Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 [Act 164]

57 Contents of divorce petition   cite [+]

(1) Every petition for divorce shall contain-

(a) particulars of the marriage between the parties and the names, ages and sex of the children, if any, of the marriage;

(b) particulars of the facts giving the court jurisdiction;

(c) particulars of any previous matrimonial proceedings between the parties;

(d) a statement of the principal allegations which it will be sought to prove as evidence of the breakdown of the marriage;

(e) the terms of any agreement regarding maintenance of the wife or dependent party and the children, if any, of the marriage, or the division of any assets acquired through the joint efforts of the parties or the sole effort of one party or where no such agreement has been reached, the petitioner's proposals; and

(f) particulars of the relief sought.

(2) Every petition for a divorce shall state what steps had been taken to effect a reconciliation.

58 Damages for adultery may be claimed against co-respondent   cite [+]

(1) On a petition for divorce in which adultery is alleged, or in the answer of a party to the marriage praying for divorce and alleging adultery, the party shall make the alleged adulterer or adulteress a co-respondent, unless excused by the court on special grounds from doing so.

(2) A petition under subsection (1) may include a prayer that the co-respondent be condemned in damages in respect of the alleged adultery.

(3) Where damages have been claimed against a co-respondent-

(a) if, after the close of the evidence for the petitioner, the court is of the opinion that there is not sufficient evidence against the co-respondent to justify requiring him or her to reply, the co-respondent shall be discharged from the proceedings; or

(b) if, at the conclusion of the hearing, the court is satisfied that adultery between the respondent and co-respondent has been proved, the court may award the petitioner such damages as it may think fit, but so that the award shall not include any exemplary or punitive element.

59 Powers of court on claim to damages for adultery   cite [+]

(1) The court may award damages against a co-respondent notwithstanding that the petition against the respondent is dismissed or adjourned.

(2) The court shall have power, when awarding damages, to direct that such damages or any part thereof, be vested in trustees upon trust to pay the income or capital thereof for the benefit of the minor children, if any, of the marriage or, where the petitioner is required to pay maintenance to the respondent, in or towards the payment of such maintenance, and subject thereto in trust for the petitioner.

(3) Whenever in any petition presented by a husband the alleged adultery has been established against the co-respondent, the court may order the co-respondent to pay the whole or any part of the costs of the proceedings; provided that no such order for costs shall be made if the respondent was at the time of the adultery living apart from the husband and living the life of a prostitute or if the co-respondent had not at the time of the adultery reason to believe the respondent to be a married woman.

60 Hearing of petition   cite [+]

If in any proceedings for divorce the respondent alleges against the petitioner and proves any such fact as is mentioned in section 54 the court may give the respondent the relief to which the respondent would have been entitled if the respondent had presented a petition seeking that relief.

61 Decree nisi and proceedings thereafter   cite [+]

(1) Every decree of divorce shall in the first instance be a decree nisi and shall not be made absolute before the expiration of three months from its grant unless the court by general or special order from time to time fixes a shorter period.

(2) Where a decree nisi of divorce has been granted and no application for it to be made absolute has been made by the party to whom it was granted, then, at any time after the expiration of three months from the earliest date on which that party could have made such an application, the party against whom it was granted may make an application to the court and on that application the court may-

(a) notwithstanding the provisions of the last foregoing subsection, make the decree absolute;

(b) rescind the decree nisi;

(c) require further inquiry; or

(d) otherwise deal with the case as it thinks fit.

62 Remarriage of divorced persons   cite [+]

Where a decree of divorce has been made absolute and either-

(a) there is no right of appeal against the decree absolute;

(b) the time for appealing against the decree absolute has expired without an appeal having been brought; or

(c) an appeal against the decree absolute has been dismissed, either party to the former marriage may marry again.

63 Proceedings for decree nisi of presumption of death and divorce   cite [+]

(1) Any married person who alleges that reasonable grounds exist for supposing that the other party to the marriage is dead may present a petition to the court to have it presumed that the other party is dead and to have the marriage dissolved, and the court, if satisfied that such reasonable grounds exist, may make a decree nisi of presumption of death and of divorce.

(2) In any such proceedings the fact that for a period of seven years upwards the other party to the marriage has been continually absent from the petitioner, and the petitioner has no reason to believe that the other party has been living within that time, shall be evidence that he or she is dead until the contrary is proved.

(3) Sections 61 and 62 shall apply to a petition and a decree under this section as they apply to a petition for divorce and a decree of divorce respectively.

Judicial Separation

64 Judicial separation   cite [+]

(1) A petition for judicial separation may be presented to the court by either party to a marriage on the ground and circumstances set out in section 54 and that section shall, with the necessary modifications, apply in relation to such a petition as they apply in relation to a petition for divorce.

(2) Where a court grants a decree of judicial separation it shall no longer be obligatory for the petitioner to cohabit with the respondent.

(3) The court may, on an application by petition of the spouse against whom a decree of judicial separation has been made and on being satisfied that the allegations in the petition are true, rescind the decree at any time on the ground that it was obtained in the absence of the applicant or, if desertion was the ground of the decree, that there was reasonable cause for the alleged desertion.

65 Judicial separation no bar to petition for divorce   cite [+]

(1) A person shall not be prevented from presenting a petition for divorce, or the court from pronouncing a decree of divorce, by reason only that the petitioner has at any time been granted a judicial separation upon the same or substantially the same facts as those proved in support of the petition for divorce.

(2) On any such petition for divorce, the court may treat the decree of judicial separation as sufficient proof of the adultery, desertion, or other ground on which it was granted, but the court shall not pronounce a decree of divorce without receiving evidence from the petitioner.

(3) For the purposes of any such petition for divorce a period of desertion immediately preceding the institution of proceedings for a decree of judicial separation shall, if the parties have not resumed cohabitation and the decree has been continuously in force since the granting thereof, be deemed immediately to precede the presentation of the petition for divorce.

66 Property of wife after judicial separation   cite [+]

(1) The property of a wife who at the time of her death is judicially separated from her husband shall, in case she dies intestate, go as it would have gone if her husband had been then dead.

(2) Where, upon any such judicial separation, alimony has been decreed or ordered to be paid to the wife and the same is not duly paid by the husband he shall be liable for necessaries supplied for her use.

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