The Domicile and Recognition of Foreign Divorces Act 1986 (as amended) governs this particular issue since the act came into operation on the 2nd October 1986. Section 5 of this act provides that a foreign divorce may only be recognised in Ireland, if the foreign divorce was granted in the country where either spouse was domiciled, on the date the divorce proceedings were instituted.
The concept of “domicile” can often cause difficulty. Establishing one’s domicile can depend on a number of factors, including an assessment of the intention of a person to remain indefinitely in a foreign jurisdiction. In other jurisdictions, the situation is less complex as the entitlement to have a divorce recognised often depends on fulfilling the requirement that one of the spouses was resident in the state where the divorce is granted, at the time the divorce proceedings are issued, as opposed to being domiciled in that state.
Where a Divorce is granted in an EU state, the matter is less complex. Generally, an EU divorce will be automatically recognised in Ireland without the necessity for an application to be made to a Court in Ireland. Since the 1st March 2001, this area of law, when dealing with EU member states, is governed by EU Council Regulation 2201/2003 (also known as the Brussels II bis or Brussels II a Regulation). However, if there is a dispute as to whether or not the foreign divorce should be recognised in Ireland, section 29 of the Family Law Act 1995 allows a person to make an application to the Court, for a declaration in relation to marital status and this includes the application for a declaration as to whether or not a foreign divorce is entitled to be recognised in Ireland.
If you have a query regarding the recognition of your foreign divorce or indeed any other family law issue, contact Brian McGrane of our office at email@example.com or on 01 8735012.
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