This section deals with legal issues relating to family law matters.

Your Privacy

Image representing families

Your Privacy

Family law cases are heard in private (in camera) to protect the privacy of the family. Only officers of the court, the parties to the case and their legal representatives, witnesses and such other people as the judge allows will be in the courtroom while the case is being heard.

Divorce

Divorce

A decree of divorce dissolves a marriage and allows each party to remarry.

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Judicial Separation

Judicial Separation

When a couple cannot agree the terms by which they will live separately, either party can apply to the court for a decree of judicial separation. 

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Nullity

Nullity

Nullity, in family law relates to nullity of marriage and nullity of civil partnership.

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Nullity

Mediation

Mediation

Mediation helps couples who have decided to separate to resolve any disputes they may have in relation to the key issues of custody and access to children.

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Mediation

Guardianship, Custody and Access

Guardianship, Custody and Access

Guardianship means the rights and duties of parents in respect of the upbringing of their children.

Custody refers to the day-to-day care, residency and upbringing of children who are regarded as dependent children.

Access refers to the right of a child to maintain direct contact with the parent with whom the child does not reside.

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Maintenance

Maintenance

Maintenance is financial support paid by a person for the benefit of a dependent spouse/civil partner and/or dependent children. 

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Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is any form of physical, sexual and psychological violence which threatens the safety or welfare of family members.

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Passport Issues

Passport Issues

Where one or other parent/guardian will not or cannot sign a passport application on behalf of a child, an application can be made to the court.

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Passport Issues

Marriage Exemption

Marriage Exemption

You can apply to court to reduce the notice period required in respect of a marriage.

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Marriage Exemption

Finding Your Way

Finding Your Way

'Finding Your Way' offers parents basic information about the District family law courts and family mediation. It also offers advice and support services that may assist them with reaching agreement on important information issues affecting them and their children following separation. The film may also be a useful resource for professionals, for example, solicitors, family mediators and counsellors working with parents who have separated.

You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone introduces young people ( aged 13 to 15 years) to the District family law courts, and family mediation and support services for parents who are separating. The film encourages young people to talk about how they are feeling and to get support if they need it. It may also support parents to talk with their children about steps they might be taking following separation and be a useful resource for professionals working with young people in these circumstances.