Here at Sherlock & Co. we understand that going through a divorce or separation can be stressful and emotional.

We are aware that the legal process can often seem complicated during this difficult time, so we are here to take you through the process in an understanding and proactive manner. Our aim is to provide you with clear, practical and cost-effective advice.

Broadly Speaking, Family Law deals with areas such as

  • Divorce

  • Judicial Separation

  • Separation by agreement

  • Child Law

  • Ancillary Orders concerning matters such as pensions

  • Child and Spousal Maintenance

Family Law Solicitors Clondalkin


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Family Law – Judicial Separation

When a couple can’t compromise on how they’ll live apart, either side can petition the court for a judicial separation order. The duty for couples to live together is removed by a judicial separation order.

Before filing for divorce, many separated spouses reach an arrangement or petition to the court for a judicial dissolution order to govern their relationship. However, they cannot file for divorce until they have lived apart for four of the past five years.
In order to determine if you are suitable for a judicial separation, the following criteria must be met:

1. One of the spouses has cheated on the other.

2. One partner has acted in such a way that the other can no longer reasonably expect to reside with them.

3. The respondent has been deserted for at least one year prior to the filing of the claim.

4. The participants have been apart for at least three years immediately prior to the filing of the claim.

5. The union has broken down to the point that the court is convinced that, under all cases, the couples have not had a regular marital partnership for at least one year prior to the filing of the application.

If you are entitled for a judicial separation, you must provide the following information to the court:

• Affidavit of Means, which explains the financial situation

• Affidavit of Welfare, which details the child-related arrangements.

• A letter stating that you were informed of the alternatives to a divorce. This form certifies that you have addressed the possibilities of reconciliation, consultation, and separation and has been sworn by a solicitor.

Please contact our Clondalkin office at (01) 4570846 for a confidential discussion.

Family Law – Divorce

The following grounds must be met if you wish to apply for a divorce:-

  1. At the date of the institution of the proceedings, the spouses have lived apart from one another for a period of, or periods amounting to, at least four years during the previous five years.
  2. There is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation between the spouses.
  3. That such provision as the court considers proper having regard to the circumstances exist or will be made for the spouses and any dependent members of the family.

When the above grounds are met the first step is to file the following paperwork with the court.

  • Family Civil Bill
  • Affidavit of Means which outlines your financial position
  • Affidavit of Welfare which outlines the arrangements in respect of the children.

A document certifying that you have been advised of the alternatives to divorce. This document is sworn by a solicitor and it certifies that you have discussed the options of reconciliation, mediation and separation.

All of these grounds must be satisfied before a decree can be granted. The effect of a Decree of Divorce is that the marriage is dissolved and either party may remarry.

For a confidential chat please feel free to call our Clondalkin Office at (01) 4570846

Dissolution of Civil partnerships

On January 1, 2011, the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 took effect. Civil spouses have the same rights as married couples in fields such as maintenance, the family home, succession, pensions, and a variety of other civil codes, according to the Act. The Act makes no changes to the legislation around children’s issues such as guardianship, parenting, care, access, or maintenance.
Civil partnerships may be dissolved. A nullity decree can be issued in the same manner as a nullity of marriage decree can be obtained. The courts may also terminate civil unions in the same manner as they can issue divorces, by issuing orders such as maintenance, pension reform, and property orders to ensure that the civil partners are adequately cared for.

Separation by Agreement Handshake

The civil partners’ legal advisors are not required to discuss the likelihood of reconciliation, mediation, or any approaches to separation, as in divorce cases. However, the court could postpone hearings to allow for those alternatives.
To terminate a civil union in Ireland, the pair must have lived separately for at least two years in the past three years, and proper provisions for the civil partners must have been made or will be made.

The courts have the authority to issue orders in the following areas:

• Maintenance for the dependent partner

• Transfer/sale of the couple’s house

• Life insurance and savings

• Succession privileges

These directives are not granted automatically. When determining whether or not to issue an injunction, the Court will consider a variety of considerations. These considerations include:

• each cohabitant’s financial conditions, desires, and obligations;

• each others’ rights (including the rights of parents, former spouses, civil partners, former civil partners, and minor children of either partner); and the length and scope of the partnership, as well as each’s financial and non-financial contributions.

You and your partner should make a Cohabitants’ Agreement to cover the financial arrangements in the event of your partnership ending.
The following conditions must be fulfilled for such an agreement to be valid:

• Each of you has received independent legal advice, or you have received legal advice together and waived the right to independent legal advice;

• The agreement forms a contract and complies with contract law; and

• Each of you has signed the agreement.

A Cohabitants’ Agreement allows you to opt out of the redress program. Cohabitants’ Agreements are enforceable by the Court, but the Court has the authority to set them aside or modify them if their compliance will result in severe injustice.

Please contact our Clondalkin office at (01) 4570846 for a confidential discussion.


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