Howell Kelly Solicitors Rathgar Clondalkin Dublin

Dividing Assets in a Divorce

Dividing Assets in a Divorce in Dublin 

When any marriage ends, one of the main issues surrounds the division of assets of the marriage. The Irish courts regard all property and financial assets acquired during a marriage as assets of the marriage. This will include family homes, rental properties, bank accounts, pensions and investments, motor vehicles, and personal belongings. They will also consider business interests.

If you are looking to get divorced in Dublin, you will need to complete an Affidavit of Means.

This is a legal document that sets out your financial position including income, assets, what debts you owe, your expenses, and what pensions you have. You will also need to complete an Affidavit of Welfare if there are children in the marriage. This will outline your children’s health, educational, and childcare needs. The Irish court will always prioritise the welfare of children when determining the division of assets of marriage while also aiming to make proper provisions for both parties.

Judge Striking Gavel Between Family Paper Figure Cut Out And Split House On Top of Desk

Determining the split of assets

There are a number of factors a court will consider when determining how to divide assets in a marriage. These would include assessing what has been an individual’s contribution to the marriage, how long has the marriage lasted, and whether or not there were any agreements entered into before the marriage such as a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements are not legally binding but they can be taken into account by a court.

There is a “no fault” system of divorce in Ireland so generally, spousal behaviour does not come into a judge’s decision-making.

Affidavit of Means

The Affidavit of Means of both parties will identify what is in the family “pot”. It is unlikely that each party will get exactly 50% of the value of all assets within a marriage. The role of the court will be to make a fair and equitable distribution of the assets of the marriage but that does not necessarily mean an equal distribution.

When there are children involved

If there are children involved this will play a key factor in any divorce. This is especially true when dealing with younger children and those in full-time education. If there are young children in a marriage, a court will be very slow to order the sale of the family home. However, each divorce is different and there are no guarantees. One party may seek to buy out the other party’s share in a house. The equity in a home i.e. the value of sold less any mortgage on the property will be taken into consideration. Sometimes a court may order that a house is to be sold when the children are no longer dependent i.e. when they are 18 or in full-time education up to the age of 23.

On Mortgage After Divorce in Dublin

The ability of each spouse to raise a mortgage will also have to be considered. It can be difficult for one party to leave a family home while still being on the mortgage. This could well hamper that person’s ability to get another mortgage while being on the mortgage for the family home. The issue of mortgages can often be difficult to deal with in any divorce.

Ultimately the split of assets will depend on each individual case. Ideally, a divorce would be resolved through negotiation between legal representatives rather than proceeding to a contested hearing. Couples will need to be willing to negotiate and compromise and to consider alternative agreements. By being willing to negotiate couples can save themselves money as well as saving time and stress.

If a case proceeds to a full hearing, a judge will try to come to a fair division of the marital assets to allow both parties to move on with their lives.