Practice Area

Foreign Divorce


Where marriage takes place abroad, that marriage will be recognised as a valid marriage in the Republic of Ireland, if both of the parties to the marriage had the capacity to marry according to the law of their domicile at the time of that marriage, and where the formal legal requirements of the country where the marriage was celebrated were complied with.

Where a divorce has been obtained abroad, and prior to the 2nd of October 1986, the divorce will be recognised by the courts in Ireland, if either or both of the spouses were domiciled in that country where the divorce was obtained.

If a divorce is obtained abroad on or after the 2nd of October 1986, pursuant to the Domicile & Recognition of Foreign Divorces Act 1986, the Courts in Ireland will recognise the divorce where either of the spouses to the marriage was domiciled in the country where they obtained the divorce as at the date of the commencement of these divorce proceedings.

If a divorce is obtained in Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, that divorce will be recognised if either party was domiciled at the relevant time, in any of those jurisdictions.

On or after the 1st of March 2001, or the 1st of March 2005 in respect of newer member states, foreign divorces granted in the EU member states, excluding Denmark, are capable of being automatically recognised, based on a number of grounds, including residence.

In the event of any dispute, either party can make an application under The Family Law Act 1995 to the Court in order to seek a formal declaratory order, as to the marital status.

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