Grounds for Divorce

To get divorced in Ireland, you must have been separated for four out of the previous five years. If you do not want to wait this long, you may want to get a judicial separation first.

To find out more, contact our family law solicitors. Call us on 051 391 488 or email reception@mullinstreacy.ie for a no obligation enquiry.

Grounds for divorce in Ireland

If you want to get a divorce in Ireland, the court must be satisfied that –

  1. You and your ex have been living apart for a period amounting to four out of the previous five years
  2. There is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation
  3. Suitable arrangements have been (or will be) made for each person, dependents and children

What does ‘living apart’ mean?

So, before you can think about getting a divorce, you must have been living apart for four years.

‘Living apart’ does not necessarily mean that you have been living under separate roofs. The law recognises that you might not be able to afford two households. But while you may remain in the same dwelling, you must show that you have been leading separate lives. This means that you do everything independently of each other, including sleeping, eating, cooking, shopping and socialising.

The law also recognises that you may want to attempt a period of reconciliation. You do not necessarily have to have been separated for four continuous years. But you must have been separated for a period amounting to four years within the previous five years.

Judicial separation Ireland

The end of a relationship comes with many practicalities to organise, such as how your finances are going to be divided and where your children will live. Until you have made these arrangements, you might feel unable to continue with your life. If so, having to wait four years to divorce might seem like a long time.

That is why lots of couples choose to get a judicial separation first. This is particularly common amongst separating couples who cannot agree on matters such as the division of their finances and childcare arrangements.

If you can agree, then your other option is to get a Separation Agreement and request that it is made into a court order. If you do this, you cannot get a judicial separation.

Grounds for judicial separation

There are six grounds for judicial separation in Ireland. You must prove that one of the following has occurred –

  1. Adultery
  2. Unreasonable behaviour
  3. Desertion for a period of at least one year
  4. You have lived separately for at least one year and you both agree to the judicial separation
  5. You have lived separately for at least three years
  6. A normal marital relationship has not existed between you for at least one year

Once a judicial separation has been granted, it removes your obligation to live together. It also severs certain ties between you. For example, your ex is not legally entitled to a share of your estate when you die (unless you specify otherwise in your Will). Nevertheless, you cannot remarry unless you go on to get a divorce.

If you have a judicial separation, the divorce process is typically much more straightforward.

Contact us now

We are client focused and results driven. If your marriage has broken down and you want to know what your options are, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help.

Call us on 051 391 488 or email reception@mullinstreacy.ie for a no obligation enquiry.

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