General Legal Advice on the Recognition of Foreign Marriages/Divorces:
Special rules apply in the context of recognition of foreign divorce, according to the date when the foreign divorce proceedings were issued. A foreign divorce obtained prior to 2 October 1986 would be subject to common law rules and the Irish courts will now recognise such a decree in circumstances where either or both spouses were domiciled in the foreign state. In some cases, the High Court has recognised such a divorce on the basis of the residence of either spouse, although the precise parameters of such recognition remain unclear.
A foreign divorce obtained on or after 2 October 1986, would be subject to the provisions of the Domicile and Recognition of Foreign Divorces Act 1986 (the 1986 Act). In such cases, the Irish courts will recognise a foreign divorce where either spouse was domiciled in the foreign state at the date of commencement of the proceedings. Special rules apply with regard to cases concerning England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, such that the divorce is recognised if either party was domiciled at the relevant time in any of those jurisdictions. On or after 1 March 2001 (or 1 March 2005 in respect of newer member states), foreign divorces granted in the EU member states (excluding Denmark) receive automatic recognition based on a number of grounds including residence. Where there is a dispute, it is possible to make an application under the 1995 Act for the purpose of seeking a formal declaration as to marital status.