Automatic Child Guardianship Rights for Unmarried Fathers

New Guardianship Rights Unmarried Fathers

Child Guardianship Law Has Changed in 2017

An important change to the law on child guardianship has come into effect from the 18th of January 2017 with unmarried fathers now having rights. This change in the law on child guardianship has introduced new automatic child guardianship rights for unmarried fathers for the first time in Ireland. The new law on child guardianship provides for an unmarried cohabiting father to be a guardian of his child as of right. On the 18th of January 2016 parts of the Children and Family Relationships Act, 2015 were signed into law and one year later on the 18th of January 2017 new automatic child guardianship rights for unmarried fathers came into effect.

The law has changed from the 18th from January 2017 so that an unmarried father will automatically be a child’s guardian if he has lived with the child’s mother for 12 consecutive months after 18 January 2016, including at least 3 months with the mother and child following the child’s birth. If there is disagreement as to whether the parents have been cohabiting for the required length of time, an application to court may be made to confirm joint child guardianship. You can find the court form required to apply to the court for a declaration of child guardianship under this new law here.

Ken Heffernan, Family Law Divorce Solicitor and Mediator, is experienced in dealing with these issues and can apply the appropriate legal parameters to your particular case to advise you appropriately for your circumstances whether you are in Cork or elsewhere in Ireland. We regularly advise on appropriate options including court litigation, negotiation, collaborative law and mediation. We understand each client’s circumstances are different and can arrange an appointment for you at a time and place convenient for yourself including evenings and weekends where appropriate.
Contact Ken, on 021 2409025 or to discuss your family law issues in confidence and without obligation.

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