How The Uncontested Divorce Process Works
There are various steps you will need to take to get your divorce proceedings started.
The key steps are as follows:
- Checking that you meet the criteria – Before filing any paperwork, ensure you meet the criteria for divorce in Ireland:
- You must have lived apart for two out of the previous three years.
- You or your spouse must live in Ireland.
- There must be no reasonable prospect of a reconciliation.
- Proper financial provision has been made, or will be made, for both spouses and any dependent children.
- Preparing the paperwork – The main documents you’ll need are:
- A Family Law Civil Bill – setting out when you were married, how long you have lived apart, and the names and birth dates of your children.
- An Affidavit of Means – setting out your financial position such as your assets, income, debts, liabilities, and your outgoings.
- An Affidavit of Welfare (if children are involved) – setting out the details of the children in the marriage, their education, health, and childcare arrangements.
- A Notice of Motion and Affidavit – The Notice of Motion requests the court to consider and rule on your application whilst the affidavit confirms you have followed the rules for getting a divorce.
- Identifying your nearest Circuit Court – Both parties will need to identify the appropriate court that the application spouse will apply to.
- Filing the application – The aforementioned documents will then need to be filed with that court by the applicant spouse, confirming that a copy of the application was provided to the respondent.
- Respondent consents – In an amicable divorce, the respondent spouse must send a letter to the applicant stating that they agree. They must also complete an Affidavit of Means and an Affidavit of Welfare.
- Applying for a court hearing date – Once the applicant and respondent’s documents are filed with the court, the court will then set a date for the hearing.
Remember, even if you’re going through an uncontested divorce, it is beneficial to consult with a solicitor to ensure you’re navigating the process correctly. You can arrange a consultation with a family lawyer at McCarthy + Co by completing our quick consultation form.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Questions we are often asked in relation to divorce & separation.
What is an amicable divorce?
An amicable divorce refers to a separation where both parties come to a mutual agreement regarding the end of their marriage without significant conflict or the need for a protracted court case. Rather than approaching the situation as adversaries, couples seek a collaborative and respectful resolution to matters like property division, child custody, and maintenance. This approach prioritises open communication, cooperation, and the well-being of all involved, especially children. An amicable divorce often results in less emotional and financial stress, as the process tends to be faster and less costly than contentious divorces. While legal representation is still recommended, the emphasis is on mediation and negotiation instead of litigation.
Is it necessary to hire a divorce lawyer for an amicable divorce?
No, it's not strictly necessary to hire a divorce lawyer for an amicable divorce. Some couples choose to file the paperwork with the relevant Circuit Court without taking any legal advice. However, even when you are filing for an uncontested divorce petition, it is beneficial to consult with a lawyer to ensure that all legal paperwork is correctly filled out and that both parties fully understand their rights and the implications of the agreements they are signing. Furthermore, your lawyer can provide valuable guidance on intricate aspects of divorce law and help ensure that the final agreement is legally sound and enforceable.
How can I ensure my divorce remains uncontested?
It’s possible that both couples may set out with the intention to file an uncontested divorce petition, then change their mind at some stage in the process, perhaps due to advice received by a third party. In these circumstances, it’s advisable to maintain open communication and ensure that any dialogue with your spouse remains respectful. Compromise is key, whilst always keeping in mind the best interests of your children and any other dependants. If you are unable to resolve a contested issue, you will need to enter mediation, which can help you to negotiate your own terms of agreement. Your solicitor will assist you in this process, helping you to negotiate a fair settlement for all parties involved.
Can I apply for an uncontested divorce if I have children?
Yes. When seeking a divorce, the court's primary concern is ensuring the welfare and best interests of the children are met. This involves examining provisions made for their living arrangements, education, and overall well-being. Applicants are required to submit an Affidavit of Welfare, which provides details about the children's current situation and the intended post-divorce care plan. Agreement on child custody and access rights for the non-custodial parent is crucial. If parties cannot reach an agreement, the court will decide based on what's best for the children. Additionally, the financial support or maintenance for the children after the divorce must be addressed. For a smooth uncontested divorce process, both parties should work collaboratively, always keeping the children's needs at the forefront.
Clíodhna O’Regan leads the family law department at McCarthy + Co. Clíodhna’s educational background includes studying law and European studies at the University of Limerick, even completing a semester in Madrid where she navigated the complexities of law in Spanish.
Clíodhna can be contacted via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
About McCarthy + Co
McCarthy + Co. are a team of solicitors with more than 30 years of experience in providing legal advice, guidance and assistance to clients across Ireland.
We are a family-run business with offices in Dublin and Cork, but we have dealt with clients everywhere from Galway and Limerick to Waterford. We are honest, plain-speaking and thorough – we will work alongside you to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
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Flor McCarthy wears multiple hats, not only as the managing partner of one of Ireland’s leading law firms, but also as an author, speaker and an acknowledged expert in client service, innovation and marketing.
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