Hanahoe & Hanahoe’s team of Family Law Solicitors have over 40 years’ experience advising Portlaoise based clients on Divorces, Judicial Separations and other Family Law matters. Twice winning Leinster Law Firm of the Year in 2017 & 2018, we are a full service law firm with offices in the heart of Porlaoise at Clonminam Business Park, Unit 5 Vision 85, Portlaoise, Co. Laois R32F5T6. Our Expert Family Solicitors advice clients from Portlaoise and across the country on family law matters. We also offer Client consultations over the phone and via Zoom and other such platforms.
Our Family Law Solicitors understand that the breakdown of a marriage is an incredibly stressful and difficult time for our clients. Our clients therefore need clear, unambiguous and pro-active advice from experienced Family Law lawyers. Our Family Law team have the depth of knowledge and expertise to immediately advise our clients, on their rights and obligations arising out of the breakdown of their marriage.
WHY CHOOSE HANAHOE AND HANAHOE SOLICITORS?
- We are an award-winning Law Firm having twice been named Leinster Law Firm of the Year at the Irish Law Awards.
2. You can be assured that your case will be dealt with by a specialised Family Law Solicitor.
3. You will always be kept up to date with proceedings.
4. You will receive clear, unambiguous advice, free of legal jargon.
5. We are competitively priced for the service we provide.
6. We do attend the Family Law Courts all accross the Country
DIVORCE SOLICITORS PORTLAOISE
A decree of divorce dissolves the marriage contract. It also gives each party the right to remarry and terminates each party’s succession (inheritance) rights. When granting a decree of divorce, the Court may also make orders in relation to custody of and access to the children, the payment of maintenance and lump sums, the financial division of assets, the transfer of property, pension rights and other matters. When a decree of divorce is granted, it cannot be reversed, except in exceptional circumstances. Given the significance of the orders that can be made in family law divorce proceedings, it is essential that you get advice from an experienced family law solicitor.
WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA IN IRELAND FOR OBTAINING A DIVORCE?
A divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage, which must be obtained by a Court Order. In order for a Court to grant a divorce, it must be satisfied that the following criteria has been met:
- That both spouses have been living separate and apart for a period of at least two out of the last three years. This requirement used to be four out of the last five years, but it was reduced under The Family Law Act, 2019. You can still be classed as living separate and apart while living under the same roof, if you can show to the Court that you are not living together as a couple in an intimate and committed relationship.
2. There is no prospect of reconciliation.
3. And that the appropriate financial provisions have been put in place by the Court for the spouses and any existing family members.
CONTESTED AND UNCONTESTED DIVORCES
The main issues in any Divorce are: Custody of and Access to the children, Maintenance, financial division of assets and property, as well as pensions. An uncontested divorce, is where all matters have been agreed by the parties and an Order for Divorce can be made by the family law courts on consent. Consent Divorces are relatively straight forward matters and can be dealt with a good family law solicitor in a couple of months.
Contested divorces are where some or all of these issues have not been agreed. Contested divorces are much more complicated and can take considerably longer to resolve. While one can never be sure what will happen once you walk into a Family Law Court, a good divorce solicitor will be able to advise you on the possible orders that will be made of custody, access, maintenance and the division of assets.
At Hanahoe and Hanahoe solicitors, our team of family lawyers give our clients considered and frank advice. We will go through in detail what is being sought and/or offered by the other side, what our clients should be offering or seeking, and what Orders the Family Law Court in likely to make. We understand that it is in all parties’ interest to agree matters where possible. If the matter cannot be agreed, we will fight tooth and nail to ensure, our Client and their family get the best outcome possible.
THE DIVORCE PROCESS
Regardless of whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, your divorce solicitor will have to issue a Family Law Civil Bill and serve it on your spouse.
The Family Law Bill will include an Affidavit of Means and an Affidavit of Welfare. An Affidavit of Means is a list of all your assets, income details, debts and liabilities, pension information, and regular expenditure. This is a very important document which should be explained to you by your family law solicitor. It is essential that that you are frank and forthright when swearing this Affidavit, and that it is an accurate depiction of your finances. Your Affidavit of Welfare contains information on any dependent children, living, access and maintenance arrangements.
If your spouse wishes to contest the divorce, he or she will need to attend their own divorce solicitor so they can file a Defence and Counterclaim.
If the matter is uncontested and you can negotiate a divorce agreement with your spouse, then you can apply to the Family Law Court for a date to have the divorce ruled. If you cannot negotiate an agreement the case will eventually proceed to a full hearing.
The vast majority of Divorces are dealt with by Portlaois Circuit Court. Occasionally, in complex matters where there are significant assets, you may issue the Family Law Divorce Proceedings in the High Court.
WHAT DOES THE COURT CONSIDER BEFORE GRANTING A DECREE OF DIVORCE?
1. The Access, Custody and Maintenance provision/requirements of any dependent children.
2. Issues in relation to the family home.
3. The present and future financial position of the spouses, including assets held by each party.
4. The present and future financial needs which each spouse has or is likely to have.
5. The standard of living which has been enjoyed by the family, prior to proceedings being issued.
6. The age of each spouse, duration of marriage and the length of time the couple lived together.
7. Any physical or mental disabilities of the spouses.
8. The accommodation needs of each spouse.
9. The degree to which the future earning capacity of a spouse is impaired for having given up the opportunity of paid employment to look after or care for the family.
10. The conduct of each spouse.
11. The contribution which each spouse has made or is likely to make to the welfare of the family including financial contributions.
12. The rights of any persons other than the spouses, inclusive of a person to whom the spouse has remarried.
13. The court must in its order also regard any deed or separation or separation agreement signed by the spouses.
SEPARATION SOLICITORS PORTLAOISE
At Hanahoe and Hanahoe Solicitors we have a wealth of experience in drafting and negotiating Separation Agreements on behalf of our clients and advising clients on their enforcement and their effect.
Separation Agreements enable married couples to become separated without the necessity of going through the Dublin Family Law Courts. They are legally binding contracts entered into between parties setting out each party’s rights and obligations to the other. Once both parties reach an agreement, a legally binding contract is drawn up, known as a Deed of Separation.
Separation Agreements generally provide that/for:
- Both parts will live separate and apart.
- The occupation and ownership of the family home.
- Arrangements with respect to the custody, access, maintenance and lump sum payments.
- Succession Rights.
- Separation Agreements cannot make Pension Adjustment Orders.
- Once an agreement is reached it can be made a Rule of Court by an application to the Court. Parties cannot obtain a Judicial Separation once they have entered into a formal Deed of Separation, however they are able to obtain a Divorce at a later date, once they meet the criteria.
The manner in which one can go about obtaining a legal separation can be distinguished into two broad categories:
If you and your spouse have mutually agreed upon the terms of your separation through discussion or by way of mediation, we can draw up a contractually binding agreement, known as the Separation Agreement or a Deed of Separation. It is important to note that agreements reached through mediation or mutual discussion are not legally binding, therefore having a solicitor incorporate the agreement into a legally binding contract is vital.
- Judicial Separation
If you have been unable to mutually agree on the terms of your separation, we at Hanahoe & Hanahoe are equipped to represent your best interest in proceedings. A Judicial Separation is where the Dublin Family Law Court makes an Order declaring that you and your spouse are no longer legally obliged to live together. The Court in this case can then decide upon the terms of your separation, these terms can include custody and access arrangements for any dependent children, Orders relating to the family home, maintenance and any other assets which are held by you.
Our Family Law solicitors know that these separation proceedings can be distressing and we can assure you that with over 40 years’ experience we have a robust and rounded knowledge of Judicial Separation.
The vast majority of Separtaion are dealt with by Portlaoise Circuit Court. Some Family Law Judicial Separation Proceedings are heard in the High Court, but these are generally complex matters, where the assets are of very significant value.
Despite them being unusual applications, Hanahoe and Hanahoe Solicitors have considerable experience in advising clients on Nullity applications. There are very strict criteria that need to be satisfied for an application for Nullity to be successful, and it is very often the case that a Divorce or Judicial Separation is the more appropriate remedy.
WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA FOR OBTAINING A NULLITY?
Essentially a Nullity is the declaration that the marriage never existed.
There are two types of marriages that can be annulled, ‘void marriages’ and ‘voidable marriages’.
- A ‘void marriage’ is where the marriage never took place, so technically it’s not necessary to get a Court Order annulling the marriage. That said, for the avoidance of doubt it is always advisable to obtain an Order of Nullity from the Family Law Courts. The main reason a marriage would be deemed void is that at the time of the ceremony one of the parties lacked either capacity or consent to enter into the marriage contract.
- A ‘voidable marriage’ requires a Court Order for it to be annulled and the marriage is valid until that Order is obtained. The most common reasons a marriage can be voidable are:
– At the time of the ceremony one of the parties is incapable of consummating the marriage.
– That one or both parties were incapable of entering into or sustaining a proper or normal marital relationship. This is generally due to some type of psychiatric or personality disorder.
For further information please do not hesitate to contact:
Portlaoise Office 01 5255637 or 045 897784
With offices at Clonminam Business Park, Unit 5 Vision 85, Portlaoise, Co. Laois R32F5T6 in the hear of Portlaoise town we can provide you with expert family law advice