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Divorce & Judicial Separation – What Do I Need to Do?

Where you cannot reach agreement to finalise your separation by way of a Deed of Separation (Separation Agreement), and court proceedings are instead required, you and your spouse will have to have been living apart for 12 months in order to start court proceedings.

Where you have been separated for more than 2 years, you may prefer to issue Divorce proceedings.  Both types of court proceedings deal with much the same issues, the main difference being that a Court Order for Divorce permits you to re-marry.

In either types of proceedings, your solicitor will need to gather a significant amount of information and documentation in order to start preparing for your case.  You can start to prepare for the process by gather the following items, which your Solicitor will need from you:-

  1. Original State/Civil Marriage Certificate
  2. Any previous court orders (including any issued by the District Court).
  3. Any previous written agreements (e.g. Mediated Agreements, Deeds of Separation)
  4. Details of your children, to include their names, ages, educational status, health status
  5. Details of any existing Access and Maintenance arrangements
  6. A financial profile of both husband and wife, to include:-
  7. Employment status and income (with statements of earnings and payslips)
  8. Mortgage, debts and other liabilities (bank loans, overdrafts, etc.)
  9. Properties owned, either in sole or joint names
  10. List of other assets, e.g. vehicles, bank accounts, shares, etc.
  11. Details of Pensions, Insurances and Life Policies
  12. Summary of Expenses for Household utilities and bills

Your solicitor will also take a detailed history of your relationship history and its breakdown, and will provide you with initial advices as to the significant issues to be considered, options and likely outcomes.  You will be asked to complete a financial statement known as an ‘Affidavit of Means’.

Your solicitor will discuss with you the prospect of engaging with the solicitors representing your estranged spouse, the likely costs of taking your case, and about engaging a barrister who will draft the court proceedings. 

Your solicitor will also advise you of the benefits of considering and engaging in Mediation as an alternative dispute resolution method, and of being open to negotiations with the other side in the case, to try and settle your case at an early stage, whenever possible.

Every person’s situation is different, and unique to them only, which is why individual and specially-tailored advice is recommended in every case.  A winning effort begins with preparation, and by preparing as early as possible, you can help advance your case to the best of your ability.

If you would like more information on family law, separation or divorce, you can call us on 065 6840060 or email to make an appointment.

This article does not constitute legal advice and where an opinion is expressed, it is the personal opinion of the author only and not of the firm or the paper.