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37 2019

FAMILY LAW ACT 2019

PART 2

Amendments to Acts Relating to Family Law

Amendment of section 2 of Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act 1989

2. (1) Section 2 of the Act of 1989 is amended—

(a) in subsection (1) —

(i) in paragraph (d), by the deletion of “and the respondent consents to a decree being granted”, and

(ii) by the deletion of paragraph (e),

(b) in subsection (2) —

(i) in paragraph (b), by the deletion of “or (e)”, and

(ii) by the substitution of “living apart from one another” for “not living with each other”,

and

(c) in subsection (3), by the substitution of the following paragraph for paragraph (a):

“(a) For the purposes of this section—

(i) spouses who live in the same dwelling as one another shall be considered as living apart from one another if the court is satisfied that, while so living in the same dwelling, the spouses do not live together as a couple in an intimate and committed relationship, and

(ii) a relationship does not cease to be an intimate relationship merely because it is no longer sexual in nature.”.

(2) The amendments effected by subsection (1) shall apply to proceedings for the grant of a decree of judicial separation under the Act of 1989—

(a) that are instituted on or after the date this section comes into operation, or

(b) that have been instituted, and have not been concluded, prior to such date.

(3) In this section, “Act of 1989” means the Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act 1989.

Amendment of section 5 of Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996

3. (1) Section 5 of the Act of 1996 is amended—

(a) in subsection (1)(a), by the substitution of “at least two years during the previous three years” for “at least four years during the previous five years”, and

(b) by the insertion of the following subsection after subsection (1):

“(1A) For the purposes of this section—

(a) spouses who live in the same dwelling as one another shall be considered as living apart from one another if the court is satisfied that, while so living in the same dwelling, the spouses do not live together as a couple in an intimate and committed relationship, and

(b) a relationship does not cease to be an intimate relationship merely because it is no longer sexual in nature.”.

(2) The amendments effected by subsection (1) shall apply to proceedings for the grant of a decree of divorce under the Act of 1996—

(a) that are instituted on or after the date this section comes into operation, or

(b) that have been instituted, and have not been concluded, prior to such date.

(3) In this section, “Act of 1996” means the Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996.

Amendment of Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010

4. (1) Section 110 of the Act of 2010 is amended by the insertion of the following subsection after subsection (1):

“(1A) For the purposes of this section—

(a) civil partners who live in the same dwelling as one another shall be considered as living apart from one another if the court is satisfied that, while so living in the same dwelling, the civil partners do not live together as a couple in an intimate and committed relationship, and

(b) a relationship does not cease to be an intimate relationship merely because it is no longer sexual in nature.”.

(2) Section 172(6) of the Act of 2010 is amended—

(a) by the substitution of “where the relationship concerned ends before the coming into operation of section 4 (2) of the Family Law Act 2019, an adult who” for “an adult who”, and

(b) in paragraph (b), by the substitution of “lived apart (which term shall, in this section, be construed in accordance with section 5(1A) of the Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996)” for “lived apart”.

(3) The amendment effected by subsection (1) shall apply to proceedings for the grant of a decree of dissolution under the Act of 2010—

(a) that are instituted on or after the date this section comes into operation, or

(b) that have been instituted, and have not been concluded, prior to such date.

(4) In this section, “Act of 2010” means the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010.