Family Law Act 1995
Amendment of Family Home Protection Act, 1976, and Act of 1989.
54.—(1) The Family Home Protection Act, 1976, is hereby amended—
(a) in section 2, by the substitution of the following subsection for subsection (2):
“(2) In subsection (1), ‘dwelling’ means any building or part of a building occupied as a separate dwelling and includes any garden or other land usually occupied with the dwelling, being land that is subsidiary and ancillary to it, is required for amenity or convenience and is not being used or developed primarily for commercial purposes, and includes a structure that is not permanently attached to the ground and a vehicle, or vessel, whether mobile or not, occupied as a separate dwelling.”,
(b) in section 3—
(i) by the substitution in subsection (1) of “subsections (2), (3) and (8)” for “subsections (2) and (3)”, and
(ii) by the insertion of the following subsections after subsection (7):
“(8) (a) (i) Proceedings shall not be instituted to have a conveyance declared void by reason only of subsection (1) after the expiration of 6 years from the date of the conveyance.
(ii) Subparagraph (i) does not apply to any such proceedings instituted by a spouse who has been in actual occupation of the land concerned from immediately before the expiration of 6 years from the date of the conveyance concerned until the institution of the proceedings.
(iii) Subparagraph (i) is without prejudice to any right of the other spouse referred to in subsection (1) to seek redress for a contravention of that subsection otherwise than by proceedings referred to in that subparagraph.
(b) A conveyance shall be deemed not to be and never to have been void by reason of subsection (1) unless—
(i) it has been declared void by a court by reason of subsection (1) in proceedings instituted—
(I) before the passing of the Family Law Act, 1995, or
(II) on or after such passing and complying with paragraph (a),
(ii) subject to the rights of any other person concerned, it is void by reason of subsection (1) and the parties to the conveyance or their successors in title so state in writing before the expiration of 6 years from the date of the conveyance.
(c) A copy of a statement made for the purpose of subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (b) and certified by, or by the successor or successors in title of, the party or parties concerned (‘the person or persons’) to be a true copy shall, before the expiration of the period referred to in that subparagraph, as appropriate, be lodged by the person or persons in the Land Registry for registration pursuant to section 69 (1) of the Registration of Title Act, 1964, as if statements so made had been prescribed under paragraph (s) of the said section 69 (1) or be registered by them in the Registry of Deeds.
(d) Rules of court shall provide that a person who institutes proceedings to have a conveyance declared void by reason of subsection (1) shall, as soon as may be, cause relevant particulars of the proceedings to be entered as a lis pendens under and in accordance with the Judgments (Ireland) Act, 1844.
(9) If, whether before or after the passing of the Family Law Act, 1995, a spouse gives a general consent in writing to any future conveyance of any interest in a dwelling that is or was the family home of that spouse and the deed for any such conveyance is executed after the date of that consent, the consent shall be deemed, for the purposes of subsection (1), to be a prior consent in writing of the spouse to that conveyance.”, and
(c) in section 10, by the substitution of the following subsection for subsection (5)—
“(5) (a) The District Court shall, subject to subsection (3), have all the jurisdiction of the High Court to hear and determine proceedings under this Act where the rateable valuation of the land to which the proceedings relate does not exceed £20.
(b) The District Court shall, subject to subsection (3), have jurisdiction to deal with a question arising under section 9 where the value of the household chattels intended to be disposed of or removed or actually disposed of or removed, as the case may be, does not exceed £5,000 or where such chattels are or immediately before such disposal or removal, were in a family home the rateable valuation of which does not exceed £20.
(c) The District Court may, for the purpose of determining whether it has jurisdiction in proceedings under this Act in relation to a family home that has not been given a rateable valuation or is the subject with other land of a rateable valuation, determine that its rateable valuation would exceed, or would not exceed, £20.”.
(2) The amendment effected by subsection (1) (a) does not apply in relation to—
(b) any proceedings under or referred to in that Act which are instituted,
(c) any thing referred to in section 6 of that Act which is done, and
(d) any transactions referred to in section 14 of that Act which occur,
before the commencement of this section.
(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.