Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act 1989

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

6

6. (1) A solicitor, if any, acting for a respondent in an application for a decree of judicial separation shall, as soon as possible after receiving instructions from the respondent—

( a) discuss with the respondent the possibility of reconciliation and give to him the names and addresses of persons qualified to help effect a reconciliation between parties to a marriage who have become estranged, and

( b) discuss with the respondent the possibility of engaging in mediation to help effect a separation on an agreed basis with an estranged spouse F6 [ , give to the respondent the names and addresses of persons who provide a mediation service and inform the respondent of the matters referred to in sections 10 and 11 of the Mediation Act 2017 ], and

( c) discuss with the respondent the possibility of effecting a separation by the negotiation and conclusion of a separation deed or written separation agreement.

(2) An Entry of Appearance or a Notice of Intention to Defend an application for judicial separation shall be accompanied by a F6 [ statutory declaration made by the solicitor ], if any, acting on behalf of the respondent, that he has complied with the provisions of subsection (1) of this section and where a solicitor does F6 [ not so declare, ] the court may adjourn the proceedings for such period as it deems reasonable for the respondent's solicitor to discuss with the respondent the matters referred to in that subsection.

(3) F7 [ ]