(IN RELATION TO CHILDREN IN CASES OF DIVORCE, NULLITY OF MARRIAGE, AND JUDICIAL SEPARATION)
In accordance with section 42 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, the court may make such order as it thinks fit for the custody and education of any child of the family who is under the age of 18;
- In any proceedings for divorce, nullity of marriage, or judicial separation, before or on granting a decree or at any time thereafter ( whether, in the case of a decree of divorce or nullity of marriage, before or after the decree is made absolute),
- Where any such proceedings are dismissed after the beginning of the trial, either forthwith or within a reasonable period after the dismissal,
And in any case, in which the court has power by virtue of section 42(1) of the Act to make an order in respect of a child, it may instead, if it thinks fit, direct that proper proceedings be taken for making the child a ward of court.
Where the court makes an order under section 27 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, the court shall also have the power to make such order as it thinks fit with respect to the custody of any child of the family who is for the time being under the age of 18, but the power conferred by subsection (2) of section 42 of the Act and any order made in exercise of this power shall have effect only as respects any period when an order is in force under that section and the child is under the age of 18.
Where the court grants or makes an absolute decree of divorce or grants a decree of judicial separation, it may include in the decree a declaration that either party to the marriage in question is unfit to have custody of the children of the family. If upon the pronouncement of such a declaration, it relates to the parents of the child of the family, the death of one party shall not confer a right to custody or guardianship of the party of the child in question.
Where an order in respect of a child is made under section 42, the order shall not affect the rights over or with respect to the child of any person, other than a party to the marriage in question, unless the child is the child of one or both of the parties to the marriage in question unless the child is the child of one or both of the parties to that marriage and that person was a party to the proceedings on the application for an order under section 42.
The power of the court in respect of subsection (1)(a) or (2) of section 42 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 to make an order with respect to a child shall be exercisable from time to time, and where the court makes an order under section 42(1)(b) with respect to a child it may from time to time until that child attains the age of 18 make a further order with respect to his custody and education.
The court shall have the power to vary or discharge an order made under section 42 of the Act or to suspend any provision thereof temporarily and to revive the operation of any provision so suspended.