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Family Law, including Civil Partnership & Cohabitee Law

The breakdown of a marriage is a very emotional and difficult time. The situation is made even more difficult where children are involved. Family law can often be a very complex area. There are a number of issues for consideration in order to achieve a conclusion that is satisfactory for both parties and Dillon Geraghty & Co. Solicitors can provide expert advice in all areas of Family Law.

Separation Agreements
A Deed of Separation is a legal written contract that has been negotiated between the two spouses which sets out their future rights and duties to each other. The document is signed by both spouses and witnessed once both parties have agreed to all the terms.

Judicial Separation
A Judicial separation can be granted by court where the spouses fail to agree the terms of a Separation Agreement. A Judicial Separation will only be granted when an order outlining the arrangements for the welfare of dependent children has been made. All Judicial Separations are heard by the Circuit or High Court and are held in private (as are all family law cases).

Divorce
Divorce has been available since 1997. There are certain criteria to be met in order for the Court to grant a Decree. The important criteria are that the parties must have lived separate and apart for a period of at least 4 years out of the preceding five years prior to the institution of proceedings, there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation and proper provision has or will be made for the spouse and dependent children. The grounds and criteria for Divorce can be discussed with the appointed Solicitor.

It is extremely important to have the advice of a Solicitor in relation to family law matters. At Dillon Geraghty & Co. Solicitors, we are committed to providing a sensitive and confidential service and our primary objective is to deal with family law matters as expeditiously and amicably as possible. Our preferred course of action is meaningful negotiation, leading to settlement. It is important, where possible, that both parties keep the lines of communication open between them, particularly where children are concerned.

Dillon Geraghty & Co. Solicitors can also provide advice in the following :

  • Interim Applications
  • Custody
  • Access
  • Barring/Safety Orders
  • Maintenance

New Civil Partnership and Cohabitee Laws
On 1 January 2011 the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 came into force.

If you are one of the 120,000 cohabitants living in Ireland you should consider your financial and asset position immediately.

This new Act allows persons who have lived together within a relationship to make applications to court for financial maintenance, succession and property orders . Applications of this nature were previously available only to persons who were or had been married.

To be able to make such applications you must be:

  • One of two adults over 18 (same or opposite sex);
  • Who have been living together in an intimate and committed relationship of cohabitation but not married; and
  • Immediately before the relationship ends you must have been living with that person for 5 years (2 years if there are children of the relationship).

Importantly the Act allows cohabiting couples to avoid such applications being made by entering into a written Cohabitation Agreement. In order for the Agreement to be valid under the Act legal advice must be obtained before it is entered into.

If a valid Cohabitation Agreement is not entered into couples will be affected by the Act and it will be open to one or other to apply for financial relief from the other on the breakdown of the relationship.

For advice on making an application under the new Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 or to enter into a Cohabitation Agreement please do not hesitate to contact us.