Urban legends on divorce in Ireland and other queries.
The family law process in Ireland is blighted by urban legends. The following are a list of some of the common urban legends surrounding divorce in Ireland.
When do I get my 50%?
What 50%? The legislation says nothing about 50%. It directs the court must make proper provision for the parties and dependants involved. It is fair to say that on average in cases where the parties are older and their kids grown up and left home the courts have a tendancy to move more towards a 50/50 split. This depends on the circumstances of the parties however. The court can make whatever order it deems appropriate.
I am the husband and that means I have no rights and loose everything.
Not so. Proper provision means proper provision. The situation regarding fathers rights is improving. It is fair to say that the courts are reluctant in general to give fathers very large amounts of access. Courts must take schooling and study arrangements into account for young children.
In terms of financial provision the court will take the husband’s financial circumstances into account. It does not mean that he will get 50% of the assets. It may be less or more. The courts will review the global family situation before making any orders.
I am not seeing my children so I do not have to pay any maintenance.
Wrong! Maintenance and Access are two different things. Parents should always seek to make provision for their children whether or not they have access to their children. If you cannot obtain access to your children take legal advice.
I want to get access to my children. Which court do I apply to?
It depends on the circumstances. In some counties it can be cheaper and quicker to seek access in the District Court. There are many District Courts throughout the country and invariably there is one near you. Lawyers charge less to attend the District Court than the Circuit Court.
You can apply for access in the Circuit Court as part of divorce or separation proceedings. However, it can prove more costly than going to the District Court.
Remember that the District Court does not deal with applications for divorce in Ireland. It can deal with other applications pursuant to a divorce if so allowed by the Circuit or High Court.
My spouse is refusing to sign the passport application forms for the children.
You can apply to the District Court if you are encountering difficulties in this regard. Your spouse is a notice party to the application. It is advisable to take legal advice if you are encountering difficulties in this regard.
I am am Grandparent. My son is divorcing his wife. Can I see the children?
As a grandparent you can request mediation to agree access arrangements with your daughter in law. In default of agreement you can apply to the District Court for leave to bring an application for access to your grandchildren. Bear in mind the courts are slow to give grandparents access where they conculde that it is a father seeking supplemental or additional access through the back door to access he already has.
My common law spouse and myself are splitting up. We own a house. Do we need a divorce?
If you are not married you do not need a Divorce. If the arrangements concerning the house are in dispute try mediation or collaborative law. A different set of rules and legislation applies in respect of dividing assets where parties are not married. It is a complex area and legal advice is strongly reccomended.