Unmarried And Separated Parents of Ireland
A support group for parents in relationship difficulties
Court Documents

Explanation of Court Documents

Family Law Civil Bill

A Family Law Civil Bill is the main Application to the Court outlining the history of the parties. The Civil Bill consists of what is known as the Endorsement of Claim. The Civil Bill contains the following information:
  1. Date of Marriage.
  2. How long the Parties have lived Separate and Apart.
  3. Where the Parties Reside (Folio Number of home).
  4. The Children of the Marriage.
  5. The Grounds of the Breakdown - this can consist of up to seven items.
  6. That no Marital Relationship has existed for One year (in the case of a separation) or Four years (in the event of divorce)
  7. That there is no chance of a Reconciliation.
The final part is the Ancillary Relief Sought and the different sections of the Family Law Acts pursuant to the different sections upon which the Honourable Judge can grant the particular relief.

Click here to view the first page of a SAMPLE Family Law Civil Bill.

The Family Law Civil Bill is accompanied by several Affidavits, including an Affidavit of Welfare and an Affidavit of Means. An Affidavit is a Sworn Statement and Declaration that the information contained within are an Honest Presentation to the Court. Each Affidavit relates to a particular are of interest to the Court.

Affidavit of Welfare

An Affidavit of Welfare is the compilation of Housing, Educational and overall background position of the family. The Affidavit of Welfare allows the Honourable Judges see that the Welfare of the Children is being adequately provided for.

There are 8 Schedules.
  1. Details of Children, Names and Dates of Birth.
  2. Arrangements for the Children (Family Home).
  3. Education and Training Details (Schools etc.).
  4. Childcare Details (Who Looks After The Child).
  5. Maintenance Payments (Agreed/Court Order).
  6. Details of Contact with the Children (Access).
  7. Details of Health.
  8. Details of other Court Proceedings.
Click here to view the first page of a SAMPLE Affidavit of Welfare.

Affidavit of Means

An Affidavit of Means is the compilation of Income, Assets, Liabilities, and Outgoings. It also includes details of Pensions and Life Insurance Policies.

There are 6 Schedules.
  1. Details of all Assets (Family Home etc).
  2. Details of all Income Receivable.
  3. Details of all Debts and Liabilities (Loans etc).
  4. Details of all Weekly Outgoings (shopping, Car etc).
  5. Details of Life Insurance Policies.
  6. Details of Pension.
This Is a Sworn Testament that this is a true state of your financial position and may require an updated Affidavit in advance of the hearing.

Click here to view the first page of a SAMPLE Affidavit of Means

Maintenance Order

A maintenance order can be applied for in the Family Law Courts. A lump sum order or weekly payments can be ordered against the absent parent (the debtor) for the Dependent Spouse and the Child/ren (the creditor). This can be done by paying by direct debit to the creditor.

If the debtor defaults on payments the creditor can apply to the court for a breech of the Maintenance Order. If the Debtor does not pay they can be imprisoned for anything up to Ninty days.

There is nothing to be achieved by not paying your maintenance, you may end up in Prison, you are still laible to pay the arrears due and will incur more arrears whilst in prison.

If you do not adequately provide for your Child/ren by not paying maintenance, you are guilty of ABUSING your Child under the financial aspect of their upbringing.

If the maintenance debtor falls on hard times due to unemployment, sickness or otherwise they may apply to the Court to Vary or Discharge the maintenance order. This should be done as soon as possible because you stand LIABLE for the arrears until such time as a Judge decides otherwise.

Access Order

An Access Order to regulate access to your child/ren can be applied for to the Court. You can request your regulated Midweek Access possibly for Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
Access at weekend can vary, possibly from Friday 6pm to Sunday at 6pm or perhaps the absent parent can leave the child/ren to school on Monday morning.
Some access orders will grant every second weekend with access on the Saterday or Sunday from 10am to 6pm.
Access arrangments should be considered carefully by both parents so as not to disrupt the normal life of their child/ren. Access should also be flexible to assist the child/ren to retain their relationship with the absent parent, it must be remembered that it is the child/ren's right to have access to the non-resident parent.
When considering Access you wish to be made an Order of the Court, you should consider the following:
  • Midweek Access
  • Weekend Access
  • Mother's Day
  • Father's Day
  • Easter
  • First Day at School
  • First Holy Communion
  • Confirmation Day
  • Summer Holidays
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day
  • Birthdays, both yours and theirs
  • Parent Teacher Meetings
and any other relevent or importent days pertaining to your Family.

These orders can be varied, if at any time either party wants to change the routine they can apply to the Court or it can be done on an amicable basis.

Applications that can be made under the DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT

An application can be made by one party against the other for a Safety and Protection Order if they are in fear of threats, intimidation or violence. These can be applied for Ex-Parte and in the absence of the perpetrator and if granted, notification will be sent to the perpetrator and the local GARDAÍ.
These Orders are to make the perpetrator behave in a civilised manner towards the other party and therefore must not
  • Interfere
  • Put in Fear
  • Or Molest
The other party whether by Phone, Text, Post or put that person in fear by Threats of Intimidation or Violence. If one party breaches this Order they may be arrested by the Gardaí, charged and convicted with a Domestic Violence Offence, resulting in being fined and/or imprisoned for such a breach.

An application can be made for an Interim Barring Order if one party is in serious fear of being subjected to Domestic Violence and that the making of such an Order is needed to protect that person immediately.
(This Order can only lasts eight days and there must be a full hearing within eight days)
If a Barring Order is not granted the offending party may be asked to undertake not to enter the Family Home until there is a final determination of the case.
A Barring Order may be granted for anything up to 3 years and may result in a fine or imprisonment if it is breached.
There are different rules that apply for Cohabitees and those who have married.
If you are NOT married you must have lived together for a period of 9 months of the previous 12 months. You cannot obtain a Barring Order if you are not a named Tenent/Owner or if you do not have at least a 50% share of the home.
If you are married you have the protection of the Domestic Violence Act 1966 for life, even if you have been Separated for a number of years or if you have been Divorced.

Other Documents

Listed below are other Court documents, details of which are given at the meetings as needed.

Attachment Orders
Affidavit of Service
Deed of Waiver
Deed of Separation
Enforcement Orders
Entry of appearance
Fourteen Day Warning Notice
Notice of Motion
Supplementary Affidavit
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