Family Law Webinar Jan 18th 2024 1-2pm

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Family Courts Bill 2022 Bill No 103 of 2022

Family Courts Bill 2022 Bill No 103 of 2022

18 January 2024, 1.00pm – 2.00pm

(via webinar)

The Family Courts Bill 2022 will introduce the most extensive changes to the practice of family law in Ireland this century. Among the proposed changes are:

–           The establishment of a specialist family court division in each jurisdiction with a    principal family law judge

–           A set of guiding principles to be applied in all family law cases

–           An increase in the jurisdiction of the District Court to deal with divorce, judicial      separation, civil partnership and cohabitant cases, an increase in the monetary jurisdiction of the District Court for these cases to €1 million.

–           Proposal for joint applications for divorce and judicial separation

While most of the changes are welcome and progressive, the proposed transfer of divorce and judicial separation cases to the District Court, in particular, is a matter of serious concern for practitioners given the summary nature of District Court proceedings and due to the significant volume of caseload borne by the District Court.

DSBA Family Law Committee Chairperson Cliona Costelloe will chair a discussion on the Family Courts Bill with Chairperson of the Child and Family Law Committee of the Law Society Peter Doyle and former chairs Keith Walsh and Helen Coughlan. They will discuss:

  1. The Family Courts Bill
  2. The fatal flaw in the bill and consequences for practitioners
  3. What the DSBA and Law Society can do to fix the problems
  4. Discussion and Q&A


Peter Doyle is the Principal Solicitor of Doyle Fox & Associates and is the current Chair of the Law Society of Ireland’s Child & Family Law Committee. He is a member of Court Service Family Law Development Committee & The Council of European Lawyers. He practices in all areas of Law and Legal advice with a particular emphasis on Family Law and Litigation and is involved in many disciplines of Alternative Dispute Resolution. He has recently spoken at conferences on the implications of the Family Courts Bill at conferences and seminars. Peter gained experience with two legal firms in Dublin and worked for a period in the United States. He opened his practice, Doyle Fox & Associates, in Wicklow in 1999. He has many years’ experience in the area of Family Law. He is a trained Mediator and Collaborative Lawyer and was a founding member of the Kildare & West Wicklow Collaborative Lawyers Group. He is a member of voluntary organisations and committees and was one of the first Solicitors on the Family Law Legal Aid Private Practitioners Panel.

Keith Walsh is a solicitor and Senior Counsel specialising in the area of family law. He is a former chair of the Law Society’s Child and Family Law committee He works in partnership in Keith Walsh Solicitors LLP with well-known family law solicitor Aidan Reynolds formerly of Gallagher Shatter. He is a trained mediator, collaborative lawyer and arbitrator. He is the author of Divorce and Judicial Separation Proceedings in the Circuit Court; A Guide to Order 59, 2019, Bloomsbury Professional and co-author with Sonya Dixon B.L. of Domestic Violence: Law and Practice in Ireland, which is due to be published in 2024.

Helen Coughlan has practiced in Patrick J Farrell and Company, Newbridge, Co Kildare for the past 20 years. Helen is an experienced family lawyer and a qualified mediator. She is a trained collaborative law practitioner and is a founder member of the Kildare West Wicklow Collaborative Solicitors Group.

Helen has been Chair of the Family and Child Law Committee of the Law Society and President of the Kildare Solicitors Bar Association.

Cliona Costelloe Solicitor is Principal Solicitor of Cliona Costelloe & Company Solicitors a private client law practice specialising in Family Law. Cliona has specialised and has over 21 years of experience in Family law. She specialises in the area of Matrimonial and Family law since qualification and has been involved in many of the leading cases over the years. She is a member of the Law Society of Ireland and the Dublin Solicitors’ Bar Association. She is the current Chair of the Family Law and Minors Committee of the DSBA.



Conference Information

Date:                18 January 2024

Time:                1.00pm to 2.000pm

Location:          By Zoom webinar

Fees:                € 65.00 Member

€ 175.00 Non-Member


CPD:                1 Hour Group Study