Legal separation – Judicial Separation

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An application for a judicial separation must be based on one of the following six grounds:

  • One party has committed adultery
  • One party has behaved in such a way that it would be unreasonable to expect the other spouse to continue to live with them
  • One party has deserted the other for at least one year at the time of the application
  • The parties have lived apart from one another for one year up to the time of the application and both parties agree to the decree being granted
  • The parties have lived apart from one another for at least three years at the time of the application for the decree (whether or not both parties agree to the decree being granted)
  • The court considers that a normal marital relationship has not existed between the spouses for at least one year before the date of the application for the decree.

The last is by far the most common ground on which the decree is granted, as neither party has to be shown as being at fault.

When you are applying for a judicial separation you must submit four documents to the Circuit Court:

  • An application form (known as a family law civil bill). This document describes both you and your spouse, your occupations and where you live. It also sets out when you married, for how long you have been living apart and the names and birth dates of your children.
  • A sworn statement of means. This document sets out your assets, your income, your debts and liabilities and your outgoings.
  • A sworn statement relating to the welfare of your children. This document sets out the personal details of the children of the marriage. It describes where they live and with whom. It also describes their education and training, their health, childcare arrangements and maintenance and access arrangements.
  • A document certifying that you have been advised of the alternatives to judicial separation. This document is sworn by a solicitor and it certifies that you have discussed the options of reconciliation, mediation and separation agreements.

Seamus Maguire and Co Solicitors can represent your interest and advise you fully throughout the process.

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