Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996


Number 33 of 1996


FAMILY LAW (DIVORCE) ACT 1996

REVISED

Updated to 8 May 2018


This Revised Act is an administrative consolidation of the Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996. 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 Domestic Violence Act 2018 (6/2018), enacted 8 May 2018, and all statutory instruments up to and including Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014 (Commencement) Order 2018 (S.I. No. 166 of 2018), made 8 May 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 33 of 1996


FAMILY LAW (DIVORCE) ACT 1996

REVISED

Updated to 8 May 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Where other legislation is amended by this Act, those amendments may have been superseded by other amendments in other legislation, or the amended legislation may have been repealed or revoked.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 1984, 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

Domestic Violence Act 2018 (6/2018)

Mediation Act 2017 (27/2017)

Marriage Act 2015 (35/2015)

Finance (No. 3) Act 2011 (18/2011)

Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 (24/2010)

Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 (27/2009)

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

Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2008 (2/2008)

Finance Act 2006 (6/2006)

Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 (31/2004)

Capital Acquisitions Tax Consolidation Act 2003 (1/2003)

Pensions (Amendment) Act 2002 (18/2002)

Finance Act 2000 (3/2000)

Stamp Duties Consolidation Act 1999 (31/1999)

Children Act 1997 (40/1997)

Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (39/1997)

Finance Act 1997 (22/1997)

Child Care Act 1990 (17/1991)

Pensions Act 1990 (25/1990)

All Acts up to and including Domestic Violence Act 2018 (6/2018), enacted 8 May 2018, were considered in the preparation of this revision.

Statutory instruments which affect or previously affected this revision

Pension Schemes (Family Law) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 254 of 2012)

Occupational Pension Schemes (Disclosure of Information)(Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 203 of 2012)

Registration of Deeds Rules 2009 (S.I. No. 350 of 2009)

Land Registration Rules 2009 (S.I. No. 349 of 2009)

Registration of Deeds Rules 2008 (S.I. No. 52 of 2008)

Trust Racs (Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 182 of 2007)

Occupational Pension Schemes (Disclosure Of Information) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 301 of 2006)

Occupational Pension Schemes (Disclosure Of Information) Regulations 2005 (S.I. No. 633 of 2005)

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)

Occupational Pension Schemes (Disclosure of Information) (No. 2) Regulations 1998 (S.I. No. 349 of 1998)

Equality and Law Reform (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 1997 (S.I. No. 297 of 1997)

Pension Schemes (Family Law) Regulations 1997 (S.I. No. 107 of 1997)

All statutory instruments up to and including Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014 (Commencement) Order 2018 (S.I. No. 166 of 2018), made 8 May 2018, were considered in the preparation of this revision.


Number 33 of 1996


FAMILY LAW (DIVORCE) ACT 1996

REVISED

Updated to 8 May 2018


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I

Preliminary and General

Section

1.

Short title and commencement.

2.

Interpretation.

3.

Repeal.

4.

Expenses.

PART II

The Obtaining of a Decree of Divorce

5.

Grant of decree of divorce and custody etc., of children.

6.

Safeguards to ensure applicant’s awareness of alternatives to divorce proceedings and to assist attempts at reconciliation.

7.

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

8.

Adjournment of proceedings to assist reconciliation or agreements on the terms of the divorce.

9.

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

10.

Effect of decree of divorce.

PART III

Preliminary and Ancillary Orders in or after Proceedings for Divorce

11.

Preliminary orders in proceedings for divorce.

12.

Maintenance pending suit orders.

13.

Periodical payments and lump sum orders.

14.

Property adjustment orders.

15.

Miscellaneous ancillary orders.

16.

Financial compensation orders.

17.

Pension adjustment orders.

18.

Orders for provision for spouse out of estate of other spouse.

19.

Orders for sale of property.

20.

Provisions relating to certain orders under sections 12 to 18 and 22 .

21.

Retrospective periodical payments orders.

22.

Variation, etc., of certain orders under this Part.

23.

Restriction in relation to orders for benefit of dependent members of family.

24.

Method of making payments under certain orders.

25.

Stay on certain orders the subject of appeal.

26.

Orders under Acts of 1976, 1989 and 1995.

27.

Amendment of section 3 of Act of 1976.

28.

Transmission of periodical payments through District Court clerk.

29.

Application of maintenance pending suit and periodical payment orders to certain members of Defence Forces.

30.

Amendment of Enforcement of Court Orders Act, 1940.

PART IV

Income Tax, Capital Acquisitions Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Probate Tax and Stamp Duty

31.

Payments to be made without deduction of income tax.

32.

Income tax treatment of divorced persons.

33.

Exemption of certain transfers from stamp duty.

34.

Exemption of certain transfers from capital acquisitions tax.

35.

Capital gains tax treatment of certain disposals by divorced persons.

36.

Abatement and postponement of probate tax on property the subject of an order under section 18 .

PART V

Miscellaneous

37.

Powers of court in relation to transactions intended to prevent or reduce relief.

38.

Jurisdiction of courts and venue.

39.

Exercise of jurisdiction by court in relation to divorce.

40.

Notice of proceedings under Act.

41.

Custody of dependent members of family after decree of divorce.

42.

Social reports in family law proceedings.

43.

Cost of mediation and counselling services.

44.

Determination of questions between persons formerly engaged to each other in relation to property.

45.

Amendment of Act of 1989.

46.

Amendment of Act of 1965.

47.

Amendment of Pensions Act, 1990.

48.

Amendment of Criminal Damage Act, 1991.

49.

Amendment of Criminal Evidence Act, 1992.

50.

Amendment of Powers of Attorney Act, 1996.

51.

Amendment of Act of 1996.

52.

Amendment of Act of 1995.

53.

Amendment of Maintenance Act, 1994.


Number 33 of 1996


FAMILY LAW (DIVORCE) ACT 1996

REVISED

Updated to 8 May 2018


AN ACT TO MAKE PROVISION FOR THE EXERCISE BY THE COURTS OF THE JURISDICTION CONFERRED BY THE CONSTITUTION TO GRANT DECREES OF DIVORCE, TO ENABLE THE COURTS TO MAKE CERTAIN PRELIMINARY AND ANCILLARY ORDERS IN OR AFTER PROCEEDINGS FOR DIVORCE, TO PROVIDE, AS RESPECTS TRANSFERS OF PROPERTY OF DIVORCED SPOUSES, FOR THEIR EXEMPTION FROM, OR FOR THE ABATEMENT OF, CERTAIN TAXES (INCLUDING STAMP DUTY) AND TO PROVIDE FOR RELATED MATTERS. [27 th November, 1996]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

Annotations:

Modifications (not altering text):

C1

Basis of calculation of period of living apart for purposes of Act in relation to certain foreign marriages provided (16.11.2015) by Marriage Act 2015 (35/2015), s. 12(5), S.I. No. 504 of 2015.

Recognition of certain foreign marriages

12. ...

(5) Where the marriage under the law of a place other than the State of two persons of the same sex is recognised and the two persons concerned live apart from one another, the period or periods during which they live apart from one another shall, for the purposes of the Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act 1989, the Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996, or any other enactment, be calculated from the date (notwithstanding that it occurs before the date, under subsection (2), that the marriage falls to be recognised) on which they begin to live apart.

...

C2

Functions transferred and references to “Department of Equality and Law Reform” and “Minister for Equality and Law Reform” construed (8.07.1997) by Equality and Law Reform (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 1997 (S.I. No. 297 of 1997), arts. 3, 4 and sch., in effect as per art. 1(2).

3. (1) The administration and business in connection with the exercise, performance or execution of any functions transferred by Article 4 of this Order are hereby transferred to the Department of Justice.

(2) References to the Department of Equality and Law Reform contained in any Act or any instrument made thereunder and relating to any administration and business transferred by paragraph (1) of this Article shall, on and after the commencement of this Order, be construed as references to the Department of Justice.

4. (1) The functions vested in the Minister for Equality and Law Reform

( a ) by or under any of the Acts mentioned in the Schedule to this Order, and

( b ) by virtue of the Justice (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order, 1993 ( S.I. No. 34 of 1993).

are hereby transferred to the Minister for Justice.

(2) References to the Minister for Equality and Law Reform contained in any Act or instrument made thereunder and relating to any functions transferred by this Article shall, on and after the commencement of this Order, be construed as references to the Minister for Justice.

...

SCHEDULE

Acts, functions under which are transferred from the Minister for Equality and Law Reform to the Minister for Justice.

...

Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996 (No. 33 of 1996)

...

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.

E2

Rights and incumbrances, for purposes of Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 (27/2009), s. 117, confirmed to include claims under Act (1.12.2009) by Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 (27/2009), s. 117(4)(a), S.I. No. 356 of 2009.

E3

Central Authority authorised to act on behalf of a maintenance creditor under Act by Maintenance Act 1994 (28/1994), s. 4(2)(a), as substituted (1.12.1999) by Jurisdiction of Courts and Enforcement of Judgments Act 1998 (52/1998), s. 22(2), S.I. No. 353 of 1999, and subsequently substituted (10.03.2012) by Jurisdiction of Courts and Enforcement of Judgments (Amendment) Act 2012 (7/2012), s. 2(1)(b), commenced on enactment.

E4

Exemption from deduction of income tax for payments made pursuant to an order under Act (other than under s. 17) provided (from year 1997-1998) by Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (39/1997), s. 1027, commenced as per s. 1097.