Family Law Matters and Legal Representation
Family mediation can help parents to make decisions about how certain things will work following relationship breakdown. Where it is possible, it is preferable to legal proceedings as it is generally less stressful and is a good way to work out arrangements for children and parenting in particular. It is less expensive than can legal proceedings, and there is a free, government funded, Family Mediation Service.
However, there will be times when mediation is not possible, or breaks down, and in such cases it will be necessary to go to court. While it is possible for people to represent themselves in court, it is generally considered better to be represented by a legal professional if at all possible.
Family Law is a civil matter and you can be represented by a solicitor or a barrister. Representation in the District Court is usually by a solicitor, while you may be represented by a barrister in the Circuit Court and the higher courts.
If you cannot afford to pay for a solicitor privately, the Legal Aid Board is responsible for the provision of civil legal aid and legal advice to people who are unable to pay. Recipients do pay a contribution towards their legal expenses.