LAWS OF THE UNITED KINGDOM
MATRIMONIAL CAUSES ACT 1973
1973 CHAPTER 18
An Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to matrimonial
proceedings, maintenance agreements, and declaration of legitimacy, validity of
marriage and British nationality with amendments to give effect to
recommendations of the Law Commission.
[23rd May 1973]
BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with
the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons, in this
present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as
PROTECTION, CUSTODY, ETC., OF CHILDREN
Power to commit children to care of legal
43.-.(1) Where the court has jurisdiction by virtue
of this Part of this Act to make an order for the custody of a child and it
appears to the court that there are exceptional circumstances making it
impracticable or undesirable for the child to be entrusted to either of the
parties to the marriage or to any other individual, the court may if it thinks
fit make an order committing the care of the child to the council of a county
other than a metropolitan county, or of a metropolitan district or London
borough or the Common Council of the City of London (hereafter in this section
referred to as "the local authority"); and thereupon Part II of the Children Act
1948 (which relates to the treatment of children in the care of a local
authority) shall, subject to the provisions of this section, apply as if the
child had been received by the local authority into their care under section 1
of that Act.
1948 c. 43.
(2) The authority specified in an
order under this section shall be the local authority for the area in which the
child was, in the opinion of the court, resident before the order was made to
commit the child to the care of a local authority, and the court shall before
making an order under this section hear any representations from the local
authority, including any representations as to the making of a financial
provision order in favour of the child.
(3) While an order made by virtue
of this section is in force with respect to a child, the child shall continue in
the care of the local authority notwithstanding any claim by a parent or other
(4) An order made by virtue of this section shall cease to have
effect as respects any child when he becomes eighteen, and the court shall not
make an order committing a child to the care of a local authority under this
section after he has become seventeen.
(5) In the application of Part II
of the Children Act 1948 by virtue of this section-
(a) the exercise by the local authority of their powers under
sections 12 to 14 of that Act (which among other things relate to the
accommodation and welfare of a child in the care of a local authority) shall be
subject to any directions given by the court; and
(b) section 17 of that Act (which relates to arrangements for
the emigration of such a child) shall not apply.
(6) It shall be the duty of any parent or guardian of a child committed
to the care of a local authority under this section to secure that the local
authority are informed of his address for the time being, and a person who
knowingly fails to comply with this subsection shall be liable on summary
conviction to a fine not exceeding ten pounds.
(7) The court shall have
power from time to time by an order under this section to vary or discharge any
provision made in pursuance of this section.
(8) So long as by virtue of
paragraph 13 of Schedule 4 to the Children and Young Persons Act 1969 sections
15 and 16 of the Children Act 1948 continue to apply in relation to a local
authority, subsection (5)(a) above shall have effect in relation to that
authority as if for the reference to sections 12 to 14 of the last-mentioned Act
there were substituted a reference to sections 12 to 16 of that Act.
c. 54.; 1948 c. 43.
(9) Subject to the following provisions of this
subsection, until 1st April 1974 subsection (1) above shall have effect as if
for the words "other than a metropolitan county, or of a metropolitan district"
there were substituted the words "county borough".
An order (or orders)
made under section 273(2) of the Local Government Act 1972 (orders bringing
provisions of that Act into force before 1st April 1974) may appoint an earlier
date (or, as the case may be, different dates for different purposes or areas)
on which subsection (1) above shall cease to have effect as mentioned
1972 c. 70.
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