Family Home Protection Act 1976

Restriction on disposal of household chattels.

9

9. (1) Where it appears to the court, on the application of a spouse, that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the other spouse intends to sell, lease, pledge, charge or otherwise dispose of or to remove such a number or proportion of the household chattels in a family home as would be likely to make it difficult for the applicant spouse or a dependent child of the family to reside in the family home without undue hardship, the court may by order prohibit, on such terms as it may see fit, the other spouse from making such intended disposition or removal.

(2) Where matrimonial proceedings have been instituted by either spouse, neither spouse shall sell, lease, pledge, charge or otherwise dispose of or remove any of the household chattels in the family home until the proceedings have been finally determined, unless—

( a) the other spouse has consented to such sale, lease, pledge, charge or other disposition or removal, or

( b) the court before which the proceedings have been instituted, on application to it by the spouse who desires to make such disposition or removal, permits that spouse to do so, which permission may be granted on such terms as the court may see fit.

(3) In subsection (2)matrimonial proceedings” includes proceedings under section 12 of the Married Women’s Status Act, 1957, under the Guardianship of Infants Act, 1964, or under section 21 F4 [ ] of the Family Law (Maintenance of Spouses and Children) Act, 1976.

(4) A spouse who contravenes the provisions of subsection (2) shall, without prejudice to any other liability, civil or criminal, be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £100 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both.

(5) Where it appears to the court, on application to it by either spouse, that the other spouse—

( a) has contravened an order under subsection (1) or the provisions of subsection (2), or

( b) has sold, leased, pledged, charged or otherwise disposed of or removed such a number or proportion of the household chattels in the family home as has made or is likely to make it difficult for the applicant spouse or a dependent child of the family to reside in the family home without undue hardship,

the court may order that other spouse to provide household chattels for the applicant spouse, or a sum of money in lieu thereof, so as to place the applicant spouse or the dependent child of the family as nearly as possible in the position that prevailed before such contravention, disposition or removal.

(6) Where a third person, before a sale, lease, pledge, charge or other disposition of any household chattel to him by a spouse, is informed in writing by the other spouse that he intends to take proceedings in respect of such disposition or intended disposition, the court in proceedings under this section may make such order, directed to the former spouse or the third person, in respect of such chattel as appears to it to be proper in the circumstances.

(7) For the purposes of this section “ household chattels” means furniture, bedding, linen, china, earthenware, glass, books and other chattels of ordinary household use or ornament and also consumable stores, garden effects and domestic animals, but does not include any chattels used by either spouse for business or professional purposes or money or security for money.

Annotations:

Amendments:

F4

Deleted (23.07.1981) by Family Law (Protection of Spouses and Children) Act 1981 (21/1981), s. 17(1), commenced as per s. 18.

Editorial Notes:

E33

Power to make order under section in proceedings under Domestic Violence Act 2018 prescribed (1.01.2019) by Domestic Violence Act 2018 (6/2018), s. 15(2)(c), S.I. No. 532 of 2018.

E34

Power to make ancillary order under section on granting of decree of divorce prescribed (27.02.1997) by Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996 (33/1996), s. 15(1)(c), commenced as per s. 1(2).

E35

Power to make preliminary order under section where application for decree of divorce has been made prescribed (27.02.1997) by Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996 (33/1996), s. 11(c), commenced as per s. 1(2).

E36

Power to make ancillary order under section on granting of decree of judicial separation prescribed (1.08.1996) by Family Law Act 1995 (26/1995), s. 10(1)(c), S.I. No. 46 of 1996.

E37

Power to make preliminary order under section where application for judicial separation has been made prescribed (1.08.1996) by Family Law Act 1995 (26/1995), s. 6(c), S.I. No. 46 of 1996.

E38

Power to make order under section in conjunction with orders under Domestic Violence Act 1996 (1/1996) prescribed (27.03.1996) by Domestic Violence Act 1996 (1/1996), s. 9(1) and (2)(c), commenced as per s. 25(1).

E39

Application of subs. (2) extended to apply between the making of an application for a barring order and its determination (27.03.1996) by Domestic Violence Act 1996 (1/1996), s. 8, commenced as per s. 25(1).

E40

Spousal consent for purposes of subs. (2) confirmed not invalid by reason only of minority of spouse (23.06.1981) by Family Law Act 1981 (22/1981), s. 10, commenced on enactment.

E41

Previous affecting provision: power to make ancillary order under section on granting of decree of judicial separation prescribed (19.10.1989) by Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act 1989 (6/1989), s. 16(d), commenced as per s. 46(2); repealed (1.08.1996) by Family Law Act 1995 (26/1995), s. 3(1) and sch., S.I. No. 46 of 1996, subject to transitional provision in subs. (2).

E42

Previous affecting provision: power to make preliminary order under section where application for judicial separation has been made prescribed (19.10.1989) by Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act 1989 (6/1989), s. 11(d), commenced as per s. 46(2); repealed (1.08.1996) by Family Law Act 1995 (26/1995), s. 3(1) and sch., S.I. No. 46 of 1996, subject to transitional provision in subs. (2).

E43

Previous affecting provision: application of subs. (2) extended to apply between the making of an application for a barring order and its determination (23.07.1981) by Family Law (Protection of Spouses and Children) Act 1981 (21/1981), s. 9, commenced as per s. 18; repealed (27.03.1996) by Domestic Violence Act 1996 (1/1996), s. 23(1), commenced as per s. 25(1), subject to transitional provisions in s. 23(2)-(4).