Circuit Court Divorce Forms

There is no legal requirement to employ a solicitor or barrister to file for divorce. Either spouse may draft and file the proceedings – though that is not advisable unless there is absolute agreement about every issue to be decided by the judge. He or she will be anxious to ensure that both parties are fully aware of their rights and duties. Whenever there is likely to be a conflict on any matter (such as children, property, maintenance, pension or succession rights), an experienced family lawyer should be consulted. (In England and Wales, couples can pay for a lawyer or retired judge to hold a financial dispute resolution hearing, in which the couple’s finances are examined and they’re given an idea what a judge might award in a full hearing.)

Anyone applying for a divorce in the Republic of Ireland must submit certain documents to the Court and to the other side. Details of the documents and of other technical matters are set out in full in Statutory Instrument No 11 of 2018 and Statutory Instrument No 13 of 2018, which you can order from Government Publications (on weekdays, from 10.00 to 12.30 and 14.30 to 16.00) at 00353-1-647 6834 or by email. The headings and addresses on these sample documents will vary, depending on the area where the applicant or respondent live. A plaintiff suing in person must endorse on the summons his occupation and an address for service (or his email address), where documents can be left for him or emailed to him. Similarly with a defendant suing in person.

If the other party lives outside the State, permission should be sought from the County Registrar to ‘serve outside the jurisdiction’, unless the spouse is resident in an EU state (except Denmark). Since 19 December 2014, Order 14A of the Circuit Court Rules, under the Lugano Convention and Maintenance Regulation, has permitted service of civil proceedings by registered post on a person domiciled elsewhere in the EU ‘without leave of the court’, as long as court proceedings are not pending in another member state. If you serve the documents by post, the respondent has five or six weeks to answer the civil bill.

From November 2017 and October 2018, the Rules of the Superior Courts were amended to allow for the service of proceedings by registered post and the use of email. The earlier changes were introduced under Statutory Instrument No 475 of 2017. The new Rules “facilitate the service of proceedings by registered post, with certain exceptions, and enable parties to indicate their willingness to receive documents in the proceedings by email”. Where the plaintiff (or defendant) is legally represented and the solicitor agrees to receive documents by email, the solicitor must state his (or her) email address.

In the case of a Circuit Court action, you (or your solicitor) must file


Record No._________________

AN CHUIRT TEAGHLAIGH CHUARDA
(THE CIRCUIT FAMILY COURT)

LOCAL CIRCUIT YOUR COUNTY

IN THE MATTER OF THE FAMILY LAW (DIVORCE) ACT 1996

Between/

Your name

Applicant

– and –


Your spouse’s name

Respondent

FAMILY LAW CIVIL BILL

INDORSEMENT OF CLAIM


YOU ARE HEREBY REQUIRED within ten days after the service of this Civil Bill upon you, to enter, or cause to be entered with the County Registrar, at the Circuit Court family office at (address) an appearance to answer the claim of (your name and address), the applicant as endorsed hereon.

AND TAKE NOTICE that unless you do enter an appearance, you will be held to have admitted the said claim and the applicant may proceed therein and judgment given against you in your absence without further notice.

AND FURTHER TAKE NOTICE that if you intend to defend the proceedings on any grounds, you must not only enter an appearance as aforesaid, but also, within ten days after entry of the appearance, deliver a statement in writing showing the nature and grounds of your defence. The appearance and defence may be entered by posting them to the Registrar’s office and by giving copies to the applicant and his/her solicitor by post.

Dated the______day of___________________________________20_____

To: Respondent’s solicitor

Signed:________________________________________
(Your name)

(i) The applicant and respondent were married on the_____day of____________________________ at (name and address of place of marriage).
(ii) The applicant and respondent have been living apart for XX years, since (date). During that time the applicant lived at (full list of addresses). The respondent lived at (addresses, if known).
(iii) Details of any previous matrimonial proceedings and of any separation agreement.
(iv) There are X children of the marriage (list names, ages and dates of birth) or There are no children of the marriage.
(v) Addresses of present and past family homes.
(vi) Description of any land or premises referred to in the Civil Bill, and whether it is registered or unregistered land.
(vii) Basis of jurisdiction (domicile, residence or place of work of you or your spouse and approximate market value of any property – s 1 of the Courts Act 2016).
(viii) Occupations of both spouses.
(ix) At the date of institution of these proceedings, the applicant and respondent had lived apart from one another for at least four of the preceding five years. There is no reasonable prospect of a reconciliation between them. Proper provision, having regard to the circumstances, has been made for the applicant and respondent.

AND THE APPLICANT CLAIMS:
(Here provide a numbered list of the reliefs sought, by reference to the relevant sections of the 1996 Family Law (Divorce) Act)

AND FURTHER TAKE NOTICE that, in any cases where financial relief is sought by either party, you must file with the defence herein, or in any event within 20 days after the service of this Civil Bill on you, at the aforementioned Circuit Court office, an affidavit of means (and, where appropriate, an affidavit of welfare) in the manner prescribed by the Rules of this Court, and serve a copy of same as provided by the Rules of this Court on the respondent at the address below.

Dated the______day of___________________________________20_____

Signed:________________________________________
(Your name and snailmail (or email) address)

To: The Registrar,
Circuit Family Court

and/

To: Respondent’s solicitor

TAKE NOTICE that it is in your interest to have legal advice in regard to these proceedings. If you cannot afford a private solicitor, you may be entitled to legal aid provided by the State at a minimal cost to you. Details of this legal aid service are available at the Legal Aid Board, 48-49 North Brunswick Street, Georges Lane, Smithfield, Dublin 7, D07 PE0C (phone 01-646 9600), where you can obtain the addresses and telephone numbers of the Legal Aid Centres in your area.

(Note: If you are seeking relief under s 18 of the 1996 Act, you must include the following details:



Record No._________________

AN CHUIRT TEAGHLAIGH CHUARDA
(THE CIRCUIT FAMILY COURT)

LOCAL CIRCUIT YOUR COUNTY

IN THE MATTER OF THE FAMILY LAW (DIVORCE) ACT 1996

Between/

Your name

Applicant

– and –


Your spouse’s name

Respondent<

AFFIDAVIT OF MEANS

I, (your name and occupation), of (address), aged 18 years and upwards, MAKE OATH and say as follows:

1. I am the applicant in the above entitled proceedings and I make this affidavit from facts within my own knowledge, save where otherwise appears and, whereso appearing, I believe the same to be true.

2. I have set out in the first schedule hereto all the assets to which I am legally or beneficially entitled and the manner in which such property is held.

3. I have set out in the second schedule hereto all income which I receive and the sources of such income.

4. I have set out in the third schedule hereto all my debts and/or liabilities and the persons to whom such debts and liabilities are due.

5. My weekly outgoings amount to €__________ and the details of such outgoings have been set out in the fourth schedule hereto.

6. To the best of my knowledge, information and belief, all pension information known to me relevant to these proceedings is set out in the fifth schedule hereto (or give reasons why the information has not been obtained).

(Details of each schedule are then set out in numbered paragraphs)

Sworn by the said (your name) before me,
a practising solicitor/Commissioner for Oaths, on (date),

at___________________________________________

and the deponent is personally known to me (or is identified to me by ______________________________________ who is personally known to me, or whose identity has been established by photographs in (types of document)).

Signed:__________________________________________ (solicitor’s name)

Filed this__________day of_______________________20_____ by (Your name and snailmail (or email) address), the applicant.

To:

The Registrar,
Circuit Family Court

and/

Solicitor for the respondent


Record No._________________

AN CHUIRT TEAGHLAIGH CHUARDA
(THE CIRCUIT FAMILY COURT)

LOCAL CIRCUIT YOUR COUNTY

IN THE MATTER OF THE FAMILY LAW (DIVORCE) ACT 1996

Between/

Your name

Applicant

-and-


Your spouse’s name

Respondent

AFFIDAVIT OF WELFARE

I, (name) of (address), (occupation), aged 18 years and upwards, MAKE OATH and say as follows:

1. I am the applicant in the above proceedings and I make this affidavit of welfare from facts within my own knowledge, save where otherwise appears and, whereso appearing, I believe the same to be true.

2. I say and believe that the facts set out in the schedule hereto are true.

SCHEDULE

Part I - Details of children

1. Details of the children born to (or adopted by) the applicant and respondent, with first names, surnames and dates of birth.
2. Details of other children of the family, or children to whom either of the spouses acts as a parent.

Part II - Arrangements for children of the family

3. Home details

(a) The address at which the children now live.
(b) How many living rooms, bedrooms at the above address(es)?
(c) Is the house rented or owned? Give details of the tenant(s) or owner(s).
(d) Is the rent or mortgage being paid regularly? If so, by whom?
(e) Give the names of all other person living with the children, full-time or part-time, and state their relationship to the children.
(f) Will there be any changes to these arrangements? If so, give details.

Part III - Education and training

(a) What school, college or place of training does each child attend?
(b) Do the children have special educational needs? If so, please specify.
(c) Is the school, college or place of training fee-paying? If so, how much are the fees per term/year? Are fees being paid regularly and, if so, by whom?
(d) Will there be any changes in these circumstances? If so, give details.

Part IV - Childcare

(a) Which parent looks after the children from day to day? If responsibility is shared, give details.
(b) Give details of work commitments of both parents.
(c) Does someone look after the children when the parents are not there? If yes, give details.
(d) Who looks after the children during school holidays?
(e) Will there be any changes to these arrangements? If so, give details.

Part V - Maintenance

(a) Does the respondent pay towards the upkeep of the children? If so, give details. Specify any other sources of maintenance.
(b) Is this maintenance paid under court order? If so, give details.
(c) Has maintenance been agreed for the children? If so, give details.
(d) If not, will you be applying for a maintenance order from the court?

Part VI - Contact with the children

(a) Do the children see the respondent? Give details.
(b) Do the children stay overnight and/or have holiday visits with the respondent? Give details.
(c) Will there be any changes to these arrangements? If so, give details.

Part VII - Health

(a) Are the children generally in good health? Give details of any serious disability or chronic illness suffered by any of the children.
(b) Do any of the children have any special health needs? Give details of care needed and how it is to be provided.
(c) Are the applicant or respondent generally in good health? If not, give details.

Part VIII - Care and other court proceedings

(a) Are any of the children in the care of a health board or under the supervision of a social worker or probation officer? If so, give details.
(b) Have there been any court proceedings involving any of the children? If so, give details. (All relevant court orders should be annexed.)

Sworn by the said (your name) before me,
a practising solicitor/Commissioner for Oaths, on (date),

at___________________________________________
and the deponent is personally known to me (or is identified to me by ______________________________________ who is personally known to me, or whose identity has been established by photographs in (types of document)).

Signed:________________________________________ (solicitor’s name)

Filed this__________day of______________________________20_______ by (Your name and snailmail (or email) address), the applicant.

To:

The Registrar,
Circuit Family Court

and/

Solicitor for the respondent


Record No._________________

AN CHUIRT TEAGHLAIGH CHUARDA
(THE CIRCUIT FAMILY COURT)

LOCAL CIRCUIT YOUR COUNTY

IN THE MATTER OF THE FAMILY LAW (DIVORCE) ACT 1996

Between/

Your name

Applicant

– and –


Your spouse’s name

Respondent

STATUTORY DECLARATION

I, .............................. of .............................................................................. , practising solicitor, aged 18 years and upwards, do solemnly and sincerely declare that:

1. I act on behalf of .............................. of ................................................................. , the *applicant/respondent in the above-named proposed proceedings (in this declaration referred to as “my client”).
2. I have advised my client to consider mediation as a means of attempting to resolve the dispute, the subject of the proposed proceedings.
3. I have provided my client with information in respect of mediation services, including the names and addresses of persons who provide such services.
4. I have provided my client with information about—
   (i) the advantages of resolving the dispute other than by the proposed proceedings, and
   (ii) the benefits of mediation.
5. I have advised my client that mediation is voluntary and may not be an appropriate means of resolving the dispute where the safety of my client or *his/her children is at risk.
6. I have informed my client of the matters referred to in sections 10, 11 and 14(2) and (3) of the Mediation Act 2017. I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true for the purposes of section *14/ *15 of the Mediation Act 2017 and by virtue of the Statutory Declarations Act 1938.

Signed: ......................................................

Declared before me............................. (name in capitals) a * Judge of the District Court / * commissioner for oaths/ * practising solicitor / * peace commissioner / * notary public
by the said..................................... (name of solicitor)
*[who is personally known to me],
*[who is identified to me by..................................., who is personally known to me]
*[whose identity has been established to me before the taking of this declaration by the production to me of

† passport no......... issued on the...... day of.............. by the authorities of.............., which is an authority recognised by the Irish government,
† national identity card no......... issued on the...... day of............. by the authorities of.................. which is an EU Member State, the Swiss Confederation or a contracting party to the EEA Agreement,
† aliens' passport no.......... issued on the...... day of............. by the authorities of....................... which is an authority recognised by the Irish government,
† refugee travel document no......... issued on the...... day of............. by the Minister for Justice and Equality,
† travel document (other than refugee travel document)........ issued on the...... day of............. by the Minister for Justice and Equality, at......................................
this.............. day of .................................... 20.......

Signed: ......................................................
* Judge of the District Court / * commissioner for oaths / * practising solicitor / * peace commissioner / * notary public
(Delete where inapplicable)
† Where relevant, provide details of the document by which identity has been established, and delete the others


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