Custody is having the responsibility for the day-to-day care of a child.
In determining questions regarding Custody, Guardianship or upbringing of an infant, the Court regards the “welfare of the infant as the first and paramount consideration”.
The mother of a child born outside marriage has automatic sole custody of her child. Where both parents agree, it is possible for them to share custody (joint custody) of the child on an informal basis. If parents are having difficulty agreeing joint custody they can attend mediation or collaborative law.
Where the parents cannot agree on joint custody, the father can apply to the local district court for joint or sole custody. The other parent and any other guardian will be informed of the application and any decision made by the court will be made in the best interests of the child. The court will consider the views of the child where possible given his/her age and understanding.
It is possible for a child’s father to apply for sole custody of his child.
For relatives and certain other persons, the court may make an order for custody on application by:
a person who is a relative of a child, or
a person with whom the child resides if that person is or was married to, or in a civil partnership with, or has cohabited with the parent of the child for a period of at least 3 years and has shared the day-to-day care of the child for at least 2 years, or
a person with whom the child resides and who has had the day-to-day care of the child for a continuous period of not less than 12 months and the child has no parent or guardian who is willing or able to exercise the rights and responsibilities of guardianship in respect of the child.
Before making an order for custody the court will require the consent of all guardians. However, the court may dispense with the need for consent if it is satisfied that it is in the best interests of the child to do so. Any decision made by the court will be made in the best interests of the child and the court will consider the views of the child where possible given his/her age and understanding.
The court can also make an order for joint custody and specify where the child is to live. Where the child is not living with one of his/her parents, for any period, the court can specify what access arrangements, if any, are to be put in place.
If you are looking for advice on a family law matter, please contact:
Thinking of getting a divorce? Here are some tips you need to know. For more information or to arrange a consultation, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 091 567545.
Obtaining a divorce in Ireland through the courts, allows both parties to a marriage to remarry or enter into a civil partnership. Once the court is satisfied that the required conditions are met, the court will grant the decree of divorce dissolving the marriage. When it grants the decree of divorce, the court may also make orders in relation to custody of children and access to them , the payment of maintenance and lump sums, the transfer of property, the extinguishment of succession rights, pension rights, etc.
The main difference between a divorce in Ireland and the other options below is that there is a legal requirement that in order to obtain a divorce, both parties have been living apart from each other for a period of 4 years out of the preceding 5 years.
In any application for a decree of divorce, the court can review any previous arrangements made by the parties such as a separation agreement or judicial separation particularly if the circumstances of either party has changed.
When a decree of divorce is granted, it cannot be reversed. Either party can apply to court to have any other orders made under the decree – such as maintenance – reviewed by the court.
Before a court can grant a divorce in Ireland, the following conditions must be met:
The parties must have been living apart from one another for a period amounting to four out of the previous five years before the application is made. There must be no reasonable prospect of reconciliation. Proper arrangements must have been made for the parties and any dependent members of the family. ... See MoreSee Less