A decree of divorce dissolves a marriage and allows each party to remarry.



A decree of divorce allows both parties to a marriage to remarry. If a court is satisfied that the required conditions are met, the court will grant the decree of divorce dissolving the marriage. When it grants the decree of divorce, the court may also make orders in relation to custody of, and access to, children , the payment of maintenance and lump sums, the transfer of property, the extinguishment of succession rights, pension rights and other matters.

For more information on divorce including the rules that apply to obtaining a decree of divorce, visit the relevant page on the Citizens Information website

How to apply

Most applications for divorce are made in the Circuit Court.  Court rules regulate the procedure you must follow to obtain orders from the court.  They also include the forms you must complete to make your application.

Court rules

The following rules are relevant in respect of divorce applications in the Circuit Court

S.I. No. 510 of 2001: Circuit Court Rules: Order 59
S.I. No. 312 of 2007: Circuit Court Rules (General), 2007
S.I. No. 358 of 2008: Circuit Court Rules (Case Progression in Family Law Proceedings), 2008

Court forms

The following court forms will assist you prepare your application:

S.I. No. 510 of 2001, Circuit Court Rules, 2001

Form 2N: Family Law Civil Bill
Form 37A: Affidavit of means
Form 37B: Affidavit of welfare
Form 37C: Notice to trustees
Form 37D: Certification Pursuant to Section 5 or Section 6 of the Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act, 1989 or Section 6 or Section 7 of the Family Law (Divorce) Act, 1996 (for solicitors)

S.I. No. 358 of 2008, Circuit Court Rules (Case Progression in Family Law Proceedings), 2008

Form 37L: Summons to attend case progression hearing
Form 37N: Case progression questionnaire

Pension Adjustment Orders

Pension Adjustment Orders

In judicial separation, divorce, and dissolution proceedings, the court may make various types of financial settlements. Among these is a pension adjustment order.

A pension adjustment order designates a part of the pension for payment to a spouse and dependant children. The judge decides how much of the pension should be designated. The effect of such an order is that the designated part of the pension remains in the pension scheme but is payable to a spouse and children when the other spouse reaches pension age or dies.

Pension adjustment orders are only applicable where the decree for the judicial separation (or foreign divorce) was granted after 1st August 1996 or where an Irish divorce is obtained following the operation of the legislation with effect from 27th February 1997.

Who can apply for a pension adjustment order?

Either spouse (or a person representing a dependent child) may apply to the Court for a pension adjustment order.  The Court will not make either type of order if the spouse who applies has remarried.

Additional information

Where parties are agreed as to the pension adjustment order to be made they should approach the pension trustees and agree the form of the order to be made with the trustees. Thereafter they should bring the agreed draft order with them to the court hearing together with a letter from the trustees indicating their agreement with the form of the draft order.

For information on how pensions are assessed during a separation/divorce/dissolution visit the Citizens Information website


Court rules

S.I. No. 510 of 2001:Circuit Court Rules, 2001 - Order 59

  • Order 59 rule 4(7)(a): A Notice To Trustees to be served on the Trustees of the relevant pension scheme where a pension adjustment order is sought in the proceedings, at the same time as the civil bill is served and an affidavit of service sworn and filed within 14 days of service of the civil bill
  • Order 59 rule 4(9)(a):   Similar provision where a pension adjustment order is sought by way of counterclaim with the time period reduced to seven days
  • Order 59 rule 4(10)(a):  Application for judgement in default of appearance or defence. Notice of motion to be served on the Trustees in addition to the Respondent (where pension adjustment order is sought).
  • Order 59 rule 4(10)(g): Where parties agree on the orders to be made and where pension adjustment order is sought, the matter to be brought before the court by way of notice motion to be served also on the Trustees.
  • Order 59 rule (4)(12) and (4)(13):  Service of notice of trial on the trustees.
  • Order 59 rule 4(38)(4)(b): Where a pension adjustment order is sought by either party the notice to trustees shall be served, the affidavit of service of same shall be filed, and a copy of such notice and affidavit shall be served on the other party, prior to the case progression hearing.

Note: The synopsis of the court rules is provided for guidance purposes only. Parties should look up the particular court rule in each case, particularly in relation to time limits.

Court forms

S.I. No. 510 of 2001, Circuit Court Rules 2001

• Form 37C: Notice to trustees