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FAMILY LAW REFORM ACT 1987

UK Public General Acts

Version 01/10/2014

1987 CHAPTER 42

Default Geographical Extent: E+W


  • Part I. General Principle
  • Part II. Rights and Duties of Parents etc.
    • Parental rights and duties: general
    • Parental rights and duties where parents not married]
    • F18 . . .
    • F21 . . .
    • F25 . . .
    • Supplemental
  • Part III. Property Rights
  • Part IV. Determination of Relationships
  • Part V. Registration of Births
  • Part VI (E+W+S+N.I.). Miscellaneous and Supplemental
    • Miscellaneous
    • Supplemental (E+W+S+N.I.)
  • Version 01/10/2014
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  • Version 01/02/1991

Introductory Text

Family Law Reform Act 1987

1987 CHAPTER 42

An Act to reform the law relating to the consequences of birth outside marriage; to make further provision with respect to the rights and duties of parents and the determination of parentage; and for connected purposes.

[15th May 1987]

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Annotations:

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1 Act restricted by S.I. 1989/382, art. 3, Sch. 2 para. 1

Commencement Information

I1 Act not in force at Royal Assent see s. 34(2)


Part I
General Principle



1 General principle.

(1) In this Act and enactments passed and instruments made after the coming into force of this section, references (however expressed) to any relationship between two persons shall, unless the contrary intention appears, be construed without regard to whether or not the father and mother of either of them, or the father and mother of any person through whom the relationship is deduced, have or had been married to each other at any time.

(2) In this Act and enactments passed after the coming into force of this section, unless the contrary intention appears—

(a) references to a person whose father and mother were married to each other at the time of his birth include; and
(b) references to a person whose father and mother were not married to each other at the time of his birth do not include,
references to any person to whom subsection (3) below applies, and cognate references shall be construed accordingly.
(3) This subsection applies to any person who—

(a) is treated as legitimate by virtue of section 1 of the M1 Legitimacy Act 1976;
(b) is a legitimated person within the meaning of section 10 of that Act;
[F1 (ba) has a parent by virtue of section 42 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (which relates to treatment provided to a woman who is at the time of treatment [F2 married to a woman or] a party to a civil partnership or, in certain circumstances, a void [F3 marriage or] civil partnership) ;
(bb) has a parent by virtue of section 43 of that Act (which relates to treatment provided to woman who agrees that second woman to be parent) who—
(i) is [F4 married to or] the civil partner of the child's mother at the time of the child's birth, or
(ii) was [F5 married to or] the civil partner of the child's mother at any time during the period beginning with the time mentioned in section 43(b) of that Act and ending with the child's birth;]
[F6 (c) is an adopted person within the meaning of Chapter 4 of Part 1 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002]
(d) is otherwise treated in law as legitimate.
(4) For the purpose of construing references falling within subsection (2) above, the time of a person’s birth shall be taken to include any time during the period beginning with—

(a) the insemination resulting in his birth; or
(b) where there was no such insemination, his conception,
and (in either case) ending with his birth.
[F7 (5) A child whose parents are parties to a void civil partnership shall, subject to subsection (6) , be treated as falling within subsection (3) (bb) if at the time when the parties registered as civil partners of each other both or either of the parties reasonably believed that the civil partnership was valid.

(6) Subsection (5) applies only where the woman who is a parent by virtue of section 43 was domiciled in England and Wales at the time of the birth or, if she died before the birth, was so domiciled immediately before her death.

(7) Subsection (5) applies even though the belief that the civil partnership was valid was due to a mistake as to law.

(8) It shall be presumed for the purposes of subsection (5) , unless the contrary is shown, that one of the parties to a void civil partnership reasonably believed at the time of the formation of the civil partnership that the civil partnership was valid.]

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1 S. 1(3)(ba) - S. 1(3)(bb) inserted (6.4.2009) by Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (c. 22), s. 68(2), Sch. 6 para. 24(2); S.I. 2009/479, art. 6(1)(d) (with art. 7 Sch.)

F2 Words in s. 1(3)(ba) inserted (13.3.2014) by The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (Consequential and Contrary Provisions and Scotland) Order 2014 (S.I. 2014/560), art. 1(2), Sch. 1 para. 19(a)(i)

F3 Words in s. 1(3)(ba) inserted (13.3.2014) by The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (Consequential and Contrary Provisions and Scotland) Order 2014 (S.I. 2014/560), art. 1(2), Sch. 1 para. 19(a)(ii)

F4 Words in s. 1(3)(bb)(i) inserted (13.3.2014) by The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (Consequential and Contrary Provisions and Scotland) Order 2014 (S.I. 2014/560), art. 1(2), Sch. 1 para. 19(b)

F5 Words in s. 1(3)(bb)(ii) inserted (13.3.2014) by The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (Consequential and Contrary Provisions and Scotland) Order 2014 (S.I. 2014/560), art. 1(2), Sch. 1 para. 19(c)

F6 S. 1(3)(c) substituted (30.12.2005) by Adoption and Children Act 2002 (c. 38), s. 148(1), Sch. 3 para. 51 (with Sch. 4 paras. 6-8); S.I. 2005/2213, art. 2(o)

F7 S. 1 inserted (6.4.2009) by Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (c. 22), s. 68(2), Sch. 6 para. 24(3); S.I. 2009/479, art. 6(1)(d) (with art. 7 Sch.)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C2 S. 1 applied (14.10.1991) by Children Act 1989 (c. 41, SIF 20), ss. 105(2), 108 (with Sch. 14 para. 1(1)); S.I. 1991/828, art. 3(2)

C3 S. 1 excluded by Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 (c. 1, SIF 63:1), s. 831(4)

C4 S. 1 applied (01.07.1992) by Social Security Administration Act 1992 (c.5), ss. 78(7)(8), 192(4).

C5 S. 1 applied (30.9.1998) by 1933 c. 12, s. 55(6) (as added (30.9.1998) by 1998 c. 37, s. 106, Sch. 7 para. 1(3)); S.I. 1998/2327, art. 2(1)(w)

S. 1 applied (30.9.1998) by 1969 c. 54, s. 7(9) (as added (30.9.1998) by 1998 c. 37, s. 106, Sch. 7 para. 3); S.I. 1998/2327, art. 2(1)(w)

S. 1 applied (30.9.1998) by 1969 c. 54, s. 70(1B) (as substituted (30.9.1998) by 1998 c. 37, s. 106, Sch. 7 para. 10); S.I. 1998/2327, art. 2(1)(w)

S. 1 applied (30.9.1998) by 1973 c. 62, s. 46(3) (as added (30.9.1998) by 1998 c. 37, s. 106, Sch. 7 para. 25); S.I. 1998/2327, art. 2(1)(w)

C6 S. 1 excluded (6.4.2003 with effect in accordance with s. 723(1)(a)(b)) by Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 (c. 1), ss. 721(6)(a), 723 (with Sch. 7)

Marginal Citations

M1 1976 c. 31.


Part II
Rights and Duties of Parents etc.



Parental rights and duties: general


2 Construction of enactments relating to parental rights and duties.

(1) In the following enactments, namely—

F8 (a). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
(b) section 6 of the Family Law Reform Act M2 1969;
(c) the Guardianship of Minors Act M3 1971 (in this Act referred to as “the 1971 Act”) ;
(d) Part I of the Guardianship Act 1973 (in this Act referred to as “the 1973 Act”) ;
(e) Part II of the Children Act 1975;
(f) the Child Care Act 1980 except Part I and sections 13, 24, 64 and 65;
F9 (g). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
references (however expressed) to any relationship between two persons shall be construed in accordance with section 1 above.
(2) In subsection (7) of section 1 of the 1973 Act (equality of parental rights) for the words from “or be taken” to the end there shall be substituted the words “ and nothing in subsection (1) above shall be taken as applying in relation to a child whose father and mother were not married to each other at the time of his birth ”.

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F8 S. 2(1)(a) repealed (6.4.2009 except in relation to local authorities in W. except in relation to local authorities in W., 6.4.2009 for W.) by Health and Social Care Act 2008 (c. 14), s. 170(3)(4), Sch. 15 Pt. 5 (with Sch. 13); S.I. 2009/462, art. 4(c); S.I. 2009/631, art. 2(c); S.I. 2009/462, art. 4(c); S.I. 2009/631, art. 2(c)

F9 S. 2(1)(g) repealed (01.07.1992) by Social Security (Consequential Provisions) Act 1992 (c. 6), ss. 3, 7(2), Sch. 1 (subject as mentioned (06.03.1992) in Local Government Finance Act 1992 (c. 14), s. 118(5)(7) (with s. 118(1)(2)(4))).

Marginal Citations

M2 1969 c. 36.

M3 1971 c. 3.


F10 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F10 S. 3 repealed (14.10.1991) by Children Act 1989 (c. 41, SIF 20), s. 108, Sch.15 (with Sch. 14 paras. 1(1), 27(4)); S.I. 1991/828, art. 3(2)


[F11 Parental rights and duties where parents not married]


Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F11 Ss. 4–7 repealed (14.10.1991) by Children Act 1989 (c. 41, SIF 20), s. 108, Sch.15 (with Sch. 14 paras. 1(1), 27(4)); S.I. 1991/828, art. 3(2)


F12 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F12 S.4 repealed (14.10.1991) by Children Act 1989 (c. 41, SIF 20), s. 108, Sch. 15 (with Sch. 14 paras. 1(1), 27(4)); S.I. 1991/828, art. 3(2)


F13 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F13 S. 5 repealed (14.10.1991) by Children Act 1989 (c. 41, SIF 20), s. 108, Sch. 15 (with Sch. 14 paras. 1(1), 27(4)); S.I. 1991/828, art. 3(2)


F14 6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F14 S. 6 repealed (14.10.1991) by Children Act 1989 (c. 41, SIF 20), s. 108, Sch. 15 (with Sch. 14 paras. 1(1), 27(4)); S.I. 1991/828, art. 3(2)


F15 7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F15 S. 7 repealed (14.10.1991) by Children Act 1989 (c. 41, SIF 20), s. 108, Sch. 15 (with Sch. 14 paras. 1(1), 27(4)); S.I. 1991/828, art. 3(2)


8 Rights where child in care etc.

F16 (1). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(2) In section 8 of the M4 Child Care Act 1980 (application of Part I to children subject to orders of court) , for subsection (2) there shall be substituted the following subsections—

“(2) Subject to subsection (3) below, where an order of any court is in force giving the right to the actual custody of a child to any person, the provisions of this Part of this Act shall have effect in relation to the child as if for references to the parents or guardians of the child or to a parent or guardian of his there were substituted references to that person.
(3) Where, in the case of a child whose father and mother were not married to each other at the time of his birth, an order is in force under section 4 of the Family Law Reform Act 1987 by virtue of which actual custody is shared between the mother and the father, both the mother and the father shall be treated as parents of the child for the purposes of the provisions of this Part.
(4) In this section “ actual custody ”, in relation to a child, means actual possession of his person.”
(3) In section 13 of that Act (penalty for assisting children in care to run away etc.) , for subsection (4) there shall be substituted the following subsection—

“(4) Subsections (2) and (3) of section 8 of this Act shall apply for the purposes of this section as they apply for the purposes of the provisions of Part I of this Act.”
(4) In section 24 of that Act (emigration of children) , after subsection (4) there shall be inserted the following subsection—

“(4A) Subsection (2) and (3) of section 8 of this Act shall apply for the purposes of the provisions of Part I of this Act.”
(5) At the end of section 64 of that Act (transfer of parental rights and duties to voluntary organisations) there shall be added the following subsection—

“(8) Subsections (2) and (3) of section 8 of this Act shall apply for the purposes of this section and section 65 of this Act as they apply for the purposes of the provisions of Part I of this Act.”
Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F16 S. 8(1) repealed (30.9.1998) by 1998 c. 37, s. 120(2), Sch. 10; S.I. 1998/2327, art. 2(1)(aa)(3)(q)

Marginal Citations

M4 1980 c. 5


F17 9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F17 S. 9 repealed (14.10.1991) by Children Act 1989 (c. 41, SIF 20), s. 108, Sch. 15 (with Sch. 14 paras. 1(1), 27(4)); S.I. 1991/828, art. 3(2)


F18 . . .


Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F18 Ss. 10-11 repealed (14.10.1991) by Children Act 1989 (c. 41, SIF 20), s. 108, Sch.15 (with Sch. 14 paras. 1(1), 27(4)); S.I. 1991/828, art. 3(2)