Family Law is the area of law concerning the breakdown of marriages or matters concerning children.
It is a complex area of law and we understand that family law proceedings can be both stressful and on occasion emotional for clients. We provide our clients with a diligent and professional service with the objective of obtaining the best results.
Separation & Divorce
A Separation agreement is based on negotiation or mediation between the parties and when terms are agreed they are placed in a legally binding contract. The parties do not have to be separated for any specific length of time before entering into a Separation Agreement.
Divorce Proceedings are similar in many respects to Judicial Separation Proceedings save that:
-You must be separated for 4 out of the last 5 years before you can apply.
-A Decree of Divorce gives one the right to remarry.
-There is an element of finality.
When considering all matters relating to the breakdown of a marriage it is important to consider whether the law of nullity is applicable. This in effect provides that the parties were not properly married in the first instance.
Maintenance, Guardianship, Custody and Access
Maintenance is in effect a periodic payment by one party to another for the support of a dependent child and on marriage a dependent spouse.
The Guardianship of Infants Act, 1964 allows any person who is a guardian of a child to apply to Court for its direction on any question affecting the welfare of the child. The Court can give directions on matters such as custody access and maintenance.
Custody is the right of a parent to exercise physical care and control in respect of the upbringing of a child on a daily basis. The married parents of a child born within marriage are automatically the joint custodians of their child. An unmarried mother is automatically the child’s sole custodian.
Access is a right of the child to both know and have the benefit of the company of their parent. In every application, it is the best interests of the child which is of paramount importance. If there is a conflict between the best interest of the parent and the child then the rights of the child will take precedence.
Pension Adjustment Orders
Even in the current climate often one of the greatest assets an individual has is their pension.
Pensions, therefore, have to be given careful consideration and in particular whether a Pension Adjustment Order is required. The benefits payable under a pension scheme are determined by the terms of the pension scheme and cannot be shared or interfered with by agreement between the member and the trustees of the pension scheme.
Child Law concerns many of the above matters such as guardianship, custody and access.
It also encompasses Care Orders, providing for children in care, foster care and adoption.