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Marital Separation in Contemporary Ireland

Women’s Experiences

Lucy Hyland

This book is based on detailed interviews with a group of Irish women who have experienced marital separation. It links the women’s accounts with literature on the values and beliefs about marriage, women and family which were prevalent when they were growing up in Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s. The book chronicles their young adult years, the early stages of their marriages and the events and processes which led to their separations. It explores the women’s emotional reactions at the time of separating, the types of support which they found beneficial and the personal, social and financial consequences of having separated.
Although the book is written from a sociological perspective, the combination of theory and practical insights make it accessible to a wide variety of readers. It aims to generate discussion and deepen understanding of an area into which there has been minimal research in Ireland and which poses a range of important questions for future researchers, practitioners and policy-makers.
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Chapter 7: Legal, Financial and Housing Arrangements


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Legal, Financial and Housing Arrangements

This chapter will continue to explore the third research question about the losses and gains experienced on the journey through separation. It will deal with experiences of the family law system and the legal arrangements the women made about their accommodation and income following separation. The chapter will, firstly, outline the background to divorce and separation legislation in Ireland. The chapter will also discuss experiences of mediation services, the significance of having older children, feelings associated with staying in or leaving family homes and income and pension arrangements.

Background to Divorce Referendum 1986

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