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Divorce & Separation – Finances

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Separation and Divorce can be very difficult and an emotional journey for the parties involved. Understandably each party wants to protect their own interest especially in terms of the children and financial matters.

Today, I am going to deal with financial matters and how the Court deals with this.

The Irish Court, in deciding the extent of what relief is available to the parties in application for Judicial Separation or Divorce, must ensure that provision exists or will be made for each spouse concerned and for any dependent member of the family concerned as is proper having regard to all the circumstances of the case.

This provision is contained in Section 16 of The Family Law Act 1995 and Section 20 of the Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996.  Both sections of the said Acts also prohibits the Courts from making an Order for ancillary relief unless it would be in the interest of justice to do so.

Essentially a Divorce cannot be granted until the Court is satisfied that proper provision exists and will be made for each spouse and any dependant as is proper having regards to all the circumstances of the case.  The difficulty with requirement of proper provision is that it is only the Court who can judge whether proper provision has been made or not.

This leads, in practice, to an examination by the Court of each and every settlement agreed between the parties to ensure whether or not proper provision has been made.

There is therefore a wide scope as to what proper provision can be.

Seeking to find a financial settlement early on will be crucial to keeping legal fees to a minimum.  But it is also advisable to try come to an agreement with your spouse before or during the proceedings to ensure all assets and finances are divided justly and appropriately.

During this process, we can assist you to determine the right value of your assets and help you reach an agreement.

If this is not possible, then a Court will intervene to work out what is the proper provision for each party.

Carol McGuinness is Head of the Family Law Unit at Early & Baldwin Law Firm

Written by LegalEagleStar

November 21, 2017 at 5:39 pm

Posted in Carol McGuinness

Your First Meeting with an experienced Divorce Lawyer

leave a comment »   Carol McGuinness Solicitor


What you should expect from an initial consultation with a Family Law Solicitor.


Divorce is a very stressful and difficult time for separating couples so instructing the right solicitor is key to ensuring the process might be a little easier for you.

After making an appointment with a solicitor, it is best to come prepared with regards to the details of your marriage i.e. date of marriage and date of separation and what your family’s financial position is. Also be prepared to inform your solicitor about your children; ages, dates of birth, addresses, if still attending school, activities and suchlike. If the solicitor requests certain financial documentation be sure to bring these along.

An experienced family law solicitor will also require details of the financial aspects of your case. You will need to provide full details regarding your assets, income, expenses and liabilities. Financial questions will also be asked to determine the level of support that a spouse and the children may require. If you are able to provide this information, an experienced solicitor will be able to advise you regarding a financial settlement reached or the likely division of assets.

You may have many questions regarding your divorce. Write these down prior to your visit and don’t be afraid to ask for answers. An experienced family law solicitor will be able to answer these questions for you.

Many are not aware of how solicitors charge for their services. You should be given detailed information and a cost estimate at the initial appointment. Establish how a solicitor is charging you i.e whether it will be an hourly rate or a fixed fee. Most solicitors will request a retainer by way of a lump sum up front. Be sure to ask whether it is possible to receive a monthly invoice so you are fully aware of your costs and the work charged at all stages of the divorce.

In summary, after the initial consultation, you should feel confident in your solicitor’s ability and that she/he has a full understanding of your circumstances and your needs. In addition, you should have a full understanding of the divorce process, the financial side, any children issues that you may have and what fees you will be expected to pay.


Carol McGuinness is Head of the Family Law Unit at Early & Baldwin Law Firm

27/28 Marino Mart, Fairview, Dublin 3,


Written by LegalEagleStar

October 12, 2017 at 6:34 pm

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