When a couple in Ireland cannot agree the terms by which they will live separately, an application to the courts for a Decree of Judicial Separation can be made by either party. A Judicial Separation deals with the same issues that are dealt with in a separation agreement, including:
A Judicial Separation can also extinguish succession rights. This means that each party will lose their statutory entitlements to an interest in their former spouses estate.
In addition, it allows for orders relating to pensions to be ruled by the court as the pension trustees are bound by the terms of the Judicial Separation.
An application for a Judicial Separation is made either in the Circuit Court or the High Court. As in all family law matters, cases are heard in private and the public is not admitted to the courtroom, although the details can be reported on anonymously by the Family Law Court Reporter.
There are a number of grounds that can be used when applying for a Judicial Separation, however, the ground most regularly relied upon is that a normal marital relationship has not existed between the spouses for at least one year before the application for the decree.
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