Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act 1989


Number 6 of 1989


JUDICIAL SEPARATION AND FAMILY LAW REFORM ACT 1989

REVISED

Updated to 1 January 2018


This Revised Act is an administrative consolidation of the Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act 1989. It is prepared by the Law Reform Commission in accordance with its function under the Law Reform Commission Act 1975 (3/1975) to keep the law under review and to undertake revision and consolidation of statute law.

All Acts up to and including Finance Act 2017 (41/2017), enacted 25 December 2017, and all statutory instruments up to and including Legal Metrology (Measuring Instruments) Act 2017 (Commencement) Order 2018 (S.I. No. 1 of 2018), made 4 January 2018, were considered in the preparation of this Revised Act.

Disclaimer: While every care has been taken in the preparation of this Revised Act, the Law Reform Commission can assume no responsibility for and give no guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up to date nature of the information provided and does not accept any liability whatsoever arising from any errors or omissions. Please notify any errors, omissions and comments by email to

revisedacts@lawreform.ie.


Number 6 of 1989


JUDICIAL SEPARATION AND FAMILY LAW REFORM ACT 1989

REVISED

Updated to 1 January 2018


Introduction

This Revised Act presents the text of the Act as it has been amended since enactment, and preserves the format in which it was passed.

Related legislation

This Act is not collectively cited with any other Act.

Annotations

This Revised Act is annotated and includes textual and non-textual amendments, statutory instruments made pursuant to the Act and previous affecting provisions.

An explanation of how to read annotations is available at

www.lawreform.ie/annotations.

Material not updated in this revision

Where other legislation is amended by this Act, those amendments may have been superseded by other amendments in other legislation, or the amended legislation may have been repealed or revoked. This information is not represented in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the amended legislation if one is available.

Where legislation or a fragment of legislation is referred to in annotations, changes to this legislation or fragment may not be reflected in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the legislation referred to if one is available.

A list of legislative changes to any Act, and to statutory instruments from 1982, may be found linked from the page of the Act or statutory instrument at

www.irishstatutebook.ie.

Acts which affect or previously affected this revision

Mediation Act 2017 (27/2017)

Marriage Act 2015 (35/2015)

Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2008 (14/2008)

Health Act 2004 (42/2004)

Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 (31/2004)

Protection of Children (Hague Convention) Act 2000 (37/2000)

Children Act 1997 (40/1997)

Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (39/1997)

Finance Act 1997 (22/1997)

Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996 (33/1996)

Domestic Violence Act 1996 (1/1996)

Courts and Court Officers Act 1995 (31/1995)

Family Law Act 1995 (26/1995)

Criminal Damage Act 1991 (31/1991)

Child Care Act 1991 (17/1991)

Child Abduction and Enforcement of Custody Orders Act 1991 (6/1991)

Family Home Protection Act 1976 (27/1976)

All Acts up to and including Finance Act 2017 (41/2017), enacted 25 December 2017, were considered in the preparation of this revision.

Statutory instruments which affect or previously affected this revision

District Court (Judges’ Robes) Rules 2017 (S.I. No. 77 of 2017)

European Communities (Judgments in Matrimonial Matters and Matters of Parental Responsibility) Regulations 2005 (S.I. No. 112 of 2005)

European Communities (Judgments in Matrimonial Matters and Matters of Parental Responsibility) Regulations 2001 (S.I. No. 472 of 2001)

All statutory instruments up to and including Legal Metrology (Measuring Instruments) Act 2017 (Commencement) Order 2018 (S.I. No. 1 of 2018), made 4 January 2018, were considered in the preparation of this revision.


Number 6 of 1989


JUDICIAL SEPARATION AND FAMILY LAW REFORM ACT 1989

REVISED

Updated to 1 January 2018


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I

The obtaining of a Decree of Separation

Section

1.

Definition.

2.

Application for a decree of judicial separation.

3.

Grant of decree of judicial separation, custody, etc. of children.

4.

Supplemental provisions as to proof of adultery and unreasonable behaviour.

5.

Safeguards to ensure applicant's awareness of alternatives to separation proceedings and to assist attempts at reconciliation.

6.

Safeguards to ensure respondent's awareness of alternatives to separation proceedings and to assist attempts at reconciliation.

7.

Adjournment of proceedings to assist reconciliation or agreements on separation.

7A.

Non-admissibility as evidence of certain communications relating to reconciliation or separation.

8.

Effect of judicial separation and rescission of decree of separation and ancillary orders upon reconciliation.

9.

Abolition of decree of divorce a mensa et thoro, etc.

PART II

Ancillary Financial, Property, Custody and Other Orders

10.

Definitions ( Part II ).

11.

Preliminary orders in judicial separation proceedings.

12.

Making of applications for preliminary orders.

13.

Maintenance pending suit, etc.

14.

Periodical payments and lump sum orders.

15.

Property adjustment orders.

16.

Miscellaneous ancillary orders.

17.

Order extinguishing succession rights.

18.

Orders for sale of property.

19.

Additional family home jurisdiction.

20.

Provisions relating to maintenance, property and other orders.

21.

Retrospective maintenance orders.

22.

Variation and discharge of financial and property orders.

23.

Child maintenance.

24.

Transmission of periodical payments through District Court clerk.

25.

Amendment of section 3 of Family Law (Maintenance of Spouses and Children) Act, 1976.

26.

Payments to be made without deduction of income tax.

27.

Application of maintenance and periodical payments orders to men of Defence Forces.

28.

Amendment of Enforcement of Court Orders Act, 1940.

29.

Voidance of transactions intended to prevent or reduce financial relief.

PART III

Court Jurisdiction

30.

Definition ( Part III ).

31.

Courts, jurisdiction and venue.

32.

Hearing of proceedings.

33.

Conduct of family proceedings in Circuit and High Courts.

34.

Privacy.

35.

Costs.

36.

Rules of court.

PART IV

Miscellaneous

37.

Saver for existing law.

38.

Amendment of sections 5 and 6 of Family Law (Maintenance of Spouses and Children) Act, 1976.

39.

Discharge of orders under Family Law (Maintenance of Spouses and Children) Act, 1976.

40.

Reports on children in guardianship cases.

41.

Custody of dependent children.

42.

Amendment of section 120 (2) of Succession Act, 1965.

43.

Divorce a mensa et thoro decrees and alimony orders.

44.

Collusion, condonation, recrimination, connivance.

45.

Conduct of District Court family proceedings.

46.

Short title and commencement.


Acts Referred to

Adoption Acts, 1952 to 1988

Defence Act, 1954

1954, No. 18

Enforcement of Court Orders Act, 1940

1940, No. 23

Family Home Protection Act, 1976

1976, No. 27

Family Law Act, 1981

1981, No. 22

Family Law (Maintenance of Spouses and Children) Act, 1976

1976, No. 11

Family Law (Protection of Spouses and Children) Act, 1981

1981, No. 21

Guardianship of Infants Act, 1964

1964, No. 7

Legitimacy Declaration Act (Ireland), 1868

1868, c. 20

Married Women's Status Act, 1957

1957, No. 5

Matrimonial Causes and Marriage Law (Ireland) Amendment Act, 1870

1870, c. 110

Partition Act, 1868

1868, c. 40

Partition Act, 1876

1876, c. 17

Status of Children Act, 1987

1987, No. 26

Succession Act, 1965

1965, No. 27


Number 6 of 1989


JUDICIAL SEPARATION AND FAMILY LAW REFORM ACT 1989

REVISED

Updated to 1 January 2018


AN ACT TO AMEND THE GROUNDS FOR JUDICIAL SEPARATION: TO FACILITATE RECONCILIATION BETWEEN ESTRANGED SPOUSES: TO PROVIDE FOR THE MAKING OF ANCILLARY ORDERS IN SEPARATION PROCEEDINGS: TO AMEND THE LAW RELATING TO THE COURTS' FAMILY LAW JURISDICTION AND TO PROVIDE FOR CONNECTED MATTERS. [19 th April, 1989]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

Annotations:

Modifications (not altering text):

C1

Cost of mediation or counselling services declared to be in the discretion of the court (27.02.1997) by Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996 (33/1996), s. 43, commenced as per s. 1(2).

Cost of Mediation and Counselling Services

43.—The cost of any mediation services or counselling services provided for a spouse who is or becomes a party to proceedings under this Act, the Act of 1964 or the Act of 1989 or for a dependent member of the family of such a spouse shall be in the discretion of the court concerned.

C2

Power provided to Court to make order regarding application of Family Home Protection Act 1976 (27/1976), s. 3(1), when granting decree under Act (1.08.1996) by Family Law Act 1995 (26/1995), s. 54(3), S.I. No. 46 of 1996.

Amendment of Family Home Protection Act, 1976, and Act of 1989.

54. — ...

(3) Where a court, when granting a decree of judicial separation under the Act of 1989, orders that the ownership of the family home shall be vested in one of the spouses, it shall, unless it sees reason to the contrary, order that section 3(1) (prior consent of spouse to conveyance of interest in family home) of the Family Home Protection Act, 1976 , shall not apply to any conveyance by that spouse of an interest in the home and, if the court so orders, the said section 3(1) shall have effect accordingly.

C3

Power of court to procure reports in family law proceedings extended (1.08.1996) by Family Law Act 1995 (26/1995), s. 47(1) and (6), S.I. No. 46 of 1996; as amended (27.02.1997) by Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996 (33/1996), s. 52(p), commenced as per s. 1(2); and as amended (1.01.2005) by Health Act 2004 (42/2004), s. 75 and sch. 6 part 13, S.I. No. 887 of 2004.

Social reports in family law proceedings.

47.—(1) In proceedings to which this section applies, the court may, of its own motion or on application to it in that behalf by a party to the proceedings, by order give such directions as it thinks proper for the purpose of procuring a report in writing on any question affecting the welfare of a party to the proceedings or any other person to whom they relate from—

(a) such probation and welfare officer (within the meaning of the Child Abduction and Enforcement of Custody Orders Act, 1991) as the Minister for Justice may nominate,

[(b) such person nominated by the Health Service Executive specified in the order as the Health Service Executive may nominate, being a person who in its opinion is suitably qualified for the purpose, or ]

(c) any other person specified in the order.

...

(6) [This section ] applies to proceedings— ...

(f) under the Act of 1989,

...

C4

Rights of spouses under Act confirmed not affected (1.08.1996) by Family Law Act 1995 (26/1995), s. 48, S.I. No. 46 of 1996.

Property of engaged couples.

48.—For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that the reference in section 5 (1) of the Family Law Act, 1981, to the rules of law relating to the rights of spouses in relation to property in which either or both of them has or have a beneficial interest shall relate and be deemed always to have related only to the rules of law for the determination of disputes between spouses, or a claim by one of them, in relation to the beneficial ownership of property in which either or both of them has or have a beneficial interest and, in particular, does not relate, and shall be deemed never to have related, to the rules of law relating to the rights of spouses under the Act of 1965, the Family Home Protection Act, 1976, the Act of 1989 or this Act.

Editorial Notes:

E1

Proceedings under Act included in definition of family law proceedings (1.01.2018) by Mediation Act 2017 (27/2017), s. 2(1), S.I. No. 591 of 2017.