Divorce or Separation

Married parents, whether married before or after the birth of their child(ren), are automatically their joint custodians and joint guardians.

When a marriage breaks down both parents will remain joint guardians of their children, having the ability to participate in important decisions affecting the child’s life and that position cannot be altered.

However, the custodial status of one or both of the parents may change, either by agreement or by order of the court, to better reflect the day-to-day care arrangements of the children. Thus, upon separation or divorce parents may agree or the courts may determine that they continue to have joint custody of their children or alternatively there may be one custodial parent with the other parent having rights of guardianship and access.

Citizens Information very usefully explains the basic concepts of guardianship, custody and access in the context of separation and divorce.

The Law Society provides basic information in relation to the effect separation and divorce can have on children, and seeks to provide advice for parents in such circumstances. It also explains important practical aspects of the process, including the concept of a parenting plan as well as the concepts of custody, access and guardianship. The page also outlines the challenges arising in respect of applying for passports, especially where the consent of the other spouse may not be forthcoming, the rights of grandparents and how to seek direction from the court where one guardian wishes to move out of the country of residence.


Organisation Telephone Email Website Address
Rainbows Ireland Tel:+353 (0)1 473 4175   ask@rainbowsireland.com www.rainbowsireland.ie National Office, Loreto Centre, Crumlin Road, Dublin 12

Tel:+353 (0)1 6700120  

Locall:1890 252084    

info@treoir.ie www.treoir.ie 14 Gandon House, Custom House Square, IFSC, Dublin 1
The Legal Aid Board

Tel:+353 (0)66 947 1000  

Locall: 1890 615 200

info@legalaidboard.ie www.legalaidboard.ie The Legal Aid Board, Quay Street, Caherciveen, Kerry
Citizens Information 0761 07 4000    www.citizensinformation.ie 260 drop-in centres nationwide. Find your local centre here.

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF