Unmarried Couples Solicitors Ireland

Blanchardstown, Castleknock, 27 Mount Street Upper, Dublin City Centre

Unmarried Couples Solicitors based in Dublin City Centre

Many couples now do not get married but opt to live together such as Cohabiting Couples, akin to what is often referred to as common law husband and wife. They live de facto as spouses although their relationship was never formalised by a legal marriage.

The impact of separation on the ownership of property and other assets is a complex area of law in non marital breakdown and while it is very common for partners to purchase property together unless you have clearly defined in a Cohabitation Agreement setting out what will happen, these matters can take time to unravel and deal with the financial consequences.

There can be different types of input and contributions both financial and non-financial to a relationship and the impact of these contributions to property can be relevant.  Amidst all of the varying emotions of a relationship breakdown can bring, it is vital that you have a clear understanding of the law and the options available to you as only then can you have the benefit of clarity to assist you in making important financial decisions.

Carmody Moran’s expert family solicitors, are also experienced in property and litigation, and are highly experienced in providing clear and straightforward advice in relation to property disputes between unmarried couples or civil partnerships, including potential claims you or your partner may have and dealing with joint mortgages and other co-ownership issues.

You may hear many stories and myths regarding an unmarried partner’s entitlements on separation. Contrary to popular media culture, there is no such thing as a ‘common law’ marriage. Under Irish law does not currently allow unmarried partners on separation to make financial claims in the same way as a married partner can under the Separation or Divorce legislation however cohabitants can access remedies under the Cohabitant’s Act.

A redress scheme was introduced under the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 (“Cohabitants Act”) to provide for cohabiting couples who live together in an intimate and committed relationship (whether of the same sex or the opposite sex) who are not married to each other or civil partners of each other. The redress scheme provides for a broadly similar range of orders as are available to married couples when they separate or divorce.

The Act aims is to provide protection for a financially dependent member of a couple if a long-term cohabiting relationship ends either through death or separation. It applies to both same sex and opposite sex couples who have been in an intimate relationship.

A financially dependent cohabitant may be able to apply to the courts for redress if the relationship ends as the result of death or otherwise. In order to apply for redress a person must be a qualified cohabitant must have been:

  • A cohabitant for at least 5 years or
  • A cohabitant for 2 years if they have had a child/children together

However, a person is not a qualified cohabitant if:

(a) one or both of the adults is or was, at any time during the relationship concerned, an adult who was married to someone else, and

(b) at the time the relationship concerned ends, each adult who is or was married has not lived apart from his or her spouse for a period or periods of at least 4 years during the previous 5 years.

There are strict time limits to make an application for this type of relief, and it is an entitlement to claim relief as distinct to an entitlement to a share like in the normal family marital situation under the Judicial Separation or Divorce laws. That said, essentially the Cohabitants Act is there to provide redress to the common law spouse and the non marital family. It is a complex area of law and can affect a wide range of assets.

At Carmody Moran Solicitors in Dublin City Centre we know that in addition to having your case handled by experienced professionals with the highest level of expertise and sensitivity, that cost is a serious factor, as well as the value of expert and early legal advice. That is why you can arrange to have an initial Consultation in family law matters for a reduced fee and this gives you an opportunity to review your situation and ask the expert questions regarding your specific circumstances.

In the course of this one-hour consultation with an experienced qualified family law Solicitor, your initial options will be assessed and advised upon as well as practical advice furnished to try to assist and alleviate your current situation. Your Solicitor will be able to advise you of your options and future costs and you can then decide how you wish to proceed.

Call the office in Dublin City Centre on 00-353-1-8272888 to make an appointment to meet and discuss civil partnerships with our divorce solicitors Ireland or use the quick enquiry form here.

Frequently Asked Questions of our Unmarried Couples / Family Law Solicitors in Dublin, Ireland

Do unmarried couples have rights in Ireland?

Cohabitating couples Ireland

You may hear many stories and myths regarding an unmarried partner’s entitlements on separation. Contrary to popular media culture, there is no such thing as a ‘common law’ marriage. Under Irish law does not currently allow unmarried partners on separation to make financial claims in the same way as a married partner can under the Separation or Divorce legislation however cohabitants can access remedies under the Cohabitant’s Act and in this way unmarried couples in Ireland can have legal recourse.

A redress scheme was introduced under the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 (“Cohabitants Act”) to provide for cohabiting couples who live together in an intimate and committed relationship (whether of the same sex or the opposite sex) who are not married to each other or civil partners of each other. The redress scheme provides for a broadly similar range of orders as are available to married couples when they separate or divorce.

The Act aims is to provide protection for a financially dependent member of a couple if a long-term cohabiting relationship ends either through death or separation. It applies to both same sex and opposite sex couples who have been in an intimate relationship.

My partner has died but we were not married, what rights to I have?

A financially dependent cohabitant may be able to apply to the courts for redress if the relationship ends as the result of death or otherwise. In order to apply for redress a person must be a qualified cohabitant must have been:

  • A cohabitant for at least 5 years or
  • A cohabitant for 2 years if they have had a child/children together

However, a person is not a qualified cohabitant if:

(a) one or both of the adults is or was, at any time during the relationship concerned, an adult who was married to someone else, and

(b) at the time the relationship concerned ends, each adult who is or was married has not lived apart from his or her spouse for a period or periods of at least 4 years during the previous 5 years.

There are strict time limits to make an application for this type of relief, and it is an entitlement to claim relief as distinct to an entitlement to a share like in the normal family marital situation under the Judicial Separation or Divorce laws. That said, essentially the Cohabitants Act is there to provide redress to the common law spouse and the non marital family. It is a complex area of law and can affect a wide range of assets.

How do you split assets when you are not married?

In each case the situation will be different.

If you can reach direct agreement then clearly that is simplest.  If however you have considerable financial ties and personal commitments, such as the care of young children, matter can be more complex.  There may be mortgages to be resolved as well as child care and access issues and child maintenance / financial support.

What rights do I have if I split up with my partner?

The law does protect cohabitating couples and relationship breakdown by virtue of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 (“Cohabitants Act”). In such instance a family law consultation for early legal advice to review the best way forward is advisable. There can be recourse to the Court explored and/or negotiations to resolve matters.

If matters are straight forward and no other parties effected, then a decision to sell, or purchase out the interest of the other party and procure a mortgage release in relation to a property may be readily achievable and negotiated. Again, early legal advice makes sure that you know where you stand before entering into any discussions or agreements and best protects your position.

Can a live in partner claim half the house?

In this scenario I am presuming you are the sole registered legal owner of the house.   Since the introduction of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 (“Cohabitants Act”) a non owning partner can make a claim against a property in which they live within the framework of the Act, if they qualify.

Prior to the Cohabitant’s Act such a claim could also be made under the Court’s equitable jurisdiction at common law.  Yes, a claim is possible, to discuss how the principles of family law apply to your case in such a scenario individual legal advice is recommended.

How do you split up when you have a house together?

If you do not have direct agreement with you former partner, this can be tricky, and early legal advice on your particular situation can be helpful. This is particularly so as frequently there are third party considerations such as a mortgage to be addressed.

In advance of consulting a family law solicitor for such a meeting it is useful to have a rough idea of:

  • The purchase price of the property
  • Who contributed what to the purchase price (deposit, mortgage etc.)
  • What is the current value of the property
  • What is the current amount of the mortgage outstanding.
Is my unmarried partner entitled to half the house under Irish law?

This will depend on a variety of circumstances including the type of ownership you entered into when you purchased (joint ownership, as joint tenants or tenants in common), or if the property is in sole ownership, various contributions to the property, and the current financial relationship between the parties.

Even if in theory both parties are entitled to a 50 / 50 share of the property in practice, there may have to be negotiations between both sides to reach an equitable settlement and or deal with mortgages and /or debt resolution.  Often an early consultation for legal advice to establish the legal position before you enter into negotations is very helpful, then you can move forward with some confidence as to where you stand and what are the likely outcomes in the event of a dispute.

Who gets the house when an unmarried couple splits up in Ireland?

Again, this can be a difficult situation to navigate. The options are for one person to remain in the house, and the other to buy out the interest of the other, or reach agreement on how to remain in the house, or to sell the house and agree division of it.

Outside of the mortgage, there may be other financial responsibilites at play if one party is or was financially dependent on the other party, or if there are young children and their housing to consider.

An early consultation for expert family law advice here will help review what matters there are to be addressed and how best to proceed.

In advance of consulting a family law solicitor for such a meeting it is useful to have a rough idea of:

  • The purchase price of the property
  • Who contributed what to the purchase price (deposit, mortgage etc.)
  • What is the current value of the property
  • What is the current amount of the mortgage outstanding.

Where there additional matters to be resolved such as issues regarding children and broader financial considerations, this will be a family law consultation, and will discuss issues beyond just property law. We will furnish you with an instruction sheet to help you gather the information that will need to be reviewed to guide you on your situation.

Your Expert Divorce Claims Legal Team in Ireland

At Carmody Moran Solicitors our experienced Divorce Solicitors Ireland are on hand to advise and skilled in handling all nature of divorce.

The two partners of Carmody Moran Solicitors have a combined total of in excess of twenty five years professional legal experience. Together with their associates they aim to make the Court process as straight forward and navigable as possible while being on hand to alleviate their clients concerns and worries about going through the Court process.

Anthony-Carmody-Solicitor-Dublin

Anthony Carmody

Partner

Anthony Carmody is one of the founding Partners of Carmody Moran Solicitors.

He has significant experience in personal injury cases and general litigation having handled literally thousands of cases on behalf of clients based in Ireland and abroad.

Niamh-Moran-Family-Law-Solicitor-Dublin

Niamh Moran

Partner

Niamh Moran is one of the founding partners of Carmody Moran Solicitors and is a solicitor with wide ranging experience across all areas of general practice.

Niamh manages the family lawconveyancing in Dublin, and probate divisions of the practice. Niamh’s practice of law is extremely varied and she is regularly sought out for her expertise by clients and colleagues alike.

*While we have made every effort to provide accurate information, the law is always changing and it affects each person differently. This information is not a substitute for specific advice about you personally and it is not intended as legal advice. We will not be liable to you if you rely on this information. In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with Reg.8 of SI 518 of 2002.

You should note that no solicitor/client relationship or duty of care or liability of any nature shall exist or be deemed to exist between Carmody Moran Solicitors and you until you have received a written letter of engagement from us in which we confirm our appointment as your Solicitors.

INDEPENDENT GOOGLE CLIENT REVIEWS
Joe Marsh
Joe Marsh
17:59 26 Sep 22
We recently closed on a first time house purchase and we were very pleased with how the whole process was handled at Carmody Moran. They always responded clearly and promptly to the many queries I had along the way and were on the ball with following up issues with the sellers solicitors to keep the process moving.The reason I went with them originally over other options was because they gave a very clear breakdown for the charges and the quoted price we were given was transparent and easy to understand compared to other quotes I received.I will definitely use them again if the need arises and recommend them to my friends and family.
Kenneth Ohaa
Kenneth Ohaa
09:52 01 Sep 22
I got the keys to my new house a few weeks back. I cannot recommend Carmody Moran Solicitors highly enough. It was a bit lengthy as I was buying and selling at the same time. In such cases you need experienced and competent solicitors such as Carmody Moran Solicitors.Stephanie and Helen were a pleasure to work with. Very transparent and communicative. Also occasionally dealt with Lucy and Caila. They were brilliant as well.I would like to say Thank you to the entire Carmody Moran team.Kenneth
Salt Almighty
Salt Almighty
06:16 10 Aug 22
I needed a solicitor to arrange a mortgage, and they went above and beyond to help me !I would advise them to anyone
Andrew NEROH
Andrew NEROH
19:39 04 Jul 22
My partner and I recently made the acquisition of our first home and it was a lengthy and difficult process, due to the fact we were buying from a receiver.In such difficult cases, you will need a legal representation as competent and professional as Carmody Moran Solicitors on your side.We were primarily dealing with Stephanie who gave us regular updates, helped us understand what is happening and what to do. We felt our interest always came first which made every appointment with her something we looked forward to.We were also occasionally in contact with Lucy, Niamh and other brilliant members of the firm, all of whom provided an excellent level of support and knowledge in Stephanie's absence.I couldn't recommend Carmody Moran enough. I would like to give a heartfelt thank-you on behalf of myself and my partner to every one involved at the firm who helped us make our dream a reality. We will not hesitate to call upon your services again should the occasion arise.Andrew.
jonathan
jonathan
16:14 28 Jun 22
I would highly recommend Carmody Moran Solicitors. Niamh Moran and her team helped and supported me through the sale of my home. The transaction was dealt with efficiently and quickly. Every step was clearly explained from the Sale Questionnaire, Contract for Sale to Completion.
Herghelegiu Oana
Herghelegiu Oana
22:44 20 Jun 22
We just got the keys to our dream home 🏡 special thanks to Stephanie,Helen,Caila and Carmody Moran team.All the girls are very friendly and helpful.Stephanie was a pleasure to have you as our solicitor.Highly recommend!
Karolina Siwakowska
Karolina Siwakowska
20:00 28 Mar 22
We've just got the keys to our dream home and Carmody Moran has helped us with all the legal work. We've been dealing with Stephanie and Helen and they both have been great: friendly, professional and communicative. The whole process can be intimidating at times, but they've made sure to make it as easy as possible for us. They've represented us well. Highly recommended.
ciara daly
ciara daly
16:27 18 Feb 22
Anthony and his team went above and beyond for me, everything was always looked after and I was constantly kept in the loop for my RTA case. From phone calls to emails to dealing with insurers. Gave me great peace of mind that I chose the right solicitor and Anthony himself is a gentleman. I would highly recommend Carmody Moran Solicitors.
Cassandra Reyes
Cassandra Reyes
11:11 14 Jan 22
Tony is quick and responsive to me. Very professional and would definitely recommend to my family and friends.Thank you so much.
Martin Kinsella
Martin Kinsella
17:23 15 Dec 21
CarmodyMoran were a pleasure to deal with. I found them to be extremely helpful in all my queries and responded to me in a very personal and professional manner.
Marie Byrne
Marie Byrne
14:06 30 Nov 21
Anthony & Niamh are our family Solicitor, so had no hesitation when the decision was made to sell of our family home. They dealt with my dad in the most caring manner explaining everything in detail. I dealt with Helen Ryan and Stephanie Tierney. The response to every query was exceptional. An absolute pleasure to deal with. If they were unavailable Emma at reception would pass all messages on. It was a very positive experience and a fantastic team at Carmody/Moran Solicitors. Thank you. Marie Byrne
Jennifer Foley
Jennifer Foley
18:13 27 Nov 21
Excellent.I am a client of Carmody Moran for the last few years.Niamh is a lovely person she made a difficult and lengthy process easy and answered any questions in a timely manner, very approachable and thorough.With her guidance and experience I found her to be very professional and understanding of my position, every step of the process was explained to me without overwhelming me.I cannot speak highly enough of Niamh and her team.I am happy to recommend them to anyone.
Richard Lawrence
Richard Lawrence
13:04 02 Sep 21
Would highly recommend.Tony and his team were absolutely brillant dealing with my case.Tony made me feel comfortable from day one, he explained everything to me at all times . Any time I had questions about thing's there was no problem in picking up the phone or sending a email Tony always got back to me and answered my questions.Fantastic service.
Fran Carroll
Fran Carroll
18:10 10 Jun 21
Tony an his team are brilliant.Left no stone unturned.
We availed of Carmody Moran Solicitors for the sale of our property. Niamh and her team were very efficient, quick, easy to reach and, most importantly, proactive to solve issues and process the sale. Really happy with the service and a very good value for money. Highly recommend!
Annamay Rowan
Annamay Rowan
12:21 10 Mar 21
Would highly recommend Anthony Carmody as he was so supportive with me and my family's case. If you made contact he would ring or email you back that day and explain things in your language.
Anant Batra
Anant Batra
00:05 05 Feb 21
Fantastic experience dealing with Anthony. Excellent and quick communication. Would highly recommend!
Elvyra Petkeviciute
Elvyra Petkeviciute
15:43 02 Sep 20
Great service, efficient, proffesional, very responsive. Over all very happy with services.
Tracy Ankers
Tracy Ankers
11:22 02 Aug 20
Would highly recommend Anthony and his team .
Elaine McSweeney
Elaine McSweeney
10:01 31 Jul 20
Really pleased with the advice, help, communication and understanding that I received all the way through my case. A very personable and professional firm with the focus always on the client.
Maxine Hudson
Maxine Hudson
13:47 12 May 20
Would highly recommend. No nonsense straight to the point. Kept informed at all times during the process. Anthony and staff all great.
Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly
02:11 06 Feb 20
Great team to deal with, very professional, communication from them constantly was beyond amazing, nothing but great things to say for them, Tony went above and beyond for me, highly recommended A++ for there service, thank you again guys much appreciated.
Mick Giles
Mick Giles
15:50 09 Dec 19
My experience with this law firm was exceptional. Tony is a very professional man who gave me his time and opinion without over promising on the result. Honest and trustworthy - Highly recommend
david clarke
david clarke
17:01 02 Dec 19
Absolute pleasure working with the CM team. Highly professional, always helpful. Great communication and made the process as hassle free as possible. Highly recommended.
Matthew Canning
Matthew Canning
17:17 23 May 19
Streetfront Lawyers.
Alan Alyyan
Alan Alyyan
19:14 21 Jan 19
Professional Solicitors that you can depend on!
Vanja Jovanovic
Vanja Jovanovic
07:49 06 Jul 18
We have dealt with both, Niamh and Anthony. Very pleased with the level of service. Very professional and always there to answer any questions we had while guiding us through the process. Highly recommended
Bonnie B
Bonnie B
07:52 14 Jun 18
Great to deal with professional,patient and efficient. Big thanks to Niamh, Leanne and Camilla .
declan mcgrath
declan mcgrath
07:36 12 Jun 18
Great service from Niamh, Leanne and all the team at Carmody Moran. Thanks
Phyllis Dalton
Phyllis Dalton
16:33 31 May 18
Our experience with Carmody Moran was very positive. They were very professional and always there on the phone if I ever needed anything. Great service.
Andrew Penrose
Andrew Penrose
23:57 24 May 18
We selected Carmody Moran to represent us. Great experience with Niamh and the crew after over a year engagement on property dealings have nothing but great things to say. Very professional, prompt to queries and very responsive. Highly recommended.
Paul Moran
Paul Moran
17:52 25 Feb 18
Professional but very friendly and courteous.
jingjing xu
jingjing xu
16:11 15 Jun 15
I went to Carmody after deciding to get a house. I found their work is detailed and very reliable. I will go again to them for next time legal service.
David McGowan
David McGowan
16:43 14 May 15
I went to Carmody Moran Solicitors after a car accident and needed injury claim advice, I was incredibly impressed and was kept well informed of how my claim was progressing.They were very straight forward and never set unrealistic time frames or over promising but delivered on everything, They were consummate professionals and I really can't thank them enough, I would highly recommend them to anyone and I will use them for any legal advice I may have in the future.
Terry Palmer
Terry Palmer
15:24 23 Apr 15
I have always found the service offered by Carmody Moran to be first rate and i would would have no hesitation in recommending them.
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