Declarations as to Marital Status
Declarations as to marital status.
29.—(1) The court may, on application to it in that behalf by either of the spouses concerned or by any other person who, in the opinion of the court, has a sufficient interest in the matter, by order make one or more of the following declarations in relation to a marriage, that is to say:
(a) a declaration that the marriage was at its inception a valid marriage,
(b) a declaration that the marriage subsisted on a date specified in the application,
(c) a declaration that the marriage did not subsist on a date so specified, not being the date of the inception of the marriage,
(d) a declaration that the validity of a divorce, annulment or legal separation obtained under the civil law of any other country or jurisdiction in respect of the marriage is entitled to recognition in the State,
(e) a declaration that the validity of a divorce, annulment or legal separation so obtained in respect of the marriage is not entitled to recognition in the State.
(2) The court may grant an order under subsection (1) if, but only if, either of the spouses concerned—
(a) is domiciled in the State on the date of the application,
(b) has been ordinarily resident in the State throughout the period of one year ending on that date, or
(c) died before that date and either—
(i) was at the time of death domiciled in the State, or
(ii) had been ordinarily resident in the State throughout the period of one year ending on that date.
(3) The other spouse or the spouses concerned or the personal representative of the spouse or each spouse, within the meaning of the Act of 1965, shall be joined in proceedings under this section.
(4) The court may, at any stage of proceedings under this section of its own motion or on application to it in that behalf by a party thereto, order that notice of the proceedings be given to the Attorney General or any other person and that such documents relating to the proceedings as may be necessary for the purposes of his or her functions shall be given to the Attorney General.
(5) The court shall, on application to it in that behalf by the Attorney General, order that he or she be added as a party to any proceedings under this section and, in any such proceedings, he or she shall, if so requested by the court, whether or not he or she is so added to the proceedings, argue any question arising in the proceedings specified by the court.
(6) Where notice of proceedings under this section is given to a person (other than the Attorney General), the court may, of its own motion or on application to it in that behalf by the person or a party to the proceedings, order that the person be added as a party to the proceedings.
(7) Where a party to proceedings under this section alleges that the marriage concerned is or was void, or that it is voidable, and should be annulled, the court may treat the application under subsection (1) as an application for a decree of nullity of marriage and may forthwith proceed to determine the matter accordingly and may postpone the determination of the application under subsection (1).
(8) A declaration under this section shall be binding on the parties to the proceedings concerned and on any person claiming through such a party and, if the Attorney General is a party to the proceedings, the declaration shall also be binding on the State.
(9) A declaration under this section shall not prejudice any person if it is subsequently proved to have been obtained by fraud or collusion.
(10) Where proceedings under this section, and proceedings in another jurisdiction, in relation to the same marriage have been instituted but have not been finally determined, the court may stay the first-mentioned proceedings until the other proceedings have been finally determined.