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. A decree of judicial separation removes the obligation on spouses to co-habit.

Judicial Separation

Judicial Separation

When a couple cannot agree the terms by which they will live separately, an application to the courts for a decree of judicial separation can be made by either party.  If the court is satisfied that the required conditions are met, the court will grant a decree of judicial separation. The decree confirms that the couple is no longer obliged to live together as a married couple. The court may also make orders in relation to custody and access to children, the payment of maintenance and lump sums, the transfer of property, the extinguishment of succession rights and other matters.

For more information on judicial separation including the rules that apply to obtaining a decree, visit the relevant page on the Citzens Information website.

How to apply

Most applications for judicial seaparation are made in the Circuit Court.  Court rules regulate the procedure you must follow to obtain orders from the court.  They also include the forms you must complete to make your application.

Court rules

The following rules are relevant in respect of judicial separation applications in the Circuit Court

S.I. No. 510 of 2001: Circuit Court Rules: Order 59
S.I. No.312 of 2007: Circuit Court Rules (General), 2007
S.I. No. 358 of 2008: Circuit Court Rules (Case Progression in Family Law Proceedings), 2008

Court forms

The following court forms will assist you prepare your application:

S.I. No. 510 of 2001, Circuit Court Rules, 2001

Form 2N: Family Law Civil Bill
Form 37A: Affidavit of means
Form 37B: Affidavit of welfare
Form 37C: Notice to trustees
Form 37D: Certification pursuant to section 5 or section 6 of the Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act, 1989 or section 6 or section 7 of the Family Law (Divorce) Act, 1996 (for solicitors)

S.I. No. 358 of 2008, Circuit Court Rules (Case Progression in Family Law Proceedings), 2008

Form 37L: Summons to attend case progression hearing
Form 37N: Case progression questionnaire