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FAMILY LAW ACT 1996

UK Public General Acts

Version 17/07/2015

1996 CHAPTER 27

Default Geographical Extent: E+W


  • Part I. Principles of Parts II and III
  • Part II (E+W+S+N.I.). Divorce and Separation
    • Court orders (P)
    • Marital breakdown (P)
    • Reflection and consideration
    • Orders preventing divorce (P)
    • Welfare of children (P)
    • Supplementary (P)
    • Resolution of disputes (P)
    • Financial provision (P)
    • Jurisdiction and commencement of proceedings (P)
    • Intestacy (P)
    • Marriage support services
    • Interpretation (P)
  • Part III. Legal Aid for Mediation in Family Matters]
  • Part IV. Family Homes and Domestic Violence
    • Rights to occupy matrimonial [F10 or civil partnership] home
    • Occupation orders
    • Non-molestation orders
    • Further provisions relating to occupation and non-molestation orders
    • Enforcement powers of magistrates’ courts
    • Interim care orders and emergency protection orders
    • Transfer of tenancies
    • Dwelling-house subject to mortgage
    • Jurisdiction and procedure etc.
    • General
  • [F155 Part 4A. Forced marriage
    • Forced marriage protection orders
    • Further provision about orders
    • Arrest for breach of orders
    • Jurisdiction and procedure
    • Supplementary
  • Part V (E+W+S+N.I.). Supplemental
  • Version 17/07/2015
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  • Version 06/04/2010
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  • Version 03/04/2006
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  • Version 13/10/2003
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  • Version 04/07/1996

Introductory Text

Family Law Act 1996

1996 CHAPTER 27

An Act to make provision with respect to: divorce and separation; legal aid in connection with mediation in disputes relating to family matters; proceedings in cases where marriages have broken down; rights of occupation of certain domestic premises; prevention of molestation; the inclusion in certain orders under the Children Act 1989 of provisions about the occupation of a dwelling-house; the transfer of tenancies between spouses and persons who have lived together as husband and wife; and for connected purposes.

[4th July 1996]

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 modified (1.10.1997) by 1986 c. 45, s. 337(3) (as amended (1.10.1997) by 1996 c. 27, s. 66(1), Sch. 8 Pt. III para. 58(3) (with Sch. 9 paras. 8-10); S.I. 1997/1892, art. 3)

Commencement Information

I1 Act partly in force at Royal Assent see s. 67.


Part I
Principles of Parts II and III



1 The general principles underlying [F1 section 22] .

The court and any person, in exercising functions under or in consequence of [F2 section 22] , shall have regard to the following general principles—

(a) that the institution of marriage is to be supported;
(b) that the parties to a marriage which may have broken down are to be encouraged to take all practicable steps, whether by marriage counselling or otherwise, to save the marriage;
F3 (c). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
F4 (d). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1 Words in s. 1 heading substituted (13.5.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), ss. 18(4), 139(4) (with s. 18(6))

F2 Words in s. 1 substituted (13.5.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), ss. 18(4), 139(4) (with s. 18(6))

F3 S. 1(c) repealed (13.5.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), ss. 18(2)(a), 139(4)

F4 S. 1(d) repealed (13.5.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), ss. 18(2)(a), 139(4)


Part II (E+W+S+N.I.)
Divorce and Separation



Court orders (PROSPECTIVE)


F5 2 Divorce and separation.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F5 Pt. II repealed (except for s. 22) (13.5.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), ss. 18(1), 139(4)


F5 3 Circumstances in which orders are made.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F5 Pt. II repealed (except for s. 22) (13.5.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), ss. 18(1), 139(4)


F5 4 Conversion of separation order into divorce order.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F5 Pt. II repealed (except for s. 22) (13.5.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), ss. 18(1), 139(4)


Marital breakdown (PROSPECTIVE)


F5 5 Marital breakdown.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F5 Pt. II repealed (except for s. 22) (13.5.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), ss. 18(1), 139(4)


F5 6 Statement of marital breakdown.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F5 Pt. II repealed (except for s. 22) (13.5.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), ss. 18(1), 139(4)


Reflection and consideration


F5 7 Period for reflection and consideration. (PROSPECTIVE)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F5 Pt. II repealed (except for s. 22) (13.5.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), ss. 18(1), 139(4)


F5 8 Attendance at information meetings. (PROSPECTIVE)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F5 Pt. II repealed (except for s. 22) (13.5.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), ss. 18(1), 139(4)


F5 9 Arrangements for the future.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F5 Pt. II repealed (except for s. 22) (13.5.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), ss. 18(1), 139(4)