What Are The Grounds For Divorce In Ireland?

The end of a marriage, which means getting a divorce, is a big change in someone’s life. And, when you finally make the decision to end your marriage, you can’t take it lightly.

When it comes to getting a divorce in Ireland, you must consider the grounds before applying for the divorce. Otherwise, your divorce will be held by the court.

Which is why, today, in this guide, we will clarify what are the grounds for divorce in Ireland? So, if you are thinking about breaking down your marriage legally, follow these guidelines and make sure you meet the grounds before applying for a divorce.

What Are The Grounds For Divorce In Ireland?

In Ireland, divorce is considered a “no-fault”. Your divorce will only be granted if you and your spouse meet certain criteria. So, what are the grounds for divorce in Ireland? What Are The Grounds For Divorce In Ireland

Grounds for Divorce Details

Well, the Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996, Section 5(1), sets out the following grounds on which a court will grant a decree of divorce when a spouse applies for divorce. So, here are the grounds that you must meet before applying for the divorce.

1. You must live separately: The couple must live apart for at least 2 out of the previous 3 years from one another before they can apply for the divorce.

According to the Family Law Act 2019, ‘living apart’ implies-

(i) “spouses who live in the same dwelling as one another shall be considered as living apart from one another if the court is satisfied that, while so living in the same dwelling, the spouses do not live together as a couple in an intimate and committed relationship, and

(ii) a relationship does not cease to be an intimate relationship merely because it is no longer sexual in nature.”

2. You must live in Ireland: The applicant (either you or your spouse) must:

  • The applicant must be a permanent resident in Ireland, or
  • Must have lived in Ireland for at least 1-year before applying

3. There is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation between you and your spouse.

4. Appropriate arrangements have been made (or will be) to look after each individual, dependents, and child.

You must meet all these grounds before applying for a divorce. Remember that each of the above grounds has specific conditions applicable. For this reason, it is advisable to consult a qualified Family lawyer Dublin before taking any action.

Grounds for judicial separation

Grounds for judicial separationIf you don’t want to wait for 3 years, you can choose to get a judicial separation first. This process is common, especially among separated couples who cannot agree on issues like the finance division, childcare arrangements, etc.

Note: If you have already gotten a Separation agreement with a court order, you won’t be able to apply for judicial separation. Make sure your application for judicial separation consists of one of the following six grounds, and you must prove that one of the following has occurred with you-

  1. The other party has committed adultery with you
  2. The opposite party has done something and behaves in an unreasonable way that the other spouse can not think about continuing the marriage.
  3. If one party deserted the other one, for at least one year.
  4. At the time of applying for the judicial separation, the couple was separated from each other for at least one year.
  5. Both of them have lived separately for at least 3 years.
  6. If the court finds that there was no normal marital relationship between the husband and wife at least one year before the date of application of the decree.

Once your judicial separation is granted, it will remove all the obligations of you and your spouse to stay together. For example, if you die, your ex will not be legally entitled to any part of your property (unless you specify in your will).

Again, you cannot remarry unless you are divorced. If you have a divorce, the divorce process is usually much easier.

Do Both Parties Have To Agree To Divorce In Ireland?

To get a divorce in Ireland, you must prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, and there is no chance of getting back to that relationship. Whether the divorce has to be mutual or not, it totally depends on the reasons you give.

In order for a divorce to proceed quickly through court, both parties must agree on the divorce. However, if a person does not want to go through the divorce process and refuses to respond to the divorce application, there are other options available. For example, one party needs to complete divorce papers and serve the respondent.


The breakdown of a marriage is always a traumatic matter for every person who goes through this phase. On top of that, you need to prove so many things to the court to ensure that your marriage is broken completely. Otherwise, the court won’t grant your appeal.

We hope, with this guide, this problem of yours will be solved, as we have shared what are the grounds for divorce in Ireland. So, read the grounds carefully and make sure it happens in your marital relationship. Also, do not forget to consult a lawyer to get the best advice and support in your divorce case.

For any further queries or consultation, you can contact us or leave your questions in the comment section below.

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