Parties can seek a Divorce from the Circuit Court or High Court in circumstances where both parties have lived separate and apart from each other for a period of two years and the Court is satisfied that there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation. This can include spouses who reside in the same dwelling but who the court is satisfied do not live together as a couple in an intimate and committed relationship, The Court must be satisfied that proper provision will or has been made for any dependants and the Court can make orders as necessary to ensure this provision is made.
A Separation Agreement is a legally binding contract, the terms of which are agreed by the parties themselves and formalised by a Solicitor or negotiated by the Solicitor on behalf of the parties.
Judicial Separation is a separation which is granted by obtaining a Decree of Judicial Separation from the Court together with the appropriate ancillary Orders.
Affidavit of Means – Financial Disclosure
It is mandatory for all parties to provide a sworn Affidavit of Means and to provide the appropriate vouching documentation. An Affidavit of Means provides details of all assets, income, debts and liabilities, weekly or monthly expenditure and pension information (where it is applicable) and must be supported by evidence such as receipts, bills, bank statements and other proofs.
Case progression is a system in the Circuit Family Court, which ensures cases are progressed as swiftly as possible and that all receipts and information necessary by either party is exchanged in a timely manner. This procedure is overseen by a County Registrar. It is necessary to be able to exchange up to date information in advance of case progression so that any case can be progressed to hearing. If there is a delay in exchanging information by either party, this can cause delays in having the case assigned a hearing date.
Rights of Cohabitees and Civil Partners
The Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act was
Introduced in 2010 and has had a significant impact on the jurisdiction of Family Law. The Act provides much needed for co-habiting couples, in areas such as succession, maintenance, separation and social welfare matters. A couple are defined as being cohabiting when they reside together for a minimum of five years, or two if they have children together.
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