A custody order can be applied for in the local district court. If granted you will get custody of your children. Sometimes joint custody of the children is awarded. Access for the other parent is decided by the judge. If one parent has abused the child, only supervised access will be given. The rights of the parents are only secondary to the rights of the child, the conduct of the mother and father are only taken into account when it effects the interest of the child.
Custody is the physical day to day care and control of a child or children.
When older children voice a preference, the court will sometimes have regard for their wishes if it is in the best interest of the child.
When you have custody of your child, your spouse/partner will usually be given access, unless there has been sexual abuse then access may be denied.
Access is the right to see and communicate with the child.
Access can be arranged in different ways, e.g. weekly, fortnightly, during summer holidays etc.
A couple do not have to be married to apply for access.
What is Guardianship?
Guardianship is a legal relationship between parents and their children. Married parents are joint guardians of their children and have rights and duties relating to their children's upbringing. An unmarried mother is the sole guardian of her child unless she consents to the father's appointment as guardian. Where an unmarried mother does not consent to the father being appointed guardian then the father must apply to court to be so appointed.
Drogheda Court offices