There are a number of documents which might be required as part of your divorce application. Only some will be applicable to your set of circumstances. We have tried to explain each of them briefly below:
- Family Law Civil Bill
This is essentially the basis of your divorce application. Key information contained in it would be items like when you got married, when you got separated, where you live etc.
- Affidavit of Welfare
This sets out the provisions made for any dependent children. This is signed by the applicant in the proceedings and sets out the details of care for the child(ren) at the date of signing. Basic information would be items such as where the child lives, whether he / she attends school, any maintenance paid etc.
- Affidavit of Means
This must be filed by all applicants and sets out there financial position as at the date of signing. Details include all assets, liabilities, incomes and outgoings. It is also preferable for a respondent to file an Affidavit of Means and in many cases the courts will insist on them doing so – we can do this free of charge.
- Section 6
It is a statement signed by the Applicant that they are aware of the possibility of mediation but that there is no prospect of reconciliation in their case.
- Ex-Parte Docket
This is a court appearance request by the applicant at which the Respondent does not have to attend. We normally use it in cases where permission is sought to serve papers abroad.
- Grounding Affidavit
This normally accompanies an Ex-Parte Docket. It is used to support an application to the courts. Normally this would used by the Applicant to support the fact that he was aware of the Respondent’s address
- Notice to Trustees
This document is used to advise pension companies that a pension order is being sought.
- Pension Adjustment Order
This is a court order that requires a pension company to amend certain entitlements as set out. We normally use this to effectively remove one beneficiary by way of a ‘Nominal’ Order.
- Notice of Motion
In layman’s terms this is what is used to apply for a court date. It can be on two different basis – either on consent or in default of defence / appearance.
This is the document signed by the Respondent whereby they consent to the Divorce.
- Entry of Appearance
The Respondent, on receipt of the Family Law Civil Bill, should file this. In practical terms it is used when they are advising the courts of their legal representative.
- Defence and Counterclaim
If the respondent is unwilling to consent to the divorce they must file a defence and counterclaim. This sets out their reasons as to why they won’t consent to the divorce.
- 14-Day Warning Notice
This is sent to the Respondent in the event that they fail to enter an appearance or lodge a defence. It requires them to do so in 14 days otherwise the applicant in the proceedings can apply to have his or her case heard on expiry of the 14 days.
- Terms of Settlement
If the applicant wishes to change the basis of the divorce to allow for certain requirements then a Terms of Settlement can be used. For example if the Respondent request a cash payment this might be documented in a Terms of Settlement.
- Separation Agreement
This is an agreement signed by both parties in advance of a divorce. People who do not yet satisfy the 4-year requirement for a divorce will sign a separation agreement. They are normally used where there are children or jointly held property.
- Judicial Separation
This is a court ordered separation that can be obtained by couples when they do not yet satisfy the 4-year rule for divorce. As it is obtained through the courts, a Judicial Separation can carry more weight than a Separation Agreement.
- Vouching Documentation
In some instances either party may be requested to ‘vouch’ their Affidavit of Means. This means they must provide documentary evidence to support the Affidavit of Means that they have filed, which could include items such as bank statements or wage slips.
- Case Progression Questionnaire
The Applicant and Respondent must complete this in situations whereby they are not able to agree on the terms of the divorce. This will clearly identify the issues that are in dispute.