Persons who were previously in a civil partnership or married
Civil Partnership of persons who have been previously married or in a civil partnership
If either party has been previously married or has been a party to a civil partnership, the following documents are
||Original final divorce decree(s)
|Former Civil Partner
||Original final dissolution(s) of civil partnership
||Death certificate(s) of late spouse(s) together with original civil marriage certificate(s)
|Surviving Civil Partner
||Death certificate(s) of late civil partner(s) together with original civil partnership certificate(s)
English translations of the documents must be provided where necessary.
If either party was married or in a civil partnership that was annulled by an Irish court the final decree of
nullity, together with a letter from the relevant court confirming that no appeal was lodged, must be provided
to the Registrar.
If either of the parties to a proposed civil partnership was previously married or party to a civil
partnership this fact should be brought to the attention of the Registrar at the time of making the appointment for
In the case of a divorce granted by a Court of another State, the following procedure applies:
- If the divorce decree is in a foreign language, an English translation of the Divorce must be provided, duly
certified by a relevant official body or recognised translation agency. In the case of a foreign divorce, consideration
is given to the question of whether the divorce is recognisable under Irish law before a final date for the civil
partnership is confirmed.
- Where the divorce comes within EU regulations, it is sufficient if the divorce document confirms that both parties to the
divorce were notified of the proceedings and had an opportunity to give evidence to the court which granted the divorce. If this
is not indicated in the final divorce document, any additional documentation required will be confirmed by the Registrar at the
- Where EU regulations do not apply, certain evidence as to place of birth, countries of residence and other relevant facts
must be supplied on a questionnaire provided by the Registrar. The information is then forwarded to the General Register Office
where further requirements may be identified.
- If a legal dissolution of a civil partnership is granted outside Ireland, it will be recognised under Irish law
if the Minister for Justice and Law Reform has made an order recognising the appropriate class of legal relationships in the
jurisdiction in which the dissolution was granted.
The rules regarding the recognition of foreign divorces under Irish law are complex and it is advised that specific enquiries
in that regard be addressed to the General Register Office.
Irish Divorces or Dissolutions
In the case of a divorce or dissolution granted by an Irish Court, the original court decree in respect of same must be
presented to the appropriate Registrar at the notification appointment.
It should be noted that a distinction exists between nullity, separation, divorce and dissolution, and the broad
distinctions are outlined below:
- If no valid marriage or civil partnership existed in the first instance a decree of nullity
may be sought from the Irish Courts - a civil decree of nullity means that the marriage or civil partnership
registration in question had no legal effect and the parties concerned are free, in civil law, to enter into
a civil partnership.
- If a valid marriage is in place and a couple separate (by judicial means or by agreement) the parties
concerned are not permitted to enter into a civil partnership.
- If the parties to a valid marriage subsequently divorce (and this divorce is granted by an Irish court
or recognised by this State) either of the parties concerned may enter into a civil partnership.
- If the parties to a valid civil partnership are subsequently granted a dissolution (and this
dissolution is granted by an Irish court or recognised by this State) either of the parties concerned may enter
into a civil partnership.
The procedures involved in seeking decrees of nullity, separations, divorces or dissolutions are a matter for the
appropriate Courts, and Registrars do not have any function in regard to those procedures. Contact should be made directly
with the appropriate Courts Offices.
It should be noted that an annulment granted by the authorities of a religious body does not have any effect in civil
law and persons who have obtained a church annulment only are not free to enter into a civil partnership.
• Modernisation Programme
• Reform of Marriage Law
• Registering a
• Registering a
General Register Office,
Convent Road, Roscommon.
Tel: +353 (0) 90 6632900
LoCall: 1890 252076
Fax: +353 (0) 90 6632999
Fax: +353 (0) 90 6632988