Matrimonial Causes Act 1973

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Matrimonial Causes Act 1973
Long titleAn Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to matrimonial proceedings, maintenance agreements, and declarations of legitimacy, validity of marriage and British nationality, with amendments to give effect to recommendations of the Law Commission
Citation1973 c. 18
Territorial extentEngland and Wales
Royal assent23 May 1973
Other legislation
Amended byDivorce (Religious Marriages) Act 2002
Status: Amended
Text of statute as originally enacted
Revised text of statute as amended

The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (c 18) is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom governing divorce law and marriage in England and Wales.


Under section 24(1), when granting a divorce, decree of nullity of marriage or judicial separation the court can order (subject to restrictions in ss 29(1) and (3) relating to children of the age of majority other than those still in school or in other special circumstances):

(a) the transfer of property between the parties, or to a child, or for the benefit of a child
(b) the settlement of property for the partner and children
(c) the variation of any ante-nuptial or post-nuptial settlement other than a pension
(d) the extinguishment or reduction of the interest of the parties to any settlement other than a pension

Under s. 24(2), the court can make an order under s. 24(1)(c) even if there are no children, and under s. 24(3) orders and settlements take effect only when the divorce or nullity of marriage is made absolute.

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Lawrence Stone. Road to Divorce: England 1530-1987 (1990)