Who keeps the family home in a divorce in Ireland?

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When it comes to deciding who will get to keep the family home in a divorce there are several factors that will be considered.

If both parties are in agreement as to how to divide their assets, including the family home, a Judge will usually rubber stamp the agreement (also known as ruling the agreement). The trouble arises in contentious divorces where there is no agreement.

The starting point on any action will be that each party will be entitled to 50/50, but then your rights and equity regarding the property will decrease or increase depending on a number of decisive factors.

Investment in the property

A key factor in deciding who get the family home or what equity they will get in the family home will be who invested what into the property.   For example, a judge will factor in who bought items for the house, who invested in the houses upkeep, if any gifts were made during the original purchase of the house, etc.  Therefore, it’s usually a wise move to keep receipts for a deposit provided for the house, receipts for extensions, or any other repairs that were made.

It’s important to note, just because one party, say the wife was the breadwinner and the husband stayed at home caring for the children this does not automatically mean that the husband will be penalised for staying at home.  The input by the person staying at home and looking after the children will be seen as an equally valid contribution.

In any divorce proceedings it is very important that you seek the advice of a family law solicitor.

Will the kids be a decisive factor in any decision?

A crucial factor in deciding who gets to keep the family home will be who will have primary care of the children. The priority will shift to the welfare of the children. Whilst this will be a key factor in any decision, it still doesn’t automatically mean that one party will be entitled to the family home.  A Judge may rule, depending on the circumstance of the case, that another home will suffice. The most important thing is that the kids will have a roof over their heads.

The Irish Courts have tended to allow the primary caregiver to stay in the family home until such time as the children are no longer legally dependent (18 or their 23rd birthday if they stay in full-time education) but again, this will depend on the overall provision for each spouse and the children.


The fact is, in divorces when it comes to distributing assets there will be a lot of grey areas.  There are a number of variables that will need to be considered and there is going to be no one size fits everyone. This is why its vitally important that you have a family law solicitor in your corner because they will be able to analyse the circumstance of your case and offer you advice and guidance on how you can attain the best outcome possible.

A family law solicitor near me

Liston Family Law are specialist family law solicitors who have acted in divorce and legal separations throughout Ireland. We have acted for clients in Limerick, Clare, Tipperary, Westmeath, Dublin and more. Once you book a consultation with us, we will devise a custom made strategy to ensure that any divorce proceedings are completed in as seamless a fashion as possible.