Divorce Law Northern Ireland : If you are facing a divorce or separation, you need experienced divorce lawyers on your side to protect your interests and ensure that you have the right framework in place for the future.
At PA Duffy, we represent clients across Northern Ireland throughout the divorce process, dealing with the filing of divorce papers as well as related issues such as the division of property, financial agreements and arrangements for children.
We understand that this is likely to be a very difficult time for you and our team will always do all they can to provide support, guidance and advice to help you navigate the process of ending your legal relationship.
For a free initial consultation with one of our Northern Ireland divorce law experts, call us on 028 8772 2102 (UK) or 01 533 7860 (IE). We will talk through your situation with you and discuss what the first steps are in dealing with a divorce and related issues. We can also answer any questions you may have.
Alternatively, you can fill in our online Contact Form and we will ring you.
How our Northern Ireland divorce law solicitors can help you
Obtaining a divorce
We can apply for a legal divorce on your behalf, going through the forms with you, filling out the divorce petition, responding to a petition issued by your spouse and applying for the orders necessary to complete a formal divorce.
We will also advise you of any other issues that need to be dealt with. It is often advisable to deal with financial matters before your divorce is finalised. We can discuss the process with you and ensure that everything is dealt with in the correct order, to safeguard your interests.
Dividing assets in the breakdown of a relationship is never easy, especially when you share a family home. We can go through your options with you and help you try and come to an agreement over sharing your assets fairly and ensuring that you and any children of the family have the security that you need for the future.
If you have day-to-day care of children, then you are likely to need to stay in the family home. We can discuss with you how this could be achieved, for example, by agreeing that your spouse will have a larger share of other assets, such as pension entitlement.
While it may seem very difficult to fairly divide your shared wealth, our team are highly experienced in separating finances and we can go through all of your options with you and negotiate on your behalf to reach the best possible outcome.
Arrangements for children
If you have children, then your main concern is likely to be what the future will look like for both you and them. We can work with you and your spouse to try and agree on new arrangements, including who they will live with, how much time they will spend with their other parent, what will happen in school holidays and how they will stay in contact with you when you are not together.
The courts prefer that parents reach agreement between themselves over new arrangements and we can help you negotiate an acceptable solution. If this is not possible, we can support and guide you through mediation or another method of alternative dispute resolution to try and reach agreement with their other parent.
What are the grounds for divorce in Northern Ireland?
You will only be granted if you can show that your relationship has irretrievably broken down. Northern Ireland divorce law states that this is evidenced by one of the following situations:
Two years’ separation, where both parties consent to the divorce
Five years’ separation, where only one party consents to the divorce
How long does it take to get a divorce in Northern Ireland?
Getting a divorce in Northern Ireland may take only a few months in the quickest cases, however the other issues that you need to deal with may well take longer. For example, reaching agreement over finances will require both you and your partner to start by making a full disclosure of your assets, then entering into negotiations.
Do I have to go to court to get a divorce?
To start the divorce process, an application needs to be lodged with the court. You or your solicitor will receive a certified copy of your petition which should then be served on your spouse. You will then usually need to attend a hearing before a judge who will grant a decree nisi if they are satisfied that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. We can represent you if necessary and apply for the decree absolute six weeks after the decree nisi, which will formally end your marriage.
Contact our divorce solicitors in Dungannon and Belfast .
Our Northern Ireland divorce law solicitors are experienced practitioners with an excellent track record of success in representing clients throughout the divorce and separation process. To speak to one of our team, call us now on 028 8772 2102 (UK) or 01 533 7860 (IE)
Carla studied Corporate Law and graduated from the National University of Ireland Galway in 2009, she then completed a Postgraduate qualification in 2010. Carla qualified as a solicitor in 2013 after completing her solicitor training at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies. She trained as a solicitor in a city centre law firm and practiced there until she joined PA Duffy.
Carla specialises in Matrimonial and Family Law, where her passion lies.
Carla deals with cases arising from the breakdown of relationships to include divorce, ancillary relief proceedings, division of assets upon divorce and dissolution of civil partnerships.
She has represented numerous families in proceedings concerning children such as contact and residence of children, public law cases such as care order proceedings. Carla has expertise dealing with international cases such as relocation and child abduction. Carla is known by her clients to be a source of comfort and strength as well as a knowledgeable and experienced solicitor. What makes Carla stand out is her dedication to her clients.
Carla assists local organisations and charities running clinics on family and domestic issues and speaks at events concerning domestic violence and children’s legal issues.
Carla is recognised as a specialist Children’s solicitor and is on the Children Order Panel, accredited by the Law Society of Northern Ireland.
As a blogging enthusiast Carla frequently contributes to blogs writing articles on topics ranging from current Family and Matrimonial issues to reported legal cases that are relevant to her clients and potential clients.
Carla is a Director of the Colin Surestart Board of Directors and takes pride in advising and being part of such an important organisation.
Outside of work Carla enjoys travelling and running.
Carla is committed to responding sensitively and effectively to those needing help and advice relating to Domestic violence and has attained the Workplace Charter on Domestic Violence for PA Duffy. By displaying the “Safe Place” logo in PA Duffy victims can be assured of a safe place and secure environment.
Carla is a member of Women in Business and enjoys attending events and developing her professional skills and relationships with other likeminded women.
Chambers 2022– Associate to watch
Carla Fraser was last modified: March 13th, 2023 by Conal McGarrity
Conal became the youngest legal director in Ireland when he was appointed director in 2017. He qualified as a Solicitor in 2014 having graduated from Queen’s University where he received the Lord Chief Justice’s Prize for academic achievement.
He practices in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. He is an expert in the areas of human rights, dispute resolution, medical negligence, fraud & financial crime.
He is regularly instructed in the most serious and high-profile cases within Northern Ireland the Republic of Ireland. He currently represents clients in cases pending before the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, the Supreme Court in London and the Special Criminal Court in Dublin. Conal also tutors in the areas of public law and medical negligence at Queen’s University, Belfast.
Conal is also instructed in challenges against State authorities in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in respect of failures to establish Public Inquiries to investigate the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic in each jurisdiction. He is also the Recognised Legal Representative for NI Covid Bereaved Families for Justice in the UK Covid-19 Public Inquiry which is due to begin hearings in May 2023 in London.
Conal represented his county, Tyrone at minor level where he won an Ulster Championship medal. He has also won McRory Cup & Hogan Cup medals with his school, St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon.
In the matter of an application by JR79 for Judicial Review & in the matter of decisions taken by a school and a Health & Social Care Trust – Judicial Review, High Court Northern Ireland – Article 8 – judgment granted in favour of client (child).
In the matter of an application by TKF for Judicial Review – Judicial Review, High Court Northern Ireland – challenge to EU Regulation 4/2009 on the application & enforcement of foreign maintenance orders prior to member state becoming a member of the EU
In the matter of an application by Tadeusz Stach for Judicial Review – Judicial Review, High Court Northern Ireland – challenge to the Conservative Government policy of homeless EEA nationals
In the matter of an application by Raymond Archer for Judicial Review – Judicial Review, High Court – challenge to access to budgeting loan for a class of benefit recipients (264,000 individuals)
In the matter of an application by BMN1 for Judicial Review – Judicial Review, High Court Belfast – challenge to school/Education Authority on a decision to exclude a child with Special Educational Needs (SEN) from school/ failure to make proper educational provision
Barbara Kozyra v St James Hospital, Dublin – Medical negligence, High Court Dublin – stem cell transplant mistake resulting in avoidable death – substantial settlement
MB v Belfast Health & Social Care Trust – Medical negligence, High Court Belfast – significant injuries due to failure to administer required treatment – substantial settlement
RJ v Southern Health & Social Care Trust – Medical negligence, High Court Belfast, stroke resulting in significant brain injury
MJ (a child) v Belfast Health & Social Care Trust – Medical Negligence, High Court Belfast – catastrophic birthing injury
Southern Health & Social Care Trust v RK and in the Matter of RM (a child), Care Proceedings & Freeing for Adoption (defending) – High Court Belfast
Southern Health & Social Care Trust v LA and in the Matter of PA & RA (a child), Care Proceedings & Freeing for Adoption (defending) – High Court Belfast
Southern Health & Social Care Trust v PD and in the matter of PS & PR (a child) – Care Proceedings, High Court Belfast
R v M & others, ongoing allegation MTIC £39 million fraud
R v F & others – ongoing allegation of a £215 million money laundering
Hickson Commission – Public Inquiry, Dublin (ongoing) – The Commission will inquire into the level of knowledge of the offences committed by notorious paedophile Billy Kinneally was held by a number of organisations including An Garda Siochana, the Waterford Diocese, the South Eastern Health Board, Basketball Ireland and high profile political figures
In the Matter of a Preliminary Reference under Article 267 TFEU from the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland to the European Court of Justice, Luxembourg – Case Number 1132471 EN Preliminary Reference C-729/19
R v Djalo & Ors – Murder
R v Lawlor & 2 ORS – Rape
R v SB – Rape
Judicial Review 18 Applicants -v- An Taoiseach, Minister for Health, Minister for Finance, Attorney General Ireland – challenge to the Republic of Ireland Government’s failure to hold an investigation into nursing home deaths during Covid-19 pandemic
Recognised Legal Representative for NI Covid 19 Bereaved Families for Justice – UK COVID-19 Public Inquiry
Application by Oliver Hughes for Judicial Review and in the Matter of Decisions of The Department for Communities – challenge to the prohibition on the operation of private crematoria in Northern Ireland
Conal McGarrity was last modified: March 6th, 2023 by Chris Rowan
Danielle joined P.A. Duffy and Company in August 2020 as a Legal Executive. She then started her Solicitor training in September 2021 through the Institute of Professional Legal Studies and is due to qualify as a Solicitor this year in October 2023. She is currently working with the Covid Inquiry Team, Criminal Department, and Litigation Department.
She graduated from Queens University Belfast in 2018 with LLB Honours and she then proceeded to complete her Masters in Law at Trinity College, Dublin in 2019. She then moved to New York to gain experience in the legal field before sitting the New York Bar Exam in 2020. Danielle therefore has knowledge and experience of the law across three jurisdictions- UK, ROI, and USA.
Her core principle and value is to enhance the lives of others through her work. She believes that her values will both help and heal others. She views the legal profession as a healing profession which reconciles clients with their appropriate remedy.
Outside of work Danielle is passionate about the gym and yoga. She is a caffeine enthusiast and loves to spend time with her nearest and dearest as well as her little Irish doodle, Millie. She loves to travel when she gets the opportunity and try different restaurants. It is a daily requirement for Danielle to hit her steps. All of her personal activities enable her to lead a rich, full, and meaningful life which contributes to the quality of her work in the legal field.
She is studying reflexology and will be a fully qualified and accredited advanced reflexologist in 2023. She hopes to implement this into the lives of others including her work colleagues, family and friends.
Danielle Garrity was last modified: February 15th, 2023 by Conal McGarrity