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.