A Judicial Separation is a Court Order that provides for the breakdown of a marriage. The Court has the power to grant orders dealing with the division of property, extinguishing of succession rights, addressing guardianship, custody and access in respect of children, division of pensions. A Judicial Separation however does not grant the right to remarry.
Before applying for a Judicial Separation it is advisable to endeavour to resolve matters by attending counselling and mediation and signing a separation agreement. In the event that these options do not prove successful then an application may be made for a Judicial Separation. The application is brought in the Circuit Court or in the High Court depending on the couple’s financial circumstances.
There are six grounds which allow one to bring an application for Judicial Separation as set out in Section 2 of the Judicial Separation and Law Reform Act,1989. Briefly the grounds are as follows:
- Where the respondent has committed adultery.
- Where the respondent has behaved in such a way that the applicant cannot be expected to live with the respondent.
- Where the respondent has deserted the applicant for one year.
- Where the spouses have lived apart from eachother for a period of one year and the respondent consents.
- Where the spouses have lived apart for 3 years.
- Where the marriage is broken down such that no normal marital relationship has existed between the parties for a period of one year immediately prior to the application.
On hearing the matter the Court will review each spouse’s financial affairs and will also review provisions made to ensure that the welfare of the children is given due regard. The Court has the jurisdiction to grant a variety of orders including pension adjustment orders, property adjustment orders, orders affecting the succession rights of the spouses, periodical payments orders, lump sum adjustment orders and orders regarding children.
In deciding on each case the Court will take into account the best interests of the children and will endeavour to make proper provision for all family members.
If you have any queries regarding marriage breakdown contact 069-77583.