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What To Expect During The Conveyancing Process

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments we make in life however it can certainly be both exciting and stressful at various stages of the process. Conveyancing is a term that many people only hear of once they are at the stage of purchasing their first property and there are several different steps involved in the conveyancing process.

In this article, we take you through those steps and what to expect during the conveyancing process.


Firstly, what is conveyancing?


In simple terms, conveyancing is the legal process by which the ownership of property is transferred from one person (the vendor) to another (the buyer). This transaction requires the correct legal admin work to ensure that the house purchase is legally valid and all of this work falls under the umbrella of conveyancing. So whether you’re buying or selling a property, it’s essential to employ the services of an experienced conveyancing solicitor to handle this legal transaction as any mistakes can be detrimental to both your living and financial situation.

The conveyancing process begins once the vendor has accepted an offer and it is completed when the buyer is handed the keys of the property.



What are the steps in the conveyancing process?



Step 1: Initial instruction


Once the offer has been accepted by the vendor, this becomes the starting point of the conveyancing process and it’s crucial to enlist the services of a conveyancing solicitor as soon as possible. The buyer will need to pay a non-refundable booking deposit to the selling agent, who will then instruct the vendor’s solicitor to send the contracts to the solicitor of the buyer. Your solicitor’s first task will be to look over the contracts and ensure that the title and planning documents are all in order.


Step 2: Property searches and due diligence


The next step is to ensure no structural or planning issues with the property. This can be done by arranging for a qualified engineer to conduct a full structural and planning survey. Local authority searches, environmental searches and water/drainage surveys are also vital in uncovering any planning restrictions, or potential risks associated with the property. Once contracts are signed, the buyer has to take the property as it is, so there’s no going back.


Step 3: Preparing and Reviewing Contracts


Once the necessary searches and checks are completed, your solicitor will draft or review the contract for the property transaction. This contract outlines the terms and conditions of the sale, including the agreed price, deposit and completion date. Another task for a conveyancing solicitor is to ensure that all legal requirements are met and address any additional clauses or conditions required by the buyer or the seller.


What To Expect During The Conveyancing Process - Summit Law (2)


Step 4: Exchange of contracts


The exchange of contracts is a significant milestone in the conveyancing process. At this stage, both parties become legally bound to complete the transaction. Before the exchange, the conveyancing solicitors on both sides will review the contract, negotiate any amendments if necessary, and advise you on the legal implications of signing the contract. Once both parties have signed the contract, it is exchanged, and a completion date is set.


Step 5: Registration and Post-Completion Tasks


On the completion day, the final step of the conveyancing process occurs. Your conveyancing solicitor will coordinate the transfer of funds and legal ownership of the property. After completion, they will arrange for the payment of Stamp Duty (if applicable) and register your ownership with the Land Registry. The last task is to handle the payment of any outstanding fees, such as estate agent fees or mortgage repayments.


Common questions and concerns during the conveyancing process


How long does the conveyancing process take?


There is no set time for the completion of a conveyancing case, as there are a lot of different factors that can slow down the process. According to the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers, the average time for conveyancing a property is 16 weeks.


What are the typical costs involved?


There are several different costs involved when it comes to conveyancing and it varies depending on whether you are either buying or selling a property. If you’re selling a property, you will have to pay a fee to the estate agent handling the sale and this is often a percentage of the sale price of the property. If you’re buying a property, you will be required to pay the applicable Stamp Duty on the sale. This amount will depend on the cost and type of property but for the majority of houses, it will be 1% of the purchase price.

Finally, whether you’re the vendor or the purchaser, there will be a fee to pay to your conveyancing solicitor. The cost will depend largely on the complexity of the sale and the value of the property.


Summit Law is here for your conveyancing needs


At Summit Law, we understand that the conveyancing process can be an exciting yet overwhelming time, especially for first-time buyers or sellers. Our team of experienced conveyancing solicitors are dedicated to making the process as efficient and stress-free as possible. We believe in providing our clients with clear communication and prompt updates at every stage of the process.

Contact us today to discuss your conveyancing needs and see how we can support you at this exciting time of your life. If you’d like to know more about the wide range of legal services we offer, take a moment to browse our blog and resources.

What Is The Difference Between Separation and Divorce?

The breakdown of a relationship can often be an emotionally difficult and unsettling time for both partners. For a couple who have come to terms with the fact that their relationship has ended, figuring out the next step may be quite challenging. Understanding the difference between separation and divorce is essential when it comes to making the next decision. Particularly when there are children involved, both parties need to be aware of how both these options will impact their lives moving forward.

With emotions running high and dealing with the fallout of the breakdown of your relationship, having clarity and understanding will be crucial in helping you make your decision.

In this article, we explain the difference between separation and divorce, and the implications of both.


Understanding Separation


In a nutshell, separation is the process of living apart, while still being legally married. It is often the first step taken by couples who have decided to end their relationship but are not in a position to get divorced.

The first step for couples who wish to separate is to enter a separation agreement. At this stage, it’s an opportunity for both parties to work out the living and financial arrangements going forward, including who will live in the family home.

If there are children involved in the relationship, it’s essential to minimise the disruption and upset for them. Working out a plan for where dependent children will live and access arrangements should be a top priority. Both parties need to come to an agreement regarding maintenance payments and establish whether either person should pay the other.

The separation agreement may also cover what will happen to any property or business that they may own together.

It is certainly advisable for each party to have their solicitor negotiate on their behalf so that their best interests are looked after. If the majority of issues can be agreed upon at this stage, the easier it will be down the line when it comes to applying for a divorce.


Where does judicial separation fit in between separation and divorce?


At a time of tension, disruption and high emotions, it can be difficult for couples to remain amicable when trying to come to agree on terms for living separately.

In this instance, either party can apply for a decree of judicial separation and this process formalises the separation agreement. There are a variety of grounds for judicial separation and we covered these in a recent article which you can read in a previous article we published.


What Is The Difference Between Separation and Divorce? - Summit Law (2)


Understanding Divorce


To put it into simple terms, divorce is the legal termination of a marriage. It is a permanent solution to a broken relationship that cannot be mended. The main difference between being separated and divorced is that both parties can remarry once the divorce is finalised.

Another aspect to consider is that once a decree of divorce has been issued by the Court, it also terminates certain rights, such as succession rights.

To apply for a decree of divorce, the couple must have lived apart from one another for at least two out of the previous three years before entering an application. This timeframe was reduced as a result of the Marriage Referendum, and since then, Ireland has seen a steady increase in divorce applications.


One final difference between separation and divorce


While a separation agreement will not require you to appear in court, you will have to present yourself in court for a divorce hearing. This is why it’s so important to have an experienced family law solicitor on your side through this process.

Your solicitor can assist you in negotiating the majority of if not all, the terms of the divorce before you enter the courtroom. The less time spent in court, the less of a financial burden the process will be for you and your spouse. If you have issued divorce proceedings and your spouse decides to contest it, this will make the process longer, more complicated and more costly.


Summit Law – your provider of separation and divorce services


At Summit Law, we understand that separation and divorce can be a stressful and emotionally draining time, filled with worry for the future. Our experienced team of Family Law solicitors can help take some of that worry away by providing expert guidance and support throughout the legal process, whether it be a separation or divorce.

We offer a range of services to ensure that you receive the best legal advice and support for your individual needs so that you can move forward to the next chapter of your life.

Whatever stage you are at in the breakdown of your marriage, contact us today for a consultation. As an expert provider of family services in Ireland, we can provide some clarity, support and guidance in your hour of need.

You can also browse our blog and resources for more information on the wide range of legal services covered here at Summit Law.

What Are The Grounds For Divorce In Ireland?

When a marriage has broken down without any hope of reconciliation, it can be a difficult and emotional decision to end it for good. For couples considering divorce, it is important to understand the legal grounds for divorce in Ireland.

The Family Law Act of 2019 brought about some changes to the legislation surrounding the breakdown of a marriage. In the wake of this new legislation, the number of divorce applications in the State has continued to rise, with the requirement for spouses to live apart from each other being reduced to a minimum of two out of the preceding three years before applying for a divorce.

Particularly when children and property are involved, there can be a lot of financial and living arrangements to navigate through following the breakdown of a relationship. Working out these situations can be a lengthy and complicated process which is why many couples opt for a judicial separation before applying for a divorce.

In this article, we examine the judicial separation stage, how it ties in with the process of divorce and the grounds for divorce in Ireland.


First of all, what is a Judicial Separation?


Essentially, a judicial separation is a court order that allows a couple to live apart and divide their assets without ending the marriage. It can also be an option for couples who are still unsure about whether divorce is right for them. To apply for a Judicial Separation, one of the grounds listed below needs to be met.


What are the grounds for Judicial Separation?


  • You or your spouse have committed adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour: this is behaviour that makes it intolerable for one spouse to continue living with the other. It can include physical or emotional abuse, financial irresponsibility, or alcohol or drug abuse.
  • Desertion: When one spouse has left the other without their agreement for a continuous period of one year, it is considered desertion. However, this ground is rarely used in Ireland.
  • Living apart: The couple must demonstrate to the court that they have lived apart for at least one year at the time of application. It’s important to note that living separately does not necessarily mean living in separate homes, but leading separate lives.
  • A normal marital relationship has not existed between the spouses for at least one year: This is considered to be the most common ground, as neither party has to be shown as being at fault.

While a judicial separation allows both parties to lead separate lives, it’s not a permanent solution. Neither party can remarry until a divorce has been granted; however, having a judicial separation can make the process of divorce significantly more straightforward.


What Are The Grounds For Divorce In Ireland? - Summit Law (2)


So, what are the grounds for divorce in Ireland?


While many clients may want to state adultery or unreasonable behaviour as grounds for divorce, the Divorce Act 1996 created a “no-fault” divorce system in Ireland. So essentially a divorce will be granted once the following three criteria have been met:


1. You and your spouse must be living separately for at least two out of the three years before the start of proceedings. As with Judicial Separation, this does not necessarily mean living in separate homes, but leading independent lives, from cooking and eating, to sleeping and socialising separately. If there is any dispute regarding this, both parties would have to provide adequate evidence to the court for consideration.

2. Both parties need to accept that there is no reasonable prospect of a reconciliation.

3. The Court must be satisfied that suitable arrangements have been or will be made for both parties and more importantly, for any dependents or children.


Since 2021, there has been a 13.5% drop in the number of Judicial separation applications, while the number of divorce applications has continued to rise. It’s clear the new legislation and reduced time frame are having an impact on couples’ decision to choose divorce over a judicial separation.


Unsure of whether you have grounds for divorce in Ireland?


If you are considering a judicial separation or divorce, it’s important to seek legal advice from a reputable and experienced family law firm. Summit Law can help you make sense of the legal complexities involved in divorce proceedings and guide you through the process with compassion, understanding and professionalism.

We understand the emotional toll that divorce can take on individuals and families and are committed to providing support and guidance throughout the process. With our expertise in Family Law, we can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your situation, straightforwardly and affordably.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about our family law services, and don’t forget to also take a look at our blog and resources for more information on a wide range of law matters.

What Is The Process For Couple Separation In Ireland?

When a married couple has reached a point of having irreconcilable differences, it can be an anxious and emotional time. Deciding to separate is a difficult one for both parties, particularly when there are children involved. Historically, there was a societal stigma attached to separation in Ireland. However, in recent times, Ireland has become more accepting of separation and divorce, propelled by the Marriage Referendum which resulted in a reduction in the length of time required for couples to live separately before applying for a divorce.

Separation in Ireland is still a lengthy process, which can take its toll on couples who wish to move forward with their lives. Once a couple has reached the difficult decision to end their marriage, the first step is to formally separate.

In this article, we provide you with an overview of the steps involved in couple separation in Ireland, and how a family law solicitor can help you navigate this process.


What Is The Process For Couple Separation In Ireland? - eBook - SM - Summit Law


Initiating a separation in Ireland


When you and your spouse have decided to separate, the first step is to consult with a family law solicitor. At a time of high emotion and stress levels, having the support and guidance of your solicitor will be hugely beneficial and will help you avoid making any irrational decisions that you could regret at a later point.


Agree on arrangements for dependent children


Children can often be caught in the crossfire between their parents in the breakdown of the marriage. To minimise the disruption to the family unit, the most urgent step is to figure out the living arrangements for the child or children so that both parents can have access to them. According to the Courts Service Annual report for 2021, there was a 15% increase in new applications in guardianship, access, and custody cases relating to children – up to 10,016 new cases in 2022.


What Is The Process For Couple Separation In Ireland? - Summit Law (2)




If a couple cannot reach an agreement, mediation is the next step. Mediation is a process where an impartial third party helps the couple to settle. Essentially, the mediator will facilitate the negotiation process but will not make any of the decisions. If a couple can come to an amicable resolution through mediation, it will certainly be more cost-effective and speed up the separation process.


Enter into a Separation Agreement


Once a couple has decided to formalise their separation, the most viable step is to enter into a Separation Agreement. At this stage, both spouses will need to instruct their solicitors to represent their best interests. Ideally, this agreement should be fair and equitable to both parties and it should cover all aspects of the separation. This can range from financial and property division to child custody and maintenance payments, which can be a lot to figure out, not to mention the emotional toll of negotiating all of this. This is where choosing the right family law solicitor can prove to be extremely valuable.


Apply for a Judicial Separation in Ireland


When a couple cannot agree on the terms of their living arrangements following the breakdown of the marriage, a judicial separation is a subsequent option. Either party can apply to the courts for a ‘decree of judicial separation’ and this decree essentially confirms that the couple no longer is obliged to live together as a married couple. The couple will have to select the grounds for the application and some of the options include adultery, desertion or unreasonable behaviour. The most common ground in Ireland on which the decree is granted is when the court acknowledges that the couple has not conducted a normal marital relationship for at least a year before the date of application.

A judicial separation will also cover all issues relating to the end of the relationship, from child access and maintenance to the division of financial assets including property and pensions.


The final step is divorce


While a judicial separation signals the end of a marriage, neither party can remarry unless they take the next step and apply for a divorce. The Family Law Act of 2019 determines that couples who wish to divorce must live apart from each for a minimum of two out of the preceding three years before applying for a divorce. In a divorce, the application is essentially requesting the court to make orders about all the key issues pertaining to the termination of the marriage.


Choosing the right family solicitor is key in a separation in Ireland


If you are considering a separation in Ireland, Summit Law is here to help. Our experienced and empathetic Family Law solicitors can provide discreet and professional guidance to help you on this journey.

We understand the financial burden of a marriage breakdown can be a huge source of worry so we aim to make the process more straightforward and affordable for you, so contact us today to schedule a consultation and get the legal advice you need to protect your rights and interests.

Also, be sure to check out our blog and resources for more information on Family Law issues in Ireland.


What Is The Process For Couple Separation In Ireland? - eBook - SM - Summit Law

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