What is a Decree of Judicial Separation?
A Decree of Judicial Separation is a court order made by a judge setting out the terms by which you no longer live together as a married couple.
A judicial separation does not allow you to remarry.
When making judicial separation orders, a judge has to make sure that proper provision is made for you, your spouse or partner and dependent children. The judge will consider any agreements that you reach and any existing court orders.
Judicial separation can impact a number of your circumstances and may be complicated. You might want to get legal advice to better understand what's involved.
Can I get a judicial separation?
You can apply for a judicial separation if:
- You live in Ireland
- Either you or your spouse must be permanently living in Ireland.
- You have lived in Ireland for at least the one-year-period before making the application.
- You or your spouse or partner has committed adultery.
- One of you has behaved in a way that it would be unreasonable to expect both of you to continue to live together.
- You have lived apart from one another for at least one year at the time of the application. Living apart can include couples who live in the same home as one another but are not living together in an intimate and committed relationship. A relationship does not stop being intimate just because the relationship is no longer sexual in nature.
- A normal marital relationship has not existed between you and your spouse for at least one year before the date of the application.
Understanding Judicial Separation
When making judicial separation orders, a judge has to make sure that proper provision is made for you, your spouse, and any dependent children. This means that a judge will consider all circumstances of the marriage and aim to make fair decisions that meet everyone's needs.
The main things the judge will consider are:
- Each of your current and future finances.
- The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the break-up of the marriage.
- Each of your accommodation needs.
- Children of the marriage.
- The rights of any other person affected by the judicial separation.
The judge will also consider any agreements that you reach and any existing court orders.
Find out more about understanding Judicial Separation >
How to apply?
The court process when applying for judicial separation is similar to applying for a divorce. For more information and guidance, visit the divorce process page. You will need to make sure that your court application for judicial separation is correct. You may also need to read the legislation and Circuit Court rules.