Republic of Ireland Law
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1. The first thing you need to realise is that your Separation Agreement was probably filed in court as part of the Legal Separation proceedings, as this would have been standard practice in 1997 when you separated. So, you should seek to search the Circuit Court files where the separation proceedings were entered for a copy of your Separation Agreement. The second point you need to be very aware of is that if your ex husband is homeless and destitute, then you will most likely have to give him some of your money as part of divorce proceedings as need is taken into account when determining what is fair when parties are divorcing. So, whilst you have to serve divorce proceedings on your husband, if he is properly advised, he will seek part of your savings as part of the divorce hearing. As you are aware, the Affidavit of Means will set out both your financial situations. However, if you are much better off, you will be asked to contribute to your husband in the divorce proceedings. So, you should consider this point and also consider whether you should get legal representation when considering divorce, as the case is likely to be more complicated than you have imagined.
2. There is no need for you to have the separation agreement if it has been lost. Essentially, upon divorce in Ireland, all issues which were dealt with in a Separation Agreement are open for debate again, so the court is never bound by the Separation Agreement. So, ultimately, it does not matter if you don't have the Separation Agreement. The divorce court will examine afresh all the issues and you can go ahead with getting your divorce.
3. Glad to be of assistance. Have a good day.
4. Best wishes.