Course Description

Diploma in Family Law

Diploma in Family Law is a course run by Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre, Dublin. It is a 'Online Learning' course . Diploma in Family Law gives a Course Qualification of Diploma, awarded by Law Society of Ireland. For more information about Diploma in Family Law at Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre, please review the details below.

Programme objectives

On completion of this Diploma in Family Law 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.

Recent 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), and the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill 2017. 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.


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.

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

  • 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 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 20 November 2021 10:00 – 13:00
2 Workshop 2 Saturday 04 December 2021 10:00 – 13:00
3 Workshop 3 Saturday 29 January 2022 10:00 – 13:00
4 Examination Preparation Workshop Saturday 12 February 2022 10:00 – 13:00


Three-hour closed-book written examination.

Who should attend?

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 €300.


Lecturers and tutors are drawn from solicitors, barristers, accountants, and others with expertise in the field of family law. Previous lecturers have included:

  • Ross Aylward BL,
  • David Bergin, O’Connor & Bergin,
  • Noeline Blackwell, Dublin Rape Crisis Centre,
  • Ken Breen, Greg Ryan Solicitors,
  • Jackie Byrne BL,
  • Helen-Louise Caffrey BL,
  • Stephanie Coggans, Legal Aid Board,
  • Judge Mary O’Malley Costello, Circuit Court,
  • Eugene Davy, Hayes Solicitors,
  • Sonya Dixon BL,
  • Paula Fallon, Paula Fallon & Associates,
  • Mary Griffin, John C Walsh & Co,
  • Sinéad Kearney, ByrneWallace LLP,
  • Eleanor Kiely, Musgrave Group,
  • Josepha Madigan TD,
  • Elizabeth Maguire BL,
  • Ciara Matthews, Gallagher Shatter,
  • Margaret McCann, Legal Aid Board,
  • Katherine McGillicuddy BL,
  • Eoin O’Connor, O’Connor McCormack,
  • Joan O’Mahony, O’Mahonys Solicitors,
  • Timothy O’Sullivan, Mooney O’Sullivan,
  • Polly Phillimore, Family Mediation Service,
  • Lorcán Price BL,
  • Dr Fergus Ryan, Maynooth University,
  • Dr Geoffrey Shannon, Law Society,
  • Nigel Tennant, Segrave-Daly & Lynch,
  • Muriel Walls, Walls & Toomey,
  • Judge Miriam Walsh, District Court.


We have designed our courses to enable you to satisfy as much of your CPD requirement as possible. Time spent attending lectures and workshops in person or completing these via e-learning as part of your course can be claimed towards your annual CPD requirement. The number of hours of CPD that you may claim in relation to your diploma/certificate course will depend on the way in which you access each of the individual sessions. Please note that the limit for e-learning has been removed for the 2021 CPD cycle. For further information, visit the CPD scheme and download the CPD booklet.

The Diploma Centre team will host our annual CPD conference in November 2021. This complimentary event is a dedicated management and professional development skills and regulatory matters session. We will post an invitation on your Diploma Hub page later in the year.

The Diploma in Family Law course at Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre is listed in's national courses finder.
Training ProviderLaw Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre
Course LocationDublin
Location PostcodeDublin 7
Course TypeOnline Learning
Course QualificationDiploma
Awarding BodyLaw Society of Ireland
Awarding Body DetailsDiploma in Family Law
Course Start Date28th September 2021
Course End Date5th February 2022
Course TimeLive online lectures Tuesdays 6pm to 8.30pm, with live online interactive workshops on Saturdays. Also available to view on-demand.
Course Fee2600
For more information about Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre, please visit our College page on by clicking here.

Course Provider

Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre

The Education Centre, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7 (DX 79 Dublin), Ireland D07 VW24, Dublin, Ireland

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Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre
The Education Centre, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7 (DX 79 Dublin), Ireland D07 VW24
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