Family Law and Information for unmarried, separated or divorced parents


Treoir and Citizens Information are 2 agencies that provide legal information on Irish Family Law.  is signposting them for general information and educational purposes. You should contact a solicitor before making any legal decision about your own individual situation and personal circumstances.


Treoir provides a variety of advice to unmarried parents. There is information on an unmarried father's rights and duties regarding his child, both on their website and through their confidential LoCall number 1890 252 084. Under current Irish family law, unmarried fathers in Ireland do not have automatic rights to custody, joint guardianship of or access to their children. However, they do have the automatic responsibility of paying maintenance. Treoir also offers a range of information relating to these issues through downloadable leaflets.

There is additional information for unmarried fathers in Ireland in relation to the registration of the birth (.pdf) of their child and birth certs along with passport applications for children whose parents are not married to each other.

There is information both for grandparents who are actively involved in their grandchildren's lives, and for those who are seeking to be involved. Grandparents who are trying to obtain access to their grandchildren will find information on the two-step application process. This process can also be followed by those who have been in loco parentis to a child.

Treoir also explains new legal rights concerning cohabiting couples, what qualifies as a cohabitant and the legal implications for children whose parents are cohabiting.

Separated fathers and divorced fathers can consult Treoir's .pdf leaflet on shared parenting or a 36 page .pdf information pack for unmarried parents.


Citizens Information

Provides information about family and relationship related issues including unmarried fathers rights, guardianship, child support. It also provides information on separation and divorce.