31For section 41 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (restrictions on decrees for dissolution, annulment or separation affecting children) there shall be substituted—E+W
(1)In any proceedings for a decree of divorce or nullity of marriage, or a decree of judicial separation, the court shall consider—
(a)whether there are any children of the family to whom this section applies; and
(b)where there are any such children, whether (in the light of the arrangements which have been, or are proposed to be, made for their upbringing and welfare) it should exercise any of its powers under the Children Act 1989 with respect to any of them.
(2)Where, in any case to which this section applies, it appears to the court that—
(a)the circumstances of the case require it, or are likely to require it, to exercise any of its powers under the Act of 1989 with respect to any such child;
(b)it is not in a position to exercise that power or (as the case may be) those powers without giving further consideration to the case; and
(c)there are exceptional circumstances which make it desirable in the interests of the child that the court should give a direction under this section,
it may direct that the decree of divorce or nullity is not to be made absolute, or that the decree of judicial separation is not to be granted, until the court orders otherwise.
(3)This section applies to—
(a)any child of the family who has not reached the age of sixteen at the date when the court considers the case in accordance with the requirements of this section; and
(b)any child of the family who has reached that age at that date and in relation to whom the court directs that this section shall apply.”
32In section 42 of that Act, subsection (3) (declaration by court that party to marriage unfit to have custody of children of family) shall cease to have effect.E+W
33In section 52(1) of that Act (interpretation), in the definition of “child of the family", for the words “has been boarded-out with those parties" there shall be substituted “ is placed with those parties as foster parents" ”.E+W