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3 ways to make Christmas easier for separated families:

Christmas is a hectic time of year for any parents, but it can carry extra stresses and strains for parents who are separated or divorced.  Despite the challenges involved, there are steps you can take to make things a little easier: 1.            Keep Children Top of the Agenda:  it’s their time. Where possible they should have contact with both parents and share the experience of Christmas period with both Mum …Read More

Divorce Considerations for the Parents of a Special Needs Child

Divorce or separation can be a harrowing prospect for any parent, but when you are the parents of a special needs child it can pose an even greater challenge: It can be harder to explain to your child what is happening and to offer reassurances about the future. You may need professional input and support Financially, there is less money to go around after separation or divorce.  This can make it …Read More

Dividing assets on divorce: does Equitable Mean Equal?

In deciding separation/relationship breakdown issues, there is an obligation upon every court to ensure that there is an “equitable division” of all assets between the parties. Unfortunately people can interpret this as meaning “equal division,” and this is not always the case….. Equitable does not mean equal. It is reasonable to assume that if you are a couple who are both independent and capable of earning in your own right, …Read More

Children have a right to be heard in Court

I recently spoke with a 14 year old girl who was the subject of family law proceedings before the District Court. The application concerned parentage and access. Mary – not her real name – was adamant that she wanted her views to be heard by the Judge, and when I spoke privately with her, she was incredibly reasoned in both her understanding of the situation, and in her views. She …Read More

5 Key Points about Surrogacy in Ireland

There is no legislation in Ireland at the moment governing Surrogacy. This means that surrogacy contracts are not actually illegal but there is no structure to recognise or enforce them. There is therefore no established structure to recognise a childs legal status under Irish law. If you are considering surrogacy outside Ireland, then it is vital that you research the laws in the country you are choosing, as the legal …Read More

5 Reasons Unmarried Fathers Should Seek Guardianship

You Don’t automatically have it Being named on your child’s birth certificate does not give you guardianship, as some mistakenly believe. To be appointed a legal guardian you either need your partners consent, or a court order. It Gives You a Say A legal guardian is entitled to have a say and be consulted when important decisions are       being made about your child. These could include decisions on medical treatment, …Read More

Mother & Baby Homes – A Manifest Breach of Human Rights in Ireland?

Amid all the reaction to the revelations about Tuam and Ireland’s other mother and baby homes, there has been little response to Amnesty International’s comments.  John Dalhuisen of Amnesty said that the Irish government “must not view this and other cases as merely historic and beyond its human rights obligations.” The European Convention on Human Rights sets out very clearly a large number of basic human rights: The Right To …Read More

Alan Shatter’s 5 Family Law Legacies

Reporting in Family Law and Childcare Cases – the In Camera Rule Notably one of the most significant practical changes to family law practice, the changes that came into force now allow the media to report on family law and childcare proceedings,  according to strict conditions.  These reforms are designed to address the need for public access to important information on the operation of family and child care proceedings in …Read More

Non-biological parents as guardians?

Children can often be left in limbo by the complexity of modern family relationships but their position has been hugely strengthened by a High Court decision in favour of a non-biological father. The case, which concluded at the end of last year, drew little public attention beyond legal circles but deserves closer examination because of its potential impact on future guardianship applications. The case involved two children whose mother had …Read More

Pat Kenny show discusses divorce….

I was delighted to join The Pat Kenny Show on Newsalk Radio this morning, for an Ask the Expert spot on divorce. If you want to listen back, the discussion on the programme begins here (about 45 mins in). For details on some of the issues discussed, check back through our past blogs…. For further information, you can contact me, Deirdre Burke, on:  0402 2437008 or email me at  Deirdre.Burke@dmburke.ie.