Family Law

We advise on the following:

Access/Custody and Guardianship of children

The main consideration in relation to such Applications is the Welfare of the child. In determining questions regarding Custody, Guardianship or upbringing of an infant, the Court shall regard the “welfare of the infant as the first and paramount consideration”.

Guardianship relates to the duties of a person as to the welfare, care and upbringing of a child. Guardianship is not dependent on custody, i.e. a Guardian does not need to have custody of a child. The following is a summary of positions regarding those parties who can be appointed Guardians and the manner of such appointments.

Barring, Interim Barring, Protection and Safety (Orders)

A barring order is an order requiring a violent person to leave the family home. The order also prohibits the person from using violence or threats of violence and from watching or being near your home. In order to get a barring order, you must attend the District Court. A barring order can last up to three years if it is obtained in the District Court.

If you are married or in a civil partnership and can show the court that your spouse or civil partner is violent in any way towards you or your children, you can get an order against him or her no matter how long you have lived together.

If you are not married or in a civil partnership, you can obtain a Safety Order against the violent partner if you are living together in an intermittent committed relationship. You can also obtain a Safety Order against a person with whom you have had a child even if you are not living together.

Maintenance Orders

Maintenance is financial support paid by a person for the benefit of a dependent child or children. It is important to note that both parents have responsibilities to support their children financially. Parents are responsible for maintaining their dependent child up to the child’s 18th birthday or up to the age of 23 if the child is in full time education. If the child has a mental or physical disability to such an extent that is it is not possible for the child to maintain her/himself fully then there is no upper age limit for seeking maintenance for his/her support.

Parents can make informal arrangements in relation to maintenance. However if maintenance cannot be agreed between the parents then an application for maintenance should be made to the court.

The type of application depends on whether or not you are married and whether or not you are seeking maintenance for yourself and for your dependent child.

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