Frequently Asked Questions About Family Law & Disputes

Am I entitled to a Divorce?

There are three prerequisties to applying for a divorce in Ireland:

1) At the date of the commencement of the proceedings, the spouses must have lived apart for four out of the previous five years.

2) There must be no reasonable prospect of a reconciliation between the spouses.

3) Proper provision is to be made for the spouse and dependent family members.

How do I prove I have been separated for 4 years?

You will be required to complete a document called the “Family Law Civil Bill” in which you will be required to state the date you were married and the length of time you and your spouse have been living apart. You will be asked under Oath in Court to verify this information.

You are entitled to be living apart under the same roof. This means that if you can swear to the fact that you have ceased the marital relationship for four years or more but continued to reside together then you will qualify for a Divorce.

Am I entitled to a Judicial separation?

In order to obtain a judicial separation you must show the Court that you are separated from your spouse for 12 months with no prospect of reconciliation.

There are 6 grounds in total listed under Law:

  1. Behaviour
  2. Adultery
  3. Desertion
  4. The parties agree and have lived apart for 1 year
  5. No normal marital relationship exists for at least 1 year and;
  6. The parties have lived apart for at least three years

Marital assets

Marital assets are all the assets of the marriage. They do not need to be in joint names for a spouse to make a claim over them. Assets include business good will, land, buildings, cash, income, pensions, insurance policies, shares, entitlements etc.

Proper provision

It is only a myth that a spouse is automatically entitled to 50% of the other spouse’s assets. When deciding on proper provision the Court will look at all the relevant variables including (but not limited to) to decide what award will be made to each spouse:

  • The earning capacity and financial resources of both spouses.
  • The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each spouse has or is likely to have in the future.
  • The standard of living of the spouses before the proceedings. The age of the spouses and the length of their marriage.
  • The contribution, which each of the spouses has made or is likely to make to the welfare of the family.
  • Whether the earning capacity of either of the spouses has been affected by the marriage.
  • The income and benefits to which either spouse is entitled.
  • The conduct of each of the spouses.
  • The accommodation needs of either spouse.

How could my business assets be affected?

In determining proper provision the Court will have regard to all of the marital assets. This could include business assets, shares in a company, share in a partnership etc. It is open to the court to direct the transfer of business assets to the other spouse if the Court is of the opinion that same is required to make proper provision in the circumstances of the case.

What should I do next?

If you would like more information or would like to see one of our Solicitors specialising in Family Law & Disputes matters, please get in touch to make an appointment.

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