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Thu 08 Feb

Children and Family Relationships Act 2015


St Andrews Resource Centre, 114-116 Pearse Street

Price €10 members/ €25 non-members

The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 has radically changed family law. The seminar will brief participants on the provisions of the new legislation which were commenced on the 18th January 2016.

Treoir  (The National Federation of Services for Unmarried Parents and their Children) promotes the rights and best interests of unmarried parents and their children through providing specialist information and advocating for their rights.

This seminar will be provided by Veronica Black, Information and Training Officer with Treoir. 

The provisions of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 which were commenced on the 18th January 2016 relate primarily to guardianship, custody, access and maintenance. They include the following:

  • A non-marital father will automatically become the guardian of his child if he lives with the child’s mother for at least 12 consecutive months including not less than 3 months after the child’s birth. The three months period does not have to take place directly after the birth of the child. It can be fulfilled any time before the child turns 18 provided that it is part of the 12 consecutive months during which the parents have lived together.  Until now non-marital fathers have never been automatic guardians of their child. The cohabitation requirement is not retrospective: only cohabitation after the commencement date is taken into account;
  • A person other than a parent may become a child’s guardian. It will be possible for step-parents, grandparents and others who act in loco parentis to apply for guardianship;
  • The Act allows relatives and certain persons to apply for custody of a child;
  • Where there is a court order in place for either access or custody and the access or custody is either unreasonably denied or not taken up, a parent/guardian of the child may apply to the court for an Enforcement Order;
  • It will be possible for a parent who is a guardian and has custody of a child to nominate a person to act as a temporary guardian in the event of the parent becoming incapable of exercising the rights and responsibilities of guardianship through illness or injury.