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Family Matters

The breakdown of a family relationship is an immensely stressful and distressing time for all involved. The emotional upheaval is particularly difficult to deal with, but there’s also the impact on a family’s financial wellbeing to consider.

At M.M. Halley & Son, we pride ourselves on our high levels of client care, delivering an expert, professional service with a personal and compassionate approach. Serious legal, financial and tax implications arise from the breakdown of a relationship. Our experienced family law solicitors are adept at providing the practical and constructive advice you need to negotiate detailed settlements.

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Putting negotiation and mediation first

Family law is one area where we always encourage communication in favour of conflict, considering the needs of the whole family unit, particularly the children. Unfortunately, negotiation and mediation is not always possible. In this case, we will advise and guide you through every stage of the process, while seeking alternative courses of action. If litigation is necessary, we will act decisively to defend and protect your best interests.

How we can help

Our specialist team of family law solicitors in Waterford has a wealth of experience advising clients not only on the legal considerations but also the strategies, tactics and practicalities to achieve the most positive outcome.

Our areas of family law expertise include:

  • Separation and divorce
  • The financial implications of marital breakdown
  • Disputes about property, business interests and trusts
  • Children issues – guardianship, custody and access
  • Recognition of foreign divorces
  • Pre-marriage legal advice
  • Co-habitation and non-marital relationships
  • Taxation advice related to non-martial relationships

Contact M.M. Halley & Son

Every client is assigned a dedicated point of contact who will be on hand to answer your queries. To arrange your initial consultation or to find out more about how our expert family law solicitors can help you, please call Liz Dowling on 051 874 073 or Fiona Ormond. You can email us at:

FAQs for Family Law Matters 

What are the legal processes for separation and divorce in Ireland?

Legal separation and divorce in Ireland involve different processes. Separation can be formalized through a Deed of Separation or a judicial separation order. Divorce requires living apart for at least two out of the previous three years and a court process to dissolve the marriage.

What are the financial implications of marital breakdown?

The financial implications include the division of assets, potential spousal maintenance, pension rights, and any joint debts. The division aims to be equitable, considering each party’s needs, contributions to the marriage, and future earning capacity.

How are disputes about property, business interests, and trusts resolved in marital breakdowns?

Disputes are typically resolved through negotiation or mediation. If an agreement can’t be reached, the court can decide on the division of property, considering factors like the duration of the marriage and contributions made by each spouse.

How are children’s issues like guardianship, custody, and access handled?

These issues are resolved with the child’s best interests as the primary consideration. This includes decisions on who will be the child’s guardian, where the child will live (custody), and how often and under what conditions the child will see the other parent (access).

How is the recognition of foreign divorces handled in Ireland?

Foreign divorces are recognised in Ireland if at least one spouse was domiciled or habitually resident in the country that granted the divorce. Legal advice is recommended to understand the specific criteria for recognition.

What should be considered in pre-marriage legal advice?

Pre-marriage legal advice can include discussions on prenuptial agreements, understanding legal rights and obligations in marriage, and planning for financial management and asset protection.

What are the legal considerations for cohabitation and non-marital relationships?

For cohabiting and non-marital relationships, legal considerations include property rights, maintenance obligations, and succession rights. The Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 provides some protections but differs from those for married couples.

What taxation advice is relevant for non-marital relationships?

Taxation advice for non-marital relationships can involve understanding tax liabilities and benefits related to shared assets, property transfers, and inheritance. Tax implications can differ significantly from those of married couples.

How can mediation and negotiation be used in family law matters?

Mediation and negotiation are alternative dispute resolution methods that can be used to amicably settle family law matters. They involve discussions facilitated by a neutral third party to reach a mutually agreeable solution, often leading to less acrimony and expense than court proceedings.

What are the benefits of resolving family law issues through mediation?

Benefits of mediation include greater control over the outcome, confidentiality, reduced legal costs, and the preservation of a cooperative relationship between the parties, which can be particularly beneficial when children are involved.

To find out more about how our expert family law solicitors can help you, please call Liz Dowling on 051 874 073 or Fiona Ormond. Or email us at:

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We Look forward to Speaking with You!

Our highly skilled team of solicitors and legal experts are here to help you with all your legal needs. Contact MM Halley & Sons today.