Judicial separation in Ireland
Judicial Separation is a decree wherein a married couple is no longer compelled to live together but does not entitle them to remarry or go in into a civil partnership. Any of the spouses can apply for this at the Circuit or High Court and for this to be granted, the court must be satisfied that the couple has basis for the application, they are informed about counseling and mediation, and appropriate provision has been executed for the benefit of the dependents, such as the children. Once these conditions are met, the court will then bestow a decree of judicial separation. The court will also give orders relating to child custody, access, maintenance, property, tax, and other related matters. The hearings for this are done privately.
If you have a court order for a separation agreement, you cannot avail of the judicial separation. The latter can only be applied if one of you has committed adultery or has acted in a way that will no longer let the other party want to live with the other. It can also be applied to those who have separated for at least a year prior to the application and if the usual marital relationship has not existed between the both of you a year before the application.
Judicial Separation Documentation
One document required in filing for judicial separation is an application form that tells about you and your spouse, your work, your residence, date of marriage, duration of separation, and the names and birthdates of your children. You will also submit a sworn statement of means which enumerates your assets, salaries, debts, liabilities and outgoings. Another sworn statement is required stating the welfare of your children, their address, guardian, schooling, health, childcare arrangements, maintenance and access. Lastly, you need to provide a certification sworn by a Solicitor declaring you know of the other alternatives to judicial separation.
A schedule for a court hearing is up next after the submission of all requirements. The hearing will be private and the court needs you to prove that you met all the requirements required in the Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act 1989. Remember that you are not obliged to have a Solicitor or barrister to represent you. You can represent yourself if you choose to. However, a Solicitor is recommended during these cases because they would be able to fight for your rights and you would be able to get your fair share of the deal. There are many serious issues that sprout in divorce cases such as concerns on properties, taxes, child custody and the like.
A separation between spouses can be emotionally challenging and draining and when the both of you face each other in the court, chances are you will have heated discussions and exchange of angry words. Issues about child custody and maintenance can get ugly. Therefore a Solicitor is really advisable to be there for you so that everything will be resolved legally without the squabbles. It would be better if both of you have your own Solicitors to represent you.