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Divorce and Separation

3 Steps Needed to Reduce Family Court Delays

Couples who are separating or divorcing can face long family court delays – up to one year in some areas. That’s according to statistics from the Court Service. Families in Wexford, Tullamore and Dundalk have faced delays of 24 to 52 weeks for a hearing (read more here). But these families also face further delays before they can even apply to court.  Couples are legally required to wait one year …Read More

DM Burke open new office in Wicklow Town

DM Burke Solicitors are delighted to announce that we have now opened new offices at 1 Upper New Street, Wicklow Town. “I started off my professional career – 23 years ago! – working in the Legal Aid Board in Wicklow Town, and afterwards in private practice in Wicklow,” says Deirdre Burke, principal of the practice. “So in many ways Wicklow is not new to me, and I’m delighted with the …Read More

How 2-year divorce will help separating couples

Since divorce was introduced in Ireland in 1996, there has always a compulsory waiting time of 4 years before proceedings for divorce could begin after a couple separated.  Now there is a proposal from Josepha Madigan TD to reduce the waiting time for Divorce in Ireland from 4 years, and introduce 2-year divorce. Such a change will require an amendment to the Constitution, but the reduction in the waiting time …Read More

Critical changes needed in our family law system

I’ve spent my life as a parent and a solicitor working to support and empower Children, Families and Communities, and promoting the principle of Social Justice. Having worked for over 20 years in Family and Child Law, I see first-hand on a daily basis, the critical changes which we need to make in our Family Law system. Some of the key changes I will advocate for if elected to Seanad …Read More

My Manifesto for Seanad Eireann 2016, NUI Panel

I’m delighted to announce that I’m running as an Independent candidate for Seanad Eireann 2016, and that I’ve been nominated to run for election to the NUI Panel.  I intend to use both my election campaign and – if elected – my Seanad seat as a platform to promote the changes needed in Government policy and the law to enhance and protect children’s rights and the rights of families. The …Read More

Children’s rights to have their voices heard in Court

Despite some recent changes, there are still issues surrounding children’s rights to have their say in family law courts. 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 …Read More

January – a time for change…..and a time to divorce?

I can say without any doubt that throughout my many years of practice, January has traditionally been the month when the number of enquiries about divorce peaks. In the short days after Christmas, I see the enquiries coming in through the website, and the first week back to work in January always sees a flood of new appointments.  I believe this happens for two main reasons: Firstly, Christmas can often …Read More

Why schools need policy on dealing with parental separation

The recent Equality Tribunal award of €4,000 against an Irish school for ‘discriminatory’ treatment of a separated father should act as a wake-up call for all schools, when it comes to dealing with parental separation and divorce.   In the case successfully taken to the Equality Tribunal (read more) the separated father who took the case claimed that the school had sided with his estranged wife in withholding information from …Read More

Secrets for a Successful Divorce – the Three C’s:

You may not think the words ‘Divorce’ and ‘successful’ belong in the same sentence, but there are good and bad ways to deal with the breakdown of your relationship, particularly when there are children involved.  Communication, compromise and co-operation lie at the heart of negotiating your way ‘successfully’ through the process: COMMUNICATION Communication is key, and should be prioritised in a number of ways: Communication with your ex-partner/spouse: It is …Read More

First Communion and Confirmation for divorced parents: a how-to guide

  Family occasions can be fraught with difficulties during or after a relationship breakdown. But when your children are involved – and particularly when they are centre stage – the potential for serious tensions shoots right up.  Our advice is to take it step-by-step…follow these tips to help you through:   1.            Put your child and their wishes first. The most important thing is that your child has an enjoyable …Read More