Family law is different from other areas of law.
Most areas of law are concerned with what happened in the past and Courts are left with the task of making judgments in relation to what has already occurred.
However family law places an onerous obligation on family law Judges and Courts and family law solicitors to make decisions based on current and future behaviour of the parties and the responsibilities and needs of the parties concerned including children of the parties. Family law solicitors need therefore to advise their clients and be mindful of not just the legal remedies open to their client but also to non legal solutions such as
- negotiated agreement between the parties through their solicitors and
In fact family law solicitors have a legal duty to advise their clients of non legal solutions to their difficulties in the first instance rather than initiating legal proceedings immediately.
Negotiated agreements, such as separation agreements, may be appropriate in many situations and will generally be a cheaper alternative to issuing legal proceedings and attempting to resolve difficulties through the Courts.
Agreements between the parties can also be drawn up in respect of
and if agreement is reached the agreement can be ruled by the family law Court, that is to say, the Court will make a Court Order in terms of the agreement reached between the parties.
The Family Mediation service, which is a free service for separating couples, should also be used to attempt in the provision of free mediation services by trained counselors/mediators.
Family law client care
A good family law solicitor will ensure to
- keep you informed throughout the process
- speak to you in a language you understand with the minimum of legal jargon and an awareness that your family law problem may well be your first encounter with the legal system in Ireland
- support you on the day that your case comes before family law Court
- explain in easy to understand language what has occurred and the implications of whatever Court Order has been made.
Good family law solicitors recognise that family law problems can cause a huge degree of stress and upset for people and should be aware of this at all times.
It is important to recognise that good family law solicitors will be supportive and helpful to you on a personal level but they are also legal professionals who have a professional obligation to you as client and in their dealings with colleagues acting for the other party and will advise you as to what is possible and impossible in your particular case.
Children in family law cases
Children should be a prime consideration in family law cases and the best interests of the child(ren) should always be paramount in family law disputes.
As stated at the outset, family law is different because unlike, say litigation or criminal law or business law, it is not a “winner takes all attitude” that will provide the best outcome for all parties concerned. (If you need assistance with any of the issues raised in this article don’t hesitate to contact Solicitors Dublin through our Contact Us page)