Divorce or Separation

Marc Hatot<br /> https://www.flickr.com/photos/127255381@N07/

Married parents, whether married before or after the birth of their child or children 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 explain the basic concepts of guardianship, custody and access and the issues that typically arise for parents 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.

Image by Marc Hatot CC – BY – NC – 2.0


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