27 May 2015

Same Sex Marriage Referendum

In light of the Referendum on same sex marriage which passed on Saturday 23rd May 2015 in Ireland, legislation is due to be enacted this summer which will pave the way for the first same sex marriages in the state by Christmas this year.

Civil Partnership and Obligations of Co- Habitees Act 2010

The Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Co- Habitees Act 2010 was introduced in 2011 and granted rights to Civil Partners and Co-Habitees which can be registered.

We can assist you in drafting your Co-Habitee Agreement. You are best advised to receive independent legal advice before entering into such an Agreement. These provide for financial matters during the relationship or when it ends.

The courts are able to dissolve civil partnerships. The criteria for the dissolution of civil partnerships are different to that of divorce.

Before a court can grant a dissolution of a Civil Partnership, the following conditions must be met:

  • The parties must have been living apart from one another for a period amounting to 2 out of the previous 3 years before the application is made.
  • Proper arrangements must have been made/will be made for the civil partners.

Once these conditions are met, either party may apply to court for a decree of dissolution.

When applying for a dissolution we submit two documents to the Circuit Court Office which we can prepare on your behalf:

  • The Family Law Civil Bill which sets out your circumstances -your occupations, place of residence, date of registration of civil partnership, how long you have been living apart, details of children etc.
  • Affidavit of Means –this sets out your assets, debts, pensions, monthly spending.

Once these documents have been filed, we will be given a date for the court hearing. The hearing will be held in camera ( in private ).

If the court is satisfied that you have grounds for a dissolution, it will grant a decree of dissolution.

Orders such as protection orders, maintenance orders and pension adjustment orders may be made by the court.

If you require advice in relation to this change in the Constitution and the effect on Civil Partnership going forward please contact our family law expert Ms. Caoimhe Connolly.