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Family Law Act 1986

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Family Law Act 1986, Section 55 is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 20 September 2021. 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

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  • 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 I repealed (except for paras. 4, 16(1)(5)(a)(6)(b)(7)) (13.5.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), ss. 18(2)(e), 139(4))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. 29A inserted by 2020 asp 16 s. 29(2)
  • 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 I repealed (except for paras. 4, 16(1)(5)(a)(6)(b)(7)) (13.5.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), ss. 18(2)(e), 139(4))

55 Declarations as to marital status.E+W

(1)Subject to the following provisions of this section, any person may apply to [F1 the High Court or [F2the family court]] for one or more of the following declarations in relation to a marriage specified in the application, that is to say—

(a)a declaration that the marriage was at its inception a valid marriage;

(b)a declaration that the marriage subsisted on a date specified in the application;

(c)a declaration that the marriage did not subsist on a date so specified;

(d)a declaration that the validity of a divorce, annulment or legal separation obtained in any country outside England and Wales in respect of the marriage is entitled to recognition in England and Wales;

(e)a declaration that the validity of a divorce, annulment or legal separation so obtained in respect of the marriage is not entitled to recognition in England and Wales.

(2)A court shall have jurisdiction to entertain an application under subsection (1) above if, and only if, either of the parties to the marriage to which the application relates-

(a)is domiciled in England and Wales on the date of the application, or

(b)has been habitually resident in England and Wales throughout the period of one year ending with that date, or

(c)died before that date and either—

(i)was at death domiciled in England and Wales, or

(ii)had been habitually resident in England and Wales throughout the period of one year ending with the date of death.

(3)Where an application under subsection (1) above is made [F3to a court] by any person other than a party to the marriage to which the application relates, the court shall refuse to hear the application if it considers that the applicant does not have a sufficient interest in the determination of that application.

Textual Amendments

F1Words in s. 55(1) substituted (1.4.2001) by 2000 c. 19, s. 83, Sch. 8 para. 4(a) (with s. 83(6)); S.I. 2001/774, art. 2(b)(c)

F2Words in s. 55(1) substituted (22.4.2014) by Crime and Courts Act 2013 (c. 22), s. 61(3), Sch. 11 para. 96; S.I. 2014/954, art. 2(e) (with art. 3) (with transitional provisions and savings in S.I. 2014/956, arts. 3-11)

F3Words in s. 55(3) inserted (1.4.2001) by 2000 c. 19, s. 83, Sch. 8 para. 4(b) (with s. 83(6)); S.I. 2001/774, art. 2(b)(c)

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