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Avoiding Divorce Hearing Delay

As there is a two year waiting list for a divorce hearing, should I start proceedings when two years separated to get hearing at the four year point? Charlie, Cork.

Legal Q. As there is a two year waiting list for a divorce hearing, should I start proceedings when two years separated to get hearing at the four year point? Charlie, Cork.

 Hi Charlie,

This is a great question - you have the mind of a lawyer and it works the way we are always trying to legitimately shorten the waiting time for clients cases to come to trial.

Unfortunately in this case the situation is clear. Under the Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996 Section 5 provides entitlements for divorce applications:

Grant of decree of divorce and custody etc., of children.

5.—(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, where, on application to it in that behalf by either of the spouses concerned, the court is satisfied that—

 

( a ) at the date of the institution of the proceedings, the spouses have lived apart from one another for a period of, or periods amounting to, at least four years during the previous five years,

 

( b ) there is no reasonable prospect of a reconciliation between the spouses, and

 

( c ) such provision as the court considers proper having regard to the circumstances exists or will be made for the spouses and any dependent members of the family,

 

the court may, in exercise of the jurisdiction conferred by Article 41.3.2° of the Constitution, grant a decree of divorce in respect of the marriage concerned.

From (a) you will see that the operative date is the date of the institution of the proceedings – that is the date the Civil Bill is issued – not the date of trial and incidentally this is the exact wording in the Constitutional Amendment so there’s no way around it.

Obviously in your part of Cork there’s a 2 year delay. I checked with the Dublin County Registrar’s office and the delay here is one month. If your wife is living in Dublin or you have any other “jurisdictional” connection with Dublin, you could issue the Civil Bill in the capital and avail of the shorter time frame.

 

 

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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