“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 led couples to get a Divorce.

However my experience is quite different. I often meet a wife or a husband who have decided that the relationship has broken down beyond repair and they meet the necessary criteria for a Judicial Separation or Divorce but due their financial situation are unable to move on with their lives. Most commonly is a situation where neither party have sufficient funds to facilitate paying a monthly mortgage together with a monthly rental income to allow one party to move out of the family home. If there are children of the marriage then you have a situation where one party is obliged to make a maintenance contribution for the children and also rent accommodation which is suitable for overnight access to the children (2-3 bedrooms). The rental property market in Dublin is reaching an all time high with demand exceeding supply therefore leading to entrepreneurial landlords increasing rents on a year on year basis.  Lending institutions are refusing to allow one mortgage holder to be removed from his/her liability to repay the mortgage, even in circumstances where the property may be in positive equity. Clients are even more concerned about approaching a solicitor to assist them in seeking a separation or divorce because they assume every divorce costs the same as Heather Mills and Paul McCartney! Let me assure you, if you, like Ms Mills benefitted $46.2 million from a divorce you would not be concerned about our legal fees. Legal fees are not as extortionate as some people are led to believe, this is particularly true when all matters between spouses (as often happens) are agreed between you both. If you wish to talk to me about your entitlements to a divorce or separation and the likely costs involved, please feel free to email me at laura{at}brophysolcitors.ie or call (01) 6797930.

Laura Gillen

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