News Archive

Child and Family Relationships Act 2015

Key provisions of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 relating to Guardianship, Custody, Access and Maintenance came into force in January 2016. The provisions of the Act require that the child’s best interest is of paramount consideration and the views of the child must be taken into account if the child is in a position to express such views.

Guardianship

An unmarried father will now automatically be a guardian if he has lived with the child’s mother for 12 consecutive months, including at least 3 months following the birth of the child. This provision is not retrospective, so guardianship will only be acquired automatically where the parents have lived together for at least 1 year after January 18th 2016.

A person other than a parent can apply to the court to be appointed a child’s guardian if married to or in a civil partnership with the child’s parent or if he or she has cohabited with the child’s parent for 3 years and has shared responsibility for the child’s day-to-day care for more than 2 years.

A person other than a parent can also apply to the court to be appointed a child’s guardian if he or she has been responsible for the child’s day-to-day care for over 1 year and if no parent or guardian is willing or able to exercise the rights and responsibilities of guardianship.

The Act allow permits the appointment of a temporary guardian if a guardian parent is suffering from serious illness or injury which would prevent him or her from exercising his or her guardianship responsibilities.

The powers of court-appointed guardians will generally be limited to decisions on day-to-day matters.

Custody

Under the Act a parent’s spouse, civil partner or cohabitant (of not less than 3 years) can apply for custody where he or she has shared parenting of the child for 2 years. A grandparent or other relative can also apply to court for custody of a child where he or she has undertaken the child’s day to day care for over 1 year and the child has no parent or guardian willing or able to act as guardian.

Access

Relatives of a child and those actingin loco parentis to a child canalso now more easily apply to the Court for access rights.

Maintenance

A maintenance responsibility can now be imposed on a cohabiting partner for a partner’s child where the partner is a guardian of the child.

The Act is a welcomed advancement in the area of Family Law and recognise the increasing diversity of family life in Ireland. If you require further information or advice in this area please contact Mary Cashin (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Sheila Lynch (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or telephone us on 065 6840060.

Cashin & Associates Solicitors,
3 Francis Street, Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland
Dublin Office: 64 Francis Street, Dublin 8
T: 00 353 65 6840060  F: 00 353 65 6840034
E: info@cashinlaw.com