Law - Family Law

Law Society of Ireland

Law - Family Law

Programme objectives
On completion of this training programme, participants will have:

A comprehensive and in-depth understanding of family law;
An enhanced knowledge of recent judicial decisions and legislative and procedural developments;

An ability to assess the impact of recent developments on practice and procedure in the family law arena;

A critical understanding of the family law process.

Programme structure and approach to learning
This course is designed to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of family law in this jurisdiction and will examine recent cutting-edge developments in core areas of family law and practice. The objective of this diploma is to provide practitioners with an essential overview of the many recent developments in family law and the implications for day-to-day client advice, practice, and procedure.

Legislative initiatives to be considered will include the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015, the Domestic Violence Act 2018 (which brings in significant changes to reliefs available to those in an intimate relationship), the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill 2017, the Family Law Act 2019 and the Family Courts Bill 2022 (which proposes a more efficient and user-friendly family court system for a range of family law proceedings and includes the introduction of a Family High Court, a Family Circuit Court and a Family District Court. The Bill also makes specific provision for proceedings under the Adoption Act 2010). The course also focuses on topical family law issues, such as family breakdown, child custody, and the increasingly practical issue of enforcement of orders abroad. Other matters reviewed will include parentage, surrogacy arrangements, and the law relating to guardianship, custody of, and access to children.

Subjects taught

The programme is based on the following module scheme and covers key themes as listed below:

Module 1: Course introduction and advising clients
Advising clients and taking instructions in family law matters,
An overview of practical issues and concerns,
Types of relationships; spouses, civil partners, cohabitants,
An overview of the Family Courts Bill 2022

Module 2: Prenuptial agreements, nullity and separation agreements
Prenuptial agreements and enforceability,
Void and voidable marriages,
Terms of a separation agreement.

Module 3: Judicial separation, divorce and recognition of foreign divorce decrees
Grounds for judicial separation; ancillary relief on judicial separation,
Grounds for divorce; case law and divorce practice and procedure,
Recognition of a foreign divorce decree,
Enforcement mechanisms abroad,
Alternative dispute resolution in family law.

Module 4: Maintenance, ancillary orders, pensions on separation and divorce
Maintenance provision: an overview of the current framework,
Ancillary relief on judicial separation and divorce,
Pensions on separation and divorce,
Tax implications of marriage breakdown.
Module 5: Domestic violence and child law
Remedies available for domestic violence,
The Adoption Act 2010,
Child abduction,
The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015.

Workshops are a key feature of this course. These are designed to be interactive and involve working in groups on selected case-study problems and analysis, with an emphasis on the application of the law to common scenarios encountered in practice.

Workshop / Title / Date / Time
1. Workshop 1 Saturday 25 November 2023 10:00 - 13:00
2. Workshop 2 Saturday 2 December 2023 10:00 - 13:00
3. Workshop 3 Saturday 20 January 2024 10:00 - 13:00
4. Examination Preparation Workshop Saturday 3 February 2024 10-13:00

Entry requirements

This course is suitable for the following:

Solicitors, trainee solicitors, paralegals, and other suitable professionals who wish to expand their knowledge of the family law arena with a view to moving into the area;

Solicitors, new and seasoned family law practitioners, who wish to gain an additional academic qualification and enhance their career opportunities in this dynamic area;

Solicitors and other suitable professionals who wish to familiarise themselves with family law in Ireland; and

Social workers, mediators, or relevant professionals who work in this area and who wish to gain a more comprehensive knowledge.

We welcome applications for this course from suitably qualified non-members. Please explain your interest and set out any relevant experience in a cover letter and a brief CV. Such applications are subject to a supplemental fee of €335.

Application dates

The closing date for applications for this course is 19 September 2023.

To apply for this course please follow the instructions outlined in the course webpage - link below.


Delivery Method Live online lectures Tuesdays 6pm to 8.30pm, with live online interactive workshops on Saturdays. Also available to view on-demand.

Enrolment dates

Start Date
Tuesday 3 October 2023 at 6:15 PM

More details
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    Daytime,Evening,Part time,Weekend

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