McHale & Co. Solicitors Blog

Sprint to the Court! New Divorce Decision Sparks Controversy

The recent decision in MH v MH by Mr Justice Abbot at the High Court in Ireland could change the way Solicitors will consider providing divorce documents to the court especially if there is some urgency.

The facts of the case were that the husband’s solicitor took initial documentation relating to the Judicial Separation the Husband was seeking to the High Court in Dublin at 2.30pm on the 7th September 2015.  The court found that on the same day the Wife’s petition of divorce was received at the County Court in Bury St Edmunds by way of DX at 10.30am.  The Husband’s documents were issued simultaneously with the filing of the documents at court whereas the wife’s documents were issued some 4 days later.

Previously the date of issue, when the court processes the paperwork, has been the crucial date when it comes to considering who has priority when both spouses present a petition to the court.  However, Mr Justice Abbot ruled that the definition of when the documents were ‘lodged’ referred to the time they were received by the court. 

Who has priority can be an important factor and there are often cases when we need to draft documents very quickly to ensure our client’s wishes to be the Petitioner are met. Whether in the same or different jurisdictions Solicitors will now have to consider how they provide petitions to the court and what evidence they can obtain in support of the time and date they provided this. Unless the current appeal is successful I suspect there could well be more trips to the Divorce Centre at Liverpool with a receipt of delivery in the future!!

If you need a family specialist get in touch with our experts by email or phone 0161 928 3848.

Categories: Divorce & Family Law

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