When your marriage breaks down, divorce is one of the options you may wish to consider. Divorce in Ireland involves an application to court which will result in you obtaining a court order dissolving your marriage. It will also give you the right to remarry. Under our current divorce law, you must be living apart for four out of the last five years before applying to court for a divorce. However this is about to change after the divorce referendum on May 2019. Under proposed legislation the living apart time will be reduced to two out of the previous three years. We expect this change to become law within the coming months.
As your family law solicitors, we will advise and guide you through every step of the court process and explain legal matters to you in plain English. We know that the breakdown of a relationship is one of the most stressful events in your life. As your divorce lawyers we hope that we can ease this for you by explaining fully the legal and practical consequences of the breakdown of your relationship.
When a divorce application comes before a judge, he or she will decide on all matters. A judge will make a decision based on what he or she believes is fair and proper for both of you. It is open to the judge to look at custody, access and maintenance or financial support if your children are under 18 (or 23 if still if full-time education). A judge will also decide what happens to the family home and other property you may have, such as a business, shares or a pension.
Very often it is possible to reach agreement with your spouse on these matters and then a judge will make an order in accordance with your wishes, as long as the judge feels that both you and the children have been properly looked after.
The issue of living apart has been considered by the courts and it has been decided that living apart doesn’t necessarily mean living in two different houses; the Court can find that the couple has been living apart but under the same roof.