Only one percent of Irish men win the right to remain in the family home

A new study has found that 99 percent of Irish husbands lose their homes during divorces.

An Irish graduate law student, Róisín O’Shea,  has observed that during family law cases courts give one spouse the right to live alone in the family home. The husbands are favored only one percent of the time.

In seven out of ten cases the judge ordered a transfer of the property into the wife’s name.

During 160 contested cases when an order was made to sell the home the wife received more than half of the proceeds in 25 percent of the cases. During the other 75 percent the proceeds were split.

The graduate student has observed 493 judicial separation and divorce cases in Dublin, Cork and the southeast since October 2008. She observed that 73 percent of judicial separation and 54 percent of divorce application were filed by the wives.

“To date, all of the contested cases that I have observed were brought by the wife," said O’Shea, while speaking to the Sunday Business Post. “I have not seen a single case where the wife was ordered to pay maintenance for children or a spouse.

Without fail, where maintenance is at issue, it is the husband who has been ordered to pay.”

She also pointed out that in most contested maintenance cases the husbands argued that they were being denied access to their children. Although many of the father’s asked for joint custody she said that she had only observed this in two cases.

With falling property prices in Ireland the courts are also seeing people returning to the courts to re-visit financial orders when people have in negative equity or in arrears of mortgage payment.

In many cases she said “Agreements reached cannot be performed and maintenance orders cannot be discharged…This means that the judiciary are increasingly faced with the reality of debt division, rather than equitable provision."