Judicial Separation

Ken Heffernan, Family Law and Divorce Solicitor, is experienced in dealing with these issues and can apply the legal requirements set out below to your particular case to advise you appropriately for your circumstances whether you are in Cork or elsewhere in Ireland.

If both spouses cannot reach an agreement for separation, or if only one spouse wants to separate, an application can be made to the court for an order for judicial separation.

A court can grant an order for judicial separation on one or more of the following grounds:

  • adultery.
  • unreasonable behaviour,
  • desertion for a continuous period of one year prior to the time of the application,
  • spouses are living apart for one continuous year prior to the time of the application to the court and both spouses consent to a decree being made,
  • spouses are living apart for three years, whether or not the other spouse consents,
  • no normal marital relationship has existed between the spouses for at least one year.

When making an order for judicial separation, the court may also make ancillary (additional) orders in relation to matters such as:

  • custody and access arrangements in relation to dependent children,
  • financial provision for the dependent spouse and children by means of maintenance to be paid and or lump sum payments,
  • exclusion of a spouse from the family home by giving the other spouse the right to reside in the family home, for life or for a fixed period,
  • barring of a spouse from the family home by prohibiting that spouse from entering it and from using or threatening violence against the other spouse or their children,
  • a Safety Order prohibiting a spouse from using or threatening violence against the other spouse or their children,
  • property arrangements in relation to the family home and other family property for the benefit of either spouse and or dependent children,
  • financial compensation orders, making provision for the future financial security of a spouse through insurance policies and requiring either spouse to take out a life insurance policy for the benefit of the applying spouse or dependent child and/or assign the benefit of an existing insurance policy to the applying spouse and/or pay the premiums on such a policy,
  • inheritance matters whereby the rights of either spouse to inherit from the other spouse may be extinguished. The court must be satisfied that adequate and reasonable provision has been made for a spouse before it will extinguish his or her rights,
  • pension arrangements adjusting the pension entitlement of either spouse.

It is important to remember that an order for Judicial Separation does not give a spouse the right to remarry.