Family law can be a particularly divisive branch of Irish law, given the depth and significance of the relationships involved. 

For that reason, a qualified and experienced family law solicitor is invaluable for anyone looking to resolve a legal dispute with a spouse or relative. 

Whether you are beginning divorce proceedings, negotiating over child custody or figuring out the best way of posthumously distributing your assets, you may be well served by contacting a good lawyer.

At Hughes & Associates, our team of solicitors are experts in family law and always on hand to provide you with friendly, helpful advice. 

Contact us today for any queries around family law and to ensure a smooth and comprehensive legal process.

What is Family Law?

Family law is the branch of law that deals with domestic matters and disputes involving family members. 

A broad range of legal cases are covered under the umbrella of family law and no two cases are the same. 

Still, matters like divorce follow clear, definite procedure and it is helpful to have a family law solicitor on hand to ensure both parties adhere to that process. 

Because it is a broad and quite general term, family law can encompass all kinds of legal matters involving many different family dynamics. 

If you are embroiled in a legal dispute involving family members, you may want to consider getting in touch with an experienced family law solicitor. 

Get in touch with our team at Hughes & Associates today for advice on how to move forward with your case.

Contact us today for any queries around family law & to ensure a smooth & comprehensive legal process.

What Does a Family Law Solicitor Do?

A family law solicitor needs to be an expert on any legal issues that centre around family disputes.

This includes but is not limited to matters around divorce and spousal separation, child custody, shared property and domestic violence.

On top of the legal requirements of the role, a family law solicitor needs to be someone their clients can trust with sensitive information. 

It is the solicitor’s role to ensure the conflict is resolved as fairly and quickly as possible.

Many cases in Irish family law are hugely delicate because of the relationships and circumstances involved. 

At Hughes & Associates, we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality legal representation, as well as being a warm and friendly guide for our clients throughout the legal process.

Areas of Family Law

There are many branches of family law, but the following list offers a good overview of the kinds of cases we often cover.

  • Judicial Separation Proceedings
  • Divorce Proceedings
  • Family Law Mediation/Collaboration
  • High Net Worth Couples
  • Unmarried Couples
  • Avoiding Court
  • Mortgage after Divorce
  • Inheritance
  • Custody
  • Maintenance
  • Domestic Violence
  • Pensions

Judicial Separation Proceedings

A judicial separation is a course of action chosen by married couples who cannot agree on the specific terms by which they will, moving forward, live separately. 

In this instance, a court will regulate the terms of the couple’s separation for them.

In Ireland, you must be living separately from your spouse for 2 out of the previous 3 years in order to file for divorce, so a judicial separation can be a useful early stage in that process.

Feel free to contact our team at Hughes & Associates to find out if you are eligible for a judicial separation.  

Divorce Proceedings

In order to pursue a divorce in Ireland, a couple must be living separately for at least 2 of the last 3 years, there must be no chance of the couple reconciling and arrangements must have been made for dependent family members. 

The process is made far more drawn out if the spouses do not agree on the dissolution of their marriage. 

This is called a contested divorce and it will usually go to trial, where a judge will then decide on the specifics of the divorce. 

A family law solicitor will try to ensure the process goes smoothly and quickly to avoid a contentious and expensive divorce that drags on for a long period of time.

Family Law Mediation/Collaboration

Mediation and collaborative practice are means of resolving family disputes through a third party who acts as a buffer for both sides. 

It is not a form of relationship counselling with any goal of reconciliation, but rather a clear and clinical environment in which a couple can come to an agreement on the terms of their separation.

High Net Worth Couples

The more money involved in divorce proceedings, the bigger the role of your legal representation tends to grow. 

For a high net worth couple, it is important to have clarity over the property and assets involved in a divorce. 

A good family law solicitor can be invaluable in ensuring there is no hidden agenda throughout the process.

Unmarried Couples

Unmarried, cohabiting couples still have rights in Ireland if they separate having lived together for at least five years, or two years if they have dependent children together. 

Issues of property, inheritance, custody and maintenance can be involved in legal disputes around the separation of an unmarried couple.

Avoiding Court

Most of us would rather avoid going to trial and, at Hughes & Associates, we will do our best to work achieve a settlement outside of court that is fair to everyone involved. 

The vast majority of divorce cases do not go to trial, and we will help you avoid court unless it is completely necessary.

Mortgage after Divorce

A lender’s point of view will not change in the aftermath of a divorce, meaning the repayments on your mortgage will still be due every month. 

Our team of family law solicitors can facilitate fair negotiations on the division of mortgage payments moving forward following a divorce.


When a person dies while married, succession laws rule that their property be distributed to their spouse, civil partner or children. 

Even if a spouse is not mentioned in a will, they are legally entitled to share in the estate of their partner.

If you separate, you may forfeit your succession rights in a separation agreement or a judicial agreement.


We all know how damaging custody battles can be if they are made longer and more contentious by a fraught relationship between former spouses. 

Agreeing on custody, be it sole or joint custody, is crucial in adjusting to a new family dynamic.

Custody is not guardianship, which is the legal responsibility of a parent or guardian to safeguard a child’s welfare. 

Employing an experienced family law solicitor can be a huge help in conducting smooth custody negotiations.

At Hughes & Associates, our team have vast experience at dealing with all aspects of family law.


Maintenance constitutes financial support paid to a dependent child, spouse or civil partner. 

In a separation, maintenance figures can arise as a point of contention, and it is important that negotiations determine a fair outcome.

Domestic Violence

Cases around domestic violence can be some of the most difficult and traumatising proceedings in Irish law. 

Domestic violence covers physical, sexual and psychological violence and abuse, and it can affect anyone. 

If you are the victim of domestic violence, you can apply for a court order to protect you from the perpetrator of your suffering. 

Any breach of that order is a criminal offence that can be prosecuted. 


Deciding on the right pension for you and your family can be a difficult process and you may want to consider employing an experienced solicitor to help you understand your options. 

Contact us today for help with selecting an appropriate pension for your situation.

Divorce solicitor Dublin

On average, divorce proceedings in Ireland will take between three and nine months to complete.

That is the case for a consented divorce in which both parties are happy with the terms agreed upon.

If the divorce is contested, meaning one party does not agree with its terms, this period can be extended significantly and may take several years.

It is highly unlikely you will have to go to trial to be granted a divorce – roughly 90% of divorce agreements in Ireland are settled outside of court.

If you are filing for judicial separation, you will need to provide grounds for divorce, which include:

  • The married couple must be living separately for at least 2 of the past 3 years.
  • There can be no chance of reconciliation.

If you are preparing for a divorce and want to make sure you are aware of the right procedure to follow, get in touch with our team at Hughes & Associates today for a comprehensive guide on the process.

Get in Touch with a Family Law Solicitor Today

If you have been affected by any area of family law and you wish to seek help in navigating the legal process moving forward, feel free to contact us today. 

At Hughes & Associates, our team have vast experience at dealing with all aspects of family law. 

We prioritise our clients and strive to provide you with warm and knowledgeable guidance to help resolve your family law conflict.

Contact the Hughes & Associates Team