When a couple gets divorced, their marriage is over. They have no further rights over each other’s property, they have no rights to the other’s estate and they are free to remarry. In order to get a divorce in Ireland:
- At the date of the institution of the proceedings the spouses have lived apart from one another for at least 2 out of the previous 3 years.
- There is no reasonable prospect of a reconciliation between the spouses, and;
- Such provision as the court considers proper having regard to the circumstances exists or will be made for the spouses and any dependent members of the family.
In Ireland, it is not necessary for a couple to live in different houses to be considered ‘living apart’ but if a couple still live in the same house, considerable proof will have to be shown to the Court in order to establish that a couple have been living apart for the necessary time, such as sleeping arrangements, payment of bills and care of any children.
Divorce is not based on fault in Ireland and the Court will consider many factors when granting a divorce. If there are dependent children of the marriage, the Court will look to whether they have been provided for and there are agreements in place for their maintenance, custody and any access provisions necessary. The Court will make spousal maintenance orders if necessary and will make orders in relation to property, pensions and any other orders that are deemed necessary to ensure that all parties are properly provided for.
The Court can make Orders known as ancillary reliefs in relation to the following:
- Custody of and access to the dependent children
- Maintenance for the dependant spouse and or dependent children
- The right of residence/ ownership/ transfer/ sale of the family home
- The ownership/transfer/sale of any other property owned by the couple
- Life policies and pension
- Succession rights
The “factors” that the Court will take into account include:
- The income, earning capacity and financial resources of the couple
- The standard of living enjoyed by the family
- The ages of the spouses and length of the marriage
- The contributions made, through work outside of or within the home to the welfare of the family
- The conduct of either spouse
- Accommodation needs of the family