Custody and How to Apply

Custody is the day to day care of the child. It involves exercising care and control over a child on a day to day basis, protecting and supervising the child. A married couple have joint custody of the child and are also joint guardians. In a non-marital family, the mother has sole custody of the child.

A father may apply to the Court for custody of the child. Generally, this is only granted in exceptional cases which involve severe lack of care of the child by the mother. However, this application can be made through the Courts. A father could also apply for joint custody of the child if he has concerns over how the child is being raised.

Any person who is a guardian of a child may apply for custody of that child. For example, in situations where a parent is deceased and has appointed a testamentary guardian in their Will, this guardian may apply to the District Court for custody.

An application to the District Court is initiated by either attending with us or attending directly with your local District Court Office. A summons will then issue to the other party and you will be allocated a date for hearing in the Court. We represent clients in Swords District Court, Balbriggan District Court and also Dolphin House which is Dublin Family Law District Court for these applications.

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