Are you an unmarried father?

Added: Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Under Irish Law (Guardianship of Infants Act, 1964) unmarried fathers are not the automatic Legal Guardians of their children. Unmarried mothers are however the automatic Legal Guardians of their children. The most efficient mechanism by which an unmarried father can become a Legal Guardian is to make an application to the District Court.

If the childs mother is not consenting then she must attend court and explain her reasons for not consenting to the application and these will be taken into consideration by the Judge before making a decision.  Alternatively, if the mother and father agree to appoint the father as guardian they can complete a declaration under section 2(4) (inserted by the Children Act, 1997) of the Guardianship of Infants Act, 1964 and file this declaration with the district court themselves without the involvement of a solicitor. A copy of this document can be kept by each parent showing their consent to the appointement of the father as guardian. In certain circumstance it may still be necessary to attend court to appoint an unmarried father as guardian even though the mother is consenting. For instance if the either parent was married previously it is necessary to make an application to the district court for the appointment of the father as guardian.

John Nash Solicitors are experienced family law practitioners and will assist you with any family law applicaiton you may need to make. Please contact John Nash Solicitors, Loughrea, County Galway to arrange a consultation so that we may advise you on all aspects of your application and to clearly explain  the Court process relating to your application.