HL Deb 10 July 1984 vol 454 cc819-20

2 Page 4, line 5, leave out ("made").

4 Clause 8, page 9, line 3, leave out ("made by each of the parties") and insert ("which each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make".).

5 Page 9, line 5, leave out ("made").

In each case throughout this series I am going to move, that this House doth agree with the Commons in the said amendments. Amendments Nos. 1 and 2 deal with the civil jurisdication of the county courts and the Family Division, and Nos. 4 and 5 with the magistrates' courts' matrimonial jurisdiction. The object of these amendments is to make plain, that the contribution referred to is the contribution that each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeble future to make—the phrase which is effective being "likely in the foreseeable future to make".

The purpose is to amend the new Section 25(2)(f) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, as inserted by Clause 3 of the Bill to direct the attention of the court, in exercising its discretion to make orders for financial provision of property adjustments, to have regard to the contribution which each party to the marriage has made or is likely to make in the foreseeable future.

The purpose of Amendments Nos. 4 and 5 is to achieve the same result in the parallel provision to which a magistrates' court is required to have regard in exercising its powers to make financial provisions in matrimonial proceedings. They therefore amend new Section 3(2)(f) of the Domestic Proceedings and Magistrates' Courts Act, which is inserted in the present Bill by Clause 9.

The effect of the amendments will be to make it clear to the court in either case the the future contribution of either party to the marriage in relation to looking after the home and caring for the family is a relevant matter to which the courts should have regard as well as the past contribution. This will be especially useful in provisions in magistrates' court, where the financial arrangements under consideration are usually with reference to a continuing marriage rather than one which is being terminated.

I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in the said amendment.

Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said amendment.—(The Lord Chancellor.)

Lord Mishcon

My Lords, I hope that neither the noble and learned Lord nor any Lord present will think me discourteous for not having been in my place when the noble and learned Lord commenced his explanation of this amendment. It was brought forward rather suddenly. I had been told that the proper time for taking it was half-past seven. Having heard even half of the explanation by the noble and learned Lord. I am perfectly content with the amendment.

On Question, Motion agreed to.