Parental Alienation

In parental alienation cases we are coming up against two arguments. One side says that the children are being deliberately alienated by the other spouse and the other spouse is saying that the children became particularly attached to them following the separation and they are not deliberately trying to alienate the children from the other […]


Unmarried Couples – Property Rights

What happens when an unmarried couple, who have been living together; perhaps for many years, separate? What property rights does each individual have? Let’s take an example of a couple who have just split up and who have three children under the age of ten years old and the house in which they were living […]


Deed of Separation or Judicial Separation?

DEED OF SEPARATION A deed of separation is a legally binding contract setting out the terms on which a married couple or civil partners agree that they will live separately. The deed usually contains an express agreement to live apart and deals with other issues such as agreed arrangements on custody and access to children, […]


Obtaining An Annulment

Civil annulment / Nullity of marriage is a legal declaration by the court which states a marriage never actually existed in the eyes of the law. It is not the same as a divorce as no legal rights are attributed to either spouse following the annulment. CAN I APPLY FOR AN ANNULMENT? There are two […]


Resolving Access and Custody Problems – The Role of Prison

The Children & Family Relationships Act of 2015 has been passed and its provision will come into effect very shortly. Under this Act, a spouse or civil partner or a co-habitant of not less than three years duration can apply for custody where they have shared parenting of a child for at least two years. […]


Feeling Trapped in a Legal System Riddled with Flaws?

As a strong advocate of fathers rights, I am becoming more and more frustrated by the level of inefficiency in our legal system. I had a client earlier in the week who wanted me to make an application for access to his 3 week old baby (Baby D) – it is his first child and […]


My Blood is Boiling Again

The Child & Family Agency was established at the beginning of 2014 and according to its website, it is the “dedicated State agency responsible for improving wellbeing and outcomes for children”. The website goes on to say that it represents the most comprehensive reform of child protection, early intervention and family support services ever undertaken […]


“Until Debt Do Us Part” – Divorcing in Ireland

I remember reading an article in a magazine some years ago that talked about some of the reasons couples decided to separate and ultimately get divorced in Ireland. One of the main causes for a relationship breakdown as set out in that article was debt. It suggested that debt was the main factor in what […]


Criminalising abuses of the family law legal process

A well-known child psychologist recently said to me that he believed that the psychological abuse of children should be a criminal offence. He said this to me in relation to a case where he believed a mother was in the middle of a campaign whereby she was successfully totally alienating her daughter from the daughter’s […]


Limping Marriages – EU Divorces

One could be forgiven for thinking that a “limping marriage” is a term used to describe a marriage in serious difficulties or a symptom of an injured marriage! However the term “limping marriage” developed as a result of marriages being recognised in one EU country and not in another. Prior to 2005, different approaches taken […]


Best interest of the child should always prevail

At long last a sensible and realistic argument has been made in relation to children who have been involved in family law proceedings. The Chief Executive of Tusla, Gordon Jeyes was reported on Monday to have stated that the level of scrutiny brought to childcare cases in Dublin is “suffocating” and the accountability of social […]