9 Which is the competent authority to turn to in cases of disputes and other legal issues?
Both the Irish Circuit Court and High Court have jurisdiction to accept and hear proceedings in respect of matrimonial property disputes where either of the spouses is domiciled in Ireland on the date of the application commencing proceedings or is ordinarily resident in Ireland throughout the period of one year ending on that date (section 31(4) Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act 1989 and section 39(1) Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996). The concept of domicile is governed by the common law and thus subject to judicial interpretation of the facts in any given case. However generally speaking a person’s domicile is the place where they have permanent residence, typically their domicile of origin, but equally it can be their domicile of choice if their actions reflect a permanent, or at least indefinite intention to reside there. Jurisdiction may be exercised by the Judge of the Circuit in which any of the parties to the proceedings ordinarily resides or carries on any business, profession or occupation (section 31(5) Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act 1989 and section 38(3) Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996).
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Couples in Ireland
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