When applying for a divorce in Ireland, four documents must be presented to the Circuit Court.
- An application form (known as a Family Law Civil Bill). This document describes spouses, their occupations and where they live. It also sets out when they were married, for how long they had been living apart and the names and birth dates of their children.
- A sworn statement of means (Form 37A). This document sets out the assets, income, debts, liabilities and outgoings.
- A sworn statement relating to the welfare of the children (Form 37B). This document sets out the personal details of the children of the marriage. It describes where they live and with whom. It also describes their education and training, their health, childcare arrangements and maintenance and access arrangements.
- A document certifying that the applicant has been advised of the alternatives to divorce (Form 37D). This document is sworn by a solicitor and it certifies that the applicant has discussed the options of reconciliation, mediation and separation.
When all of the necessary documents have been filed, the applicant will be given a date for the court hearing. The hearing will be held in private and the applicant will need to show the court that they meet the requirements of the Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996. If the Court is satisfied that there are grounds for a divorce, it will grant a decree of divorce.
Grounds for divorce:
Section 5(1) of the Family Law Divorce Act 1996 sets out the grounds upon which a court will grant a decree of divorce
- At the date of the institution of proceedings, the spouses have lived apart from one another for at least four years during the past five years
- There is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation between the spouses
- Such provision as the court considers proper having regard to the circumstances that exist or will be made for the spouses and any dependant members of the family.