Family Law (Divorce) Act, 1996

Provisions relating to certain orders under sections 12 to 18 and 22 .

20.(1) In deciding whether to make an order under section 12 , 13 , 14 , 15 (1) (a), 16, 17, 18 or 22 and in determining the provisions of such an order, the court shall ensure that such provision as the court considers proper having regard to the circumstances exists or will be made for the spouses and any dependent member of the family concerned.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), in deciding whether to make such an order as aforesaid and in determining the provisions of such an order, the court shall, in particular, have regard to the following matters:

(a) the income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the spouses concerned has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future,

(b) the financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the spouses has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future (whether in the case of the remarriage of the spouse or otherwise),

(c) the standard of living enjoyed by the family concerned before the proceedings were instituted or before the spouses commenced to live apart from one another, as the case may be,

(d) the age of each of the spouses, the duration of their marriage and the length of time during which the spouses lived with one another,

(e) any physical or mental disability of either of the spouses,

(f) the contributions which each of the spouses has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family, including any contribution made by each of them to the income, earning capacity, property and financial resources of the other spouse and any contribution made by either of them by looking after the home or caring for the family,

(g) the effect on the earning capacity of each of the spouses of the marital responsibilities assumed by each during the period when they lived with one another and, in particular, the degree to which the future earning capacity of a spouse is impaired by reason of that spouse having relinquished or foregone the opportunity of remunerative activity in order to look after the home or care for the family,

(h) any income or benefits to which either of the spouses is entitled by or under statute,

(i) the conduct of each of the spouses, if that conduct is such that in the opinion of the court it would in all the circumstances of the case be unjust to disregard it,

(j) the accommodation needs of either of the spouses,

(k) the value to each of the spouses of any benefit (for example, a benefit under a pension scheme) which by reason of the decree of divorce concerned, that spouse will forfeit the opportunity or possibility of acquiring,

(l) the rights of any person other than the spouses but including a person to whom either spouse is remarried.

(3) In deciding whether to make an order under a provision referred to in subsection (1) and in determining the provisions of such an order, the court shall have regard to the terms of any separation agreement which has been entered into by the spouses and is still in force.

(4) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), in deciding whether to make an order referred to in that subsection in favour of a dependent member of the family concerned and in determining the provisions of such an order, the court shall, in particular, have regard to the following matters:

(a) the financial needs of the member,

(b) the income, earning capacity (if any), property and other financial resources of the member,

(c) any physical or mental disability of the member,

(d) any income or benefits to which the member is entitled by or under statute,

(e) the manner in which the member was being and in which the spouses concerned anticipated that the member would be educated or trained,

(f) the matters specified in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of subsection (2) and in subsection (3),

(g) the accommodation needs of the member.

(5) The court shall not make an order under a provision referred to in subsection (1) unless it would be in the interests of justice to do so.