductionE+W

37Powers to make orders and effect of ordersE+W

(1)The court may, in accordance with this Chapter—

(a)make an order (a “dissolution order”) which dissolves a civil partnership on the ground that it has broken down irretrievably;

(b)make an order (a “nullity order”) which annuls a civil partnership which is void or voidable;

(c)make an order (a “presumption of death order”) which dissolves a civil partnership on the ground that one of the civil partners is presumed to be dead;

(d)make an order (a “separation order”) which provides for the separation of the civil partners.

(2)Every dissolution, nullity or presumption of death order—

(a)is, in the first instance, a conditional order, and

(b)may not be made final before the end of the prescribed period (see section 38);

and any reference in this Chapter to a conditional order is to be read accordingly.

(3)A nullity order made where a civil partnership is voidable annuls the civil partnership only as respects any time after the order has been made final, and the civil partnership is to be treated (despite the order) as if it had existed up to that time.

(4)In this Chapter, other than in sections 58 to 61, “the court” means—

(a)the High Court, or

(b)if a county court has jurisdiction by virtue of Part 5 of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 (c. 42), a county court.

(5)This Chapter is subject to sections 219 to 224 (jurisdiction of the court).

38The period before conditional orders may be made finalE+W

(1)Subject to subsections (2) to (4), the prescribed period for the purposes of section 37(2)(b) is—

(a)6 weeks from the making of the conditional order, or

(b)if the 6 week period would end on a day on which the office or registry of the court dealing with the case is closed, the period of 6 weeks extended to the end of the first day on which the office or registry is next open.

(2)The Lord Chancellor may by order amend this section so as to substitute a different definition of the prescribed period for the purposes of section 37(2)(b).

(3)But the Lord Chancellor may not under subsection (2) provide for a period longer than 6 months to be the prescribed period.

(4)In a particular case the court dealing with the case may by order shorten the prescribed period.

(5)The power to make an order under subsection (2) is exercisable by statutory instrument.

(6)An instrument containing such an order is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

39Intervention of the Queen’s ProctorE+W

(1)This section applies if an application has been made for a dissolution, nullity or presumption of death order.

(2)The court may, if it thinks fit, direct that all necessary papers in the matter are to be sent to the Queen’s Proctor who must under the directions of the Attorney General instruct counsel to argue before the court any question in relation to the matter which the court considers it necessary or expedient to have fully argued.

(3)If any person at any time—

(a)during the progress of the proceedings, or

(b)before the conditional order is made final,

gives information to the Queen’s Proctor on any matter material to the due decision of the case, the Queen’s Proctor may take such steps as the Attorney General considers necessary or expedient.

(4)If the Queen’s Proctor intervenes or shows cause against the making of the conditional order in any proceedings relating to its making, the court may make such order as may be just as to—

(a)the payment by other parties to the proceedings of the costs incurred by him in doing so, or

(b)the payment by the Queen’s Proctor of any costs incurred by any of those parties because of his doing so.

(5)The Queen’s Proctor is entitled to charge as part of the expenses of his office—

(a)the costs of any proceedings under subsection (2);

(b)if his reasonable costs of intervening or showing cause as mentioned in subsection (4) are not fully satisfied by an order under subsection (4)(a), the amount of the difference;

(c)if the Treasury so directs, any costs which he pays to any parties under an order made under subsection (4)(b).

40Proceedings before order has been made finalE+W

(1)This section applies if—

(a)a conditional order has been made, and

(b)the Queen’s Proctor, or any person who has not been a party to proceedings in which the order was made, shows cause why the order should not be made final on the ground that material facts have not been brought before the court.

(2)This section also applies if—

(a)a conditional order has been made,

(b)3 months have elapsed since the earliest date on which an application could have been made for the order to be made final,

(c)no such application has been made by the civil partner who applied for the conditional order, and

(d)the other civil partner makes an application to the court under this subsection.

(3)The court may—

(a)make the order final,

(b)rescind the order,

(c)require further inquiry, or

(d)otherwise deal with the case as it thinks fit.

(4)Subsection (3)(a)—

(a)applies despite section 37(2) (period before conditional orders may be made final), but

(b)is subject to section 48(4) (protection for respondent in separation cases) and section 63 (restrictions on making of orders affecting children).

41Time bar on applications for dissolution ordersE+W

(1)No application for a dissolution order may be made to the court before the end of the period of 1 year from the date of the formation of the civil partnership.

(2)Nothing in this section prevents the making of an application based on matters which occurred before the end of the 1 year period.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

42Attempts at reconciliation of civil partnersE+W

(1)This section applies in relation to cases where an application is made for a dissolution or separation order.

(2)Rules of court must make provision for requiring the [F1legal representative] acting for the applicant to certify whether he has—

(a)discussed with the applicant the possibility of a reconciliation with the other civil partner, and

(b)given the applicant the names and addresses of persons qualified to help effect a reconciliation between civil partners who have become estranged.

(3)If at any stage of proceedings for the order it appears to the court that there is a reasonable possibility of a reconciliation between the civil partners, the court may adjourn the proceedings for such period as it thinks fit to enable attempts to be made to effect a reconciliation between them.

(4)The power to adjourn under subsection (3) is additional to any other power of adjournment.

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

Commencement Information

I1S. 42 wholly in force at 5.12.2005; s. 42 not in force at Royal Assent see s. 263; s. 42(1) in force at 15.4.2005 for certain purposes by S.I. 2005/1112, art. 2, Sch. 1 and otherwise 5.12.2005 insofar as not already in force by S.I. 2005/3175, art. 2(1), Sch. 1; s. 42(2) in force at 15.4.2005 by S.I. 2005/1112, art. 2, Sch. 1; s. 42(3)(4) in force at 5.12.2005 insofar as not already in force by S.I. 2005/3175, art. 2(1), Sch. 1

43Consideration by the court of certain agreements or arrangementsE+W

(1)This section applies in relation to cases where—

(a)proceedings for a dissolution or separation order are contemplated or have begun, and

(b)an agreement or arrangement is made or proposed to be made between the civil partners which relates to, arises out of, or is connected with, the proceedings.

(2)Rules of court may make provision for enabling—

(a)the civil partners, or either of them, to refer the agreement or arrangement to the court, and

(b)the court—

(i)to express an opinion, if it thinks it desirable to do so, as to the reasonableness of the agreement or arrangement, and

(ii)to give such directions, if any, in the matter as it thinks fit.

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