Diploma in Family Law

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Structure
  • Career Opportunities
  • Fees
  • Next Steps



The course is designed as a step-by-step guide for any person who wants to obtain knowledge of the core concepts involved in family law with an applied practical focus.

Programme Aims and Objectives

The aim of this course is to acquaint participants with the fundamental legal concepts that govern family law. The course revolves around an exploration of the legal requirements relating to the formation and dissolution of marriage including a discussion of the differences between annulment, separation and divorce agreements, and the recognition of foreign divorces in Ireland. In addition the course will include a discussion on issues relating to inheritance rights, pensions, the family home and domestic violence as well as issues relating to the custody and maintenance of children. This course is especially relevant to all legal secretaries, persons employed by the Legal Aid Boards and Citizen Advice Bureaus, as well as people who take a general interest in family law matters in Ireland. The objective of this programme is as a comprehensive introduction for all those who have a particular interest in the areas, and as such the programme will be delivered from a practical and not an academic perspective.


To be awarded the Diploma in Family Law, a student will be required to complete a written assignment (100%).

Programme Content

Family Relationships

The Marital Family, The Non-Marital Family, The effects of the Civil Partnership Act 2010. Constitutional perspectives on the family; the legal position of married/unmarried mothers/ fathers; The Status of Children Act 1987. Legal recognition of modern family arrangements and an examination of the new Civil Partnership Act of 2010.

The Formation of Marriage & Nullity

Void and voidable marriages; bars to relief; nullity and the consequences of a decree of nullity.

Separation Agreements

The nature and terms of the separation agreement. Guardianship and custody of children; property matters; maintenance and succession issues etc. Breach of separation agreements and consequences. Judicial separation versus divorce. Jurisdiction to grant  a judicial separation, the grounds for judicial separation, the effect of a decree of judicial separation and ancillary orders.


Jurisdiction to grant divorce, the grounds for divorce, the effect of a decree of divorce, the effect of Brussels II on divorce in Ireland. An examination of the ancillary orders – including financial compensation orders, pension adjustment orders and entitlements.

Maintenance, Custody, Access

Maintenance orders, the basis of assessment. Spousal conduct and relationships with third parties. Non-marital children; variation; lump-sum agreements. Enforcement mechanisms i.e. by secured payments, orders for attachment to earnings and orders for committal.

Domestic Violence

Remedies: barring order/interim barring order; protection order; safety order. Entitlement to relief under the Domestic Violence Act 1996.

Child Law

Public Law aspects of child welfare: protection of children in emergencies, emergency care proceedings and providing for children in care.

The Hague Convention on Child Abduction

The impact of the UN Hague Convention on Irish Law. Legal aspects of the removal of children from the jurisdiction; the Child Abduction Act, 1991; the effect of the Brussels II regulations.


The Diploma on Family Law will be delivered over 10 weeks, one evening per week by a qualified lawyer using the most up to date legal materials.

Career Opportunities

On completion of this programme students will have significantly enhanced their familiarity with the family law system in Ireland. In addition, for those working in the legal sphere or indeed the public sector, the programme affords the student the opportunity to acquire more specific knowledge of a distinct branch of Irish law. Such a background and foundation will optimise the participants’ potential to current and prospective employers where knowledge of Irish Family Law is required.

Student profile

Typically, participants on the programme have been employed in roles interfacing with Irish Family Law in the public or private sector. In addition, participants of the course have had a personal interest in developing their knowledge on a wide-reaching and dynamic area of the law.


The fee for this Diploma is €1,325 this is inclusive of tuition, registration, exam fees and DBS library membership. This fee must be paid in full before the course begins.  View all DBS Evening Diploma Fees here.

DBS Diploma students can also avail of a wide range of facilities to assist them in every aspect of their studies, please see below for more details.

DBS Student Facilities

• Online Notes System (DBS Moodle)- is an eLearning system designed to provide you with a range of course material which will enhance and support your learning experience within DBS.
• DBS Library Aungier Street- the Library provides a programme of classes in the areas of Library resources, essay writing skills, avoiding plagiarism and referencing to assist you in your studies. 
• DBS Careers and Appointment Service- which provides a range of services for Diploma students such as career advice and workshops in CV writing and interview skills.
• Subsidised Parking- DBS provides subsidised parking arrangements for students, which provides easy access to all main public transport routes in and out of the city centre.
• Subsidised Student Canteen- Diploma students can avail of the Student Canteen which is open in the evenings and offers a wide variety of choices on its menu.

Next Steps

Visit Us

Open days are a great way to help you make your decision about your course of interest. The open day will give you the opportunity to receive one on one advice and direction from leading academics in your chosen subject area, meet current students and also have your questions answered on entry requirements, student support and the admissions process. Find out when our next Open Event is taking place. The Admissions Office is located in our Aungier Street campus and you are welcome to visit the college to speak with a member of our admissions team from Monday to Fridays, 8:45am – 5:15pm. Alternatively, you can contact us by email.

  • Law
  • Business & Management
  • Professional Evening Diplomas
  • Part-Time

Course overview


Awarding Body: 
Dublin Business School
Schedule: 1 evening per week, 6.15-8.30pm
Intake: October & February
Duration: 10 weeks Part-time

Contact Us

We are now accepting applications for programmes taking place in 2019. Contact our admissions team for more information

Email: admissions@dbs.ie
Phone: 01 417 7500
Opening times:
Monday to Friday
8:45am to 5:15pm