DESPITE the cost of divorce thought to be proving a deterrent in most parts of Ireland, Clare saw a rise of 40 per cent in the number of couples getting divorced in the county in 2011.
According to new figures for the county released by the Central Statistic Office 69 divorces were granted to Clare couples last year – with a further 66 applications for divorce being made.
Experienced Clare based Family Law solicitor Marie Keane says the rise can be attributed to the type of divorces being negotiated as well as the age profile of couples getting divorced.
“The vast majority of divorce cases are now being settled before going to court, with both parties consenting. From my experience I would guess up to 95 per cent of cases settle in this manner,” Marie told The Clare People on Monday.
“There is also a definite trend of divorces amongst mature people, couples who have their children reared so custody of children no longer remains an issue,” she said.
“In a lot of cases these couples have been separated for a long number of years and are only now seeking actual divorce decrees in order to remarry, finalise wills, pensions etc,” she added.
“Couples in their fifties are probably the most common divorce applicants in Clare.
“They are older, have more life experience and very often have lived through separation for the past fifteen or twenty years,” she told us.
A couple must be living apart for four of the previous five years before a divorce can be granted.
According to Ms Keane, who is a member of the Family Law Committee of the Law Society of Ireland, cost is not really an issue amongst the vast majority of couples seeking a divorce.
“The average cost of a divorce is usually somewhere in the region of €3,000 plus VAT when consent exists between the parties involved.
“The huge figures mentioned occasionally in the media are the very rare occasions when divorces go through lengthy court proceedings. That would be highly unusual in Clare,” she stated.

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Andrew has been working in the media in the West of Ireland for more than a decade. During that time he has been shortlisted for many national journalism awards, served as a judge for the Choice Music Prize in 2008 and was part of the nominating panel for the Meteor Ireland Music Awards from 2008 to 2011. He holds an MA in Journalism and Public Relation and a BA in English, Sociology and Politics. He is currently working on his debut novel. A selection of his writings, including a number of new short stories can be viewed on Fighting Talk - http://fightingtalknow.blogspot.ie/ Follow Andrew on twitter: @Andrew_CPeople Contact Andrew on [email protected]

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