Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act, 1989

Variation and discharge of financial and property orders.

22.—(1) Where the court has made an order to which this section applies, then subject to the provisions of this section and of section 20 of this Act, the court may, on application to it by either spouse, if it considers it proper to do so having regard to any change in the circumstances and to any new evidence, vary or discharge the order or suspend any provision thereof temporarily, revive the operation of any provision so suspended, and in any appropriate case again vary any such order or again suspend or revive its operation.

(2) This section applies to the following orders—

(a) an order for maintenance pending suit;

(b) a periodical payments order;

(c) a secured periodical payments order;

(d) that part of an order for the payment of a lump sum which provides for the payment of that sum by instalments or requires the payment of such instalments to be secured;

(e) an order in relation to the occupation of the family home, and

(f) an order for the sale of property.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of section 14 of this Act that part of an order which provides of the support of a dependent child shall stand discharged where the child ceases to be a dependent child of the family by reason of his attainment of the age of sixteen years or twenty-one years, as the case may be, and shall be discharged by the court, on application to it under subsection (1) of this section, if it is satisfied that the child has for any reason ceased to be a dependent child of the family.

(4) The powers exercisable by the court under this section in relation to an order shall be exercisable also in relation to any instrument executed in pursuance of the order.

(5) No property adjustment order shall be made on an application for the variation of a periodical payments or secured periodical payments order made (whether in favour of a spouse or in favour of a dependent child of the family) under section 14 of this Act.

(6) Where the spouse liable to make payments under a secured periodical payments order has died, an application under this section relating to that order (and to any order which requires the proceeds of sale of property to be used for securing those payments) may be made by the spouse entitled to payment under the periodical payments order or by the personal representatives of the deceased spouse, but no such application shall, except with the permission of the court, be made after the end of the period of twelve months from the date on which representation in respect of the estate of the deceased is first granted.

(7) The personal representatives of a deceased spouse against whom a secured periodical payments order was made shall not be liable for having distributed any part of the estate of the deceased after the expiration of the period of twelve months referred to in subsection (6) of this section on the ground that they ought to have taken into account the possibility that the court might permit an application under this section to be made after that period by the person entitled to payments under the order; but this subsection shall not prejudice any power to recover any part of the estate so distributed arising by virtue of the making of an order in pursuance of this section.