At O’Donnell McKenna Solicitors, we can advise you on all aspects of your divorce. On application to the court, various orders can be made to deal with access, custody, maintenance, division of property rights, succession rights and pension adjustment orders.
We will firstly advise you on all the options available to you before you decide to divorce, so that you are best informed before embarking on this process.
Eligibility for divorce
Before you can be granted a divorce by a court in Ireland, the following conditions must be met:
- the parties must have been living apart from one another for a period amounting to four out of the previous five years before the application is made
- there must be no reasonable prospect of reconciliation
- proper provision must have been made,or will be made, for the spouse and any dependent members of the family such as children of either party and other relatives.
If these conditions are met, either party to a marriage may apply to court for a decree of divorce.
Applications for divorce are usually made to the Circuit Court, but where a couple’s assets are substantial, application may have to be made to the High Court.
The hearing will be held in private.
Factors taken into account by the court
Proper financial provision must be made for each spouse and the dependent children and the court has the power to make a variety of financial relief orders including Property Adjustment Orders, Periodical Payments Orders, Lump Sum Orders, Pension Adjustment Orders, and Financial Compensation Orders.
When determining what constitutes proper provision, the court must have regard to all the circumstances of the case and in particular:
- the income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each spouse has, or is likely to have in the foreseeable future
- the financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each has, or is likely to have in the foreseeable future
- the standard of living enjoyed by the family before proceedings were instituted, or before the separation occurred
- the ages of each spouse, the duration of the marriage and the length of time the couple lived together
- any physical or mental disability of the spouses
- the accommodation needs of each spouse
- the effect on the earning capacity of each spouse of the marital responsibility assumed by each while they lived together and the degree to which the future earning capacity of a spouse is impaired for having given up the opportunity of paid employment to look after the home, or care for the family
- the conduct of each of the spouses, if such that the court considers it would be objectionable to justice to disregard it
- the contributions which each of the spouses has made, or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family, including any contribution made by each to the income, earning capacity, property and financial resources of the other and any contribution by looking after the home, or caring for the family
- the value to each of the spouses of any benefit which the spouse will forfeit
- the rights of any person other than the spouse, but including a person to whom either spouse has remarried
- the court must also have regard to the terms of any Deed of Separation or Separation Agreement signed by the spouses.
Each case is decided on its facts. There is no automatic division of assets on a 50/50 basis. The division will depend on the particular facts of the case in question.
Eligibility to remarry
A divorce decree allows both parties to a marriage to remarry, or enter into a civil partnership.
If you would like us to help you, or if you would simply like to have a chat to discuss your options about any of the above, please don’t hesitate to contact us.