By Aidan Duggan (Solicitor)

Judicial Separation in Ireland – An Overview

In Ireland, judicial separation is a legal process that allows a married couple to live apart without getting a divorce. This process provides a legal framework for couples who wish to separate but not divorce. In this post, I will provide an overview of judicial separation in Ireland, including the grounds for separation, legal process, court orders, legal rights, and the transition to divorce.

Grounds for Judicial Separation

A judicial separation can be granted on the grounds of adultery, unreasonable behavior, desertion, or separation for at least one year. The couple must show that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, and there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.

Legal Process

To obtain a judicial separation, one spouse must apply to the court and provide evidence of the grounds for separation. The other spouse will then have the opportunity to respond to the application. The court will then make a decision based on the evidence presented by both parties.

Court Orders

Once a judicial separation is granted, the court can make orders relating to the division of property, maintenance, and custody and access to any children of the marriage. The court can also make orders for the payment of maintenance to either spouse and any dependent children of the marriage.

Legal Rights

A couple who has obtained a judicial separation remains legally married, and neither spouse can remarry. However, the legal rights and obligations of the couple are altered, and they are no longer required to live together. They can live apart and make their own arrangements for the division of their property and finances.

Transition to Divorce

A judicial separation can act as a stepping stone towards divorce. After living apart for at least two years, either spouse can apply for a divorce.


In essence, judicial separation is a legal procedure that permits a married couple to live apart without ending their marriage. This can be a beneficial choice for couples who desire to separate but not terminate their marriage. It establishes a legal structure for dividing assets, determining maintenance payments, and establishing custody and visitation rights for any children of the marriage. If you’re contemplating judicial separation, it’s crucial to consult with a legal expert to ensure that you comprehend your legal rights and responsibilities.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, and should not be relied upon as such.

If you need advice about getting a Divorce or any other legal matter, please contact me today on +35316625233 or

Aidan Duggan (Solicitor)