Irish couples waiting a year for divorce

Family Law|July 26th 2016

Some Irish couples are forced to wait for as long as a year before their divorce cases reach the family courts, new figures reveal.

Figures recently released by the country’s Courts Service show that court delays mean divorcing couples in the counties of Wexford, Tullamore and Dundalk are routinely made to wait as long as 52 weeks before their cases come before a judge – at which point the cases may be adjourned to a still later date. The delays are in addition to the four year waiting period already required by Irish law.

Other Irish counties subject to lengthy divorce court delays include Letterkenny and Mullingar, where some couples wait as long as 36 weeks, as well Wicklow and Portaloise, where delays of up to 24 weeks are not uncommon.

The average delay in the capital Dublin is a comparatively short five to 12 weeks.

Such lengthy delays mean the lives of are put “on hold”, said Marion Campbell, and caused considerable personal distress. She told The Irish Times:

“I’ve been doing this game a long, long time now and I have to say, it is the worst it has ever been.”

Photo by Omar Parada via Flickr

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  1. Andrew says:

    If you look on BAILII you will be struck by the time everything seems to take to be heard in Ireland – not just divorces.
    Your photo is taken in London – I recognise Victoria Street. The late lamented Bernard Levin said that Seifert had rebuilt it so that the only pedestrian who could take any pleasure in being there would be equipped with a white stick and a dog.

  2. ALongWayToGoA2J says:

    Interesting. It seems like this isn’t just a North American phenomenon! Here in Canada, the wait is at least six months and the situation is getting worse. The government is upping the income limit for Legal Aid eligibility, but these are just band-aid solutions.
    What can be done to meaningfully fix this? I know there are some technology pilots getting off the ground. What do you think about applications like: in the Netherlands and in Canada? Something needs to change, that’s for sure.

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