For couples who have reached a breaking point where their marriage cannot be repaired, one or both parties may certainly ask themselves “How long does divorce in Ireland take?”.
However, there is no simple answer to this question, possibly due to the major changes that have occurred in the legislation surrounding divorce in recent years. Furthermore, divorce rates are still relatively low in Ireland, compared to our European counterparts.
Divorce is a significant life event that many couples in Ireland may find themselves considering at some point. Understanding the divorce process and its timeline is crucial for couples contemplating this step, and how long the process takes to conclude will depend on several different factors.
In this article, we aim to guide you through the ins and outs of divorce proceedings and go through the factors that may impact the timeframe.
The basics of divorce in Ireland
Before delving into the time frame, it’s essential to grasp the fundamentals of divorce in Ireland. Recognising the legal prerequisites is the first step towards making informed decisions.
Simply put, divorce in Ireland is granted only when there is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, which must be proven by satisfying certain legal grounds. However, a legal separation is usually the first move when a marriage falls apart. During this stage, couples can agree on the majority of issues such as child custody, living arrangements and finances.
One of the most critical factors regarding divorce is that it can either be contested or on consent. Essentially, this comes down to whether both parties agree to the divorce or whether one party is objecting to the process. Either way, one spouse will have to initiate the divorce proceedings by applying to the Court, serving a Family Law Civil Bill and the accompanying Affidavits.
Enlisting the services of a solicitor experienced in the field of family law early on in divorce proceedings is essential, both from a timewise and financial cost point of view.
Legal grounds for divorce
While the grounds for a legal separation can vary from adultery to desertion, when it comes to the legal grounds for divorce, it’s pretty simple. To divorce, the couple must be separated for at least two out of the previous three years, as per the amendment to the Family Law Act 2019. So these grounds emphasise the importance of time and making the right decisions in the divorce process.
For those seeking a divorce in Ireland, meeting the residency requirements is crucial. Either spouse must have lived in Ireland for at least one year before applying for a divorce. Understanding this requirement ensures that couples are eligible to initiate divorce proceedings.
Understanding the time frame – how long does divorce in Ireland take?
Now, let’s delve into the heart of the matter: the timeline for divorce in Ireland. While each case is unique, a general estimation can be provided. On average, divorce in Ireland typically takes around 12 to 24 months from the date of application.
However, several factors can influence this timeline and it all depends on the number of issues to be worked out, such as custody of children, division of assets, and financial and living arrangements. Essentially, the more arrangements both parties can agree on before starting divorce proceedings, the quicker the process can be completed.
Furthermore, if one spouse is contesting the divorce, this will certainly delay the process as they may not want to agree to any of the terms being put forward by the other party.
The initial application process
The divorce process begins with the filing of an initial application. This involves submitting relevant documents and information to the court. The time needed for this stage varies as it depends on how organised both parties are with getting all the necessary documentation ready. Typically, you should allow between 3-6 months to get the process started, and then it lies in the hands of the relevant court office to issue the court documentation.
Judicial separation and divorce
Before divorce proceedings can commence, a period of judicial separation is often required. This period provides couples with an opportunity to assess their decision and seek reconciliation. While it extends the overall timeline, it underscores the gravity of the decision.
Court proceedings and final decree
The court proceedings themselves can span several months. These proceedings include addressing issues such as child custody, asset distribution, and financial arrangements. Once the court is satisfied with the arrangements, a final decree is issued, officially ending the marriage. The longer time spent in court, the more costly the process can be. This is why it’s imperative to have an experienced family law solicitor on hand to assist in getting as much of the arrangements ironed out before reaching the court.
Other factors that can affect the divorce timeline
It’s essential to note that disputes over child custody, division of assets, and financial matters can significantly extend the divorce timeline. Open communication and cooperation between both parties can help expedite the process.
Summit Law is your expert provider of divorce services in Ireland
Navigating the complexities of divorce requires expert guidance. Particularly with the recent updates in the law surrounding divorce, it’s important to engage with an experienced family law solicitor who is up to speed with all the latest developments. And the earlier you enlist a solicitor, the less costly it will be, both for your pocket and your time.
At Summit Law, we understand that time is precious, especially when it comes to moving forward with the next chapter of your life. The divorce process can take some time, but we are here to support you every step of the way. We have a team of solicitors specialising in the field of Family Law, ensuring that you receive the highest level of expertise and guidance during this challenging time.
We understand that divorce is a sensitive matter, and our compassionate approach aims to ease both the emotional and financial burden of this journey. With a deep understanding of Irish divorce law, we are dedicated to helping you achieve a resolution that aligns with your best interests.
If you’re considering divorce and need assistance understanding the process or taking the first steps, reach out to us today, and if you’d like to know more about the legal services we provide, take a look at our blog and resources.