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What Do Family Lawyers Do?

Most people will be familiar with the role of a conveyancing solicitor when buying a property or a probate practitioner for writing a will, however often one may wonder what do family lawyers do for their clients.

When facing complex issues related to the family unit such as marriage, divorce, child custody, and adoption, many individuals may not realise the immense value that a family lawyer can bring to their situation.

In this article, we shed light on the pivotal role that family lawyers play in navigating these sensitive and often challenging matters.


The definition of Family Law


Just as the name suggests, family law encompasses a broad range of legal matters that revolve around familial relationships. This branch of law covers a wide range of legal issues such as the breakdown of a marriage (legal separation or divorce), child custody, adoption, maintenance and domestic violence.

A family lawyer specialises in handling these delicate matters, providing expert guidance and legal representation to individuals and families during times of transition and uncertainty.


What do family lawyers do?


Solicitors specialising in the field of family law serve as advocates and advisors, offering comprehensive legal assistance and support in various crucial areas of family life. They possess a deep understanding of legal intricacies, particularly considering the complicated nature of family units. Essentially a family lawyer must leverage their expertise to protect the rights and interests of their clients.


Guide clients through separation or divorce proceedings


One of the most common scenarios in which a family lawyer is indispensable is during a breakdown of a marriage, be it a legal separation, judicial separation or the final step, divorce. A family lawyer is well-versed in the complex legal procedures involved in separation and divorce, including property division, spousal support, and child custody arrangements. They act as mediators, striving to achieve fair settlements and resolutions while alleviating the emotional strain often associated with the end of a marriage.


Help clients navigate child custody and visitation rights


Child custody disputes can be emotionally charged and contentious, and often it’s the children at the centre of these disputes who suffer the greatest. So it’s imperative that an amicable resolution can be reached as soon as possible. Achieving this can be difficult, particularly in child custody cases where both parents are seeking joint custody. However joint custody in a real 50:50 sense occurs only in 1% of cases.

A family lawyer plays a pivotal role in advocating for the best interests of the child and ensuring that custody and visitation arrangements are fair and suitable for all parties involved. Their experience in negotiating and mediating these matters helps create stable environments for children during times of upheaval.


Assist clients with adoption procedures


Adoption is a beautiful and life-changing process, but it also involves intricate legal procedures. Family lawyers facilitate adoption processes, guiding prospective parents through the necessary steps and paperwork. Their expertise ensures that the adoption is conducted legally and smoothly, offering families the opportunity to expand through adoption with confidence and reassurance.


What Do Family Lawyers Do? - Summit Law (2)


The importance of family lawyers


The family unit is the foundation of society so when there is conflict or upheaval, be it a marriage breakdown or child custody issue, it can have a life-changing impact on everyone involved. Finding an amicable resolution is the only way that everyone can start to rebuild their lives, and family solicitors play a key role in getting to this point. Engaging with a family lawyer early on in the process brings a wealth of benefits to the table, so let’s look at some of those in more detail.


Expert knowledge and experience


Navigating family law matters demands a deep understanding of legal nuances. Family lawyers possess the expertise needed to interpret complex laws and regulations, ensuring that their client’s rights are protected and upheld throughout the legal process.

Of course, every family situation is unique, so choosing a solicitor who specialises in family law is essential as they have the knowledge and experience to handle any family law case, regardless of how complicated it may appear.


Objective support during emotional times


Emotions can run high during family-related legal matters, mainly when children are involved. At a time like this, it can be challenging to make clear decisions through the mist of hurt or anger. So it’s important to have an objective voice of reason on your side, to help you find clarity in choosing the right option for you and your loved ones. A family lawyer serves as an unbiased source of guidance, offering a rational perspective and helping clients make sound decisions amid emotional turmoil.


When do you need a family lawyer?


Knowing when to involve a family lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. The more negotiating that takes place in the courtroom, the more costly it will be for you, not to mention time-consuming. Essentially, the sooner you can engage with a family solicitor, the better it will be for you and all parties concerned.


Summit Law are the family lawyers you need in Ireland


When it comes to the family unit, any upheaval or dispute can be extremely upsetting and unsettling for everyone involved.

At Summit Law, we understand that heightened emotions can make even the simplest of family law cases challenging to navigate. Our team of experienced family lawyers is dedicated to providing you with the highest expertise and support as we guide you through these turbulent times. Here are some of the family law services available at Summit Law:

  • Legal/Judicial separation
  • Divorce
  • Child custody
  • Adoption
  • And many more

Our goal is to guide you through these intricate legal matters, ensuring your rights are protected and your interests are represented.

Choosing Summit Law means choosing unparalleled dedication and commitment. We understand the complexities of family law and are ready to provide you with the personalised guidance and legal representation you deserve, whilst also keeping the legal costs more manageable for your pocket.

Our compassionate and experienced team is here to assist you every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you navigate the intricate landscape of Family Law in Ireland.

Don’t forget to also browse our blog and resources for more information on our comprehensive legal services.

How Long Does Divorce In Ireland Take?

For couples who have reached a breaking point where their marriage cannot be repaired, one or both parties may certainly ask themselves “How long does divorce in Ireland take?”.

However, there is no simple answer to this question, possibly due to the major changes that have occurred in the legislation surrounding divorce in recent years. Furthermore, divorce rates are still relatively low in Ireland, compared to our European counterparts.

Divorce is a significant life event that many couples in Ireland may find themselves considering at some point. Understanding the divorce process and its timeline is crucial for couples contemplating this step, and how long the process takes to conclude will depend on several different factors.

In this article, we aim to guide you through the ins and outs of divorce proceedings and go through the factors that may impact the timeframe.


The basics of divorce in Ireland


Before delving into the time frame, it’s essential to grasp the fundamentals of divorce in Ireland. Recognising the legal prerequisites is the first step towards making informed decisions.

Simply put, divorce in Ireland is granted only when there is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, which must be proven by satisfying certain legal grounds. However, a legal separation is usually the first move when a marriage falls apart. During this stage, couples can agree on the majority of issues such as child custody, living arrangements and finances.

One of the most critical factors regarding divorce is that it can either be contested or on consent. Essentially, this comes down to whether both parties agree to the divorce or whether one party is objecting to the process. Either way, one spouse will have to initiate the divorce proceedings by applying to the Court, serving a Family Law Civil Bill and the accompanying Affidavits.

Enlisting the services of a solicitor experienced in the field of family law early on in divorce proceedings is essential, both from a timewise and financial cost point of view.


Legal grounds for divorce


While the grounds for a legal separation can vary from adultery to desertion, when it comes to the legal grounds for divorce, it’s pretty simple. To divorce, the couple must be separated for at least two out of the previous three years, as per the amendment to the Family Law Act 2019. So these grounds emphasise the importance of time and making the right decisions in the divorce process.


Residency requirements


For those seeking a divorce in Ireland, meeting the residency requirements is crucial. Either spouse must have lived in Ireland for at least one year before applying for a divorce. Understanding this requirement ensures that couples are eligible to initiate divorce proceedings.


Understanding the time frame – how long does divorce in Ireland take?


Now, let’s delve into the heart of the matter: the timeline for divorce in Ireland. While each case is unique, a general estimation can be provided. On average, divorce in Ireland typically takes around 12 to 24 months from the date of application.

However, several factors can influence this timeline and it all depends on the number of issues to be worked out, such as custody of children, division of assets, and financial and living arrangements. Essentially, the more arrangements both parties can agree on before starting divorce proceedings, the quicker the process can be completed.

Furthermore, if one spouse is contesting the divorce, this will certainly delay the process as they may not want to agree to any of the terms being put forward by the other party.


How Long Does Divorce In Ireland Take? - Summit Law (2)


The initial application process


The divorce process begins with the filing of an initial application. This involves submitting relevant documents and information to the court. The time needed for this stage varies as it depends on how organised both parties are with getting all the necessary documentation ready. Typically, you should allow between 3-6 months to get the process started, and then it lies in the hands of the relevant court office to issue the court documentation.


Judicial separation and divorce


Before divorce proceedings can commence, a period of judicial separation is often required. This period provides couples with an opportunity to assess their decision and seek reconciliation. While it extends the overall timeline, it underscores the gravity of the decision.


Court proceedings and final decree


The court proceedings themselves can span several months. These proceedings include addressing issues such as child custody, asset distribution, and financial arrangements. Once the court is satisfied with the arrangements, a final decree is issued, officially ending the marriage. The longer time spent in court, the more costly the process can be. This is why it’s imperative to have an experienced family law solicitor on hand to assist in getting as much of the arrangements ironed out before reaching the court.


Other factors that can affect the divorce timeline


It’s essential to note that disputes over child custody, division of assets, and financial matters can significantly extend the divorce timeline. Open communication and cooperation between both parties can help expedite the process.


Summit Law is your expert provider of divorce services in Ireland


Navigating the complexities of divorce requires expert guidance. Particularly with the recent updates in the law surrounding divorce, it’s important to engage with an experienced family law solicitor who is up to speed with all the latest developments. And the earlier you enlist a solicitor, the less costly it will be, both for your pocket and your time.

At Summit Law, we understand that time is precious, especially when it comes to moving forward with the next chapter of your life. The divorce process can take some time, but we are here to support you every step of the way. We have a team of solicitors specialising in the field of Family Law, ensuring that you receive the highest level of expertise and guidance during this challenging time.

We understand that divorce is a sensitive matter, and our compassionate approach aims to ease both the emotional and financial burden of this journey. With a deep understanding of Irish divorce law, we are dedicated to helping you achieve a resolution that aligns with your best interests.

If you’re considering divorce and need assistance understanding the process or taking the first steps, reach out to us today, and if you’d like to know more about the legal services we provide, take a look at our blog and resources.

Our Guide To Finding The Best Probate Solicitor

Losing a loved one is undoubtedly a challenging and emotional time, so the last thing anyone wants to think about is finding a probate solicitor.

However, amidst grief and sorrow, the legal process of probate adds another layer of complexity. Executors and beneficiaries of wills, as well as the family of the recently deceased, may find themselves facing the daunting task of navigating through the probate process. To ease this burden, it is crucial to find the best probate solicitor as early as possible in the process who can provide the necessary legal expertise and guidance.

In this post, we explore the importance of choosing the right probate solicitor and highlight key factors to consider in your search.


Our Guide To Finding The Best Probate Solicitor - eBook - SM - Summit Law


What is probate?


The majority of people may not be familiar with what probate is until they find themselves called upon, be it as an executor or beneficiary of an estate. The simplest explanation of probate is the legal process that verifies the validity of a will and facilitates the distribution of assets left behind by a deceased person. It involves gathering the deceased’s assets, paying off any outstanding debts or taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the rightful beneficiaries.

A probate solicitor plays a vital role in overseeing this process, ensuring that all legal requirements are met and guiding the executor or administrator throughout the proceedings.


Why finding the best probate solicitor matters


The probate process can be extremely complex, not to mention time-consuming, and even the most straightforward of estates can throw some potential challenges into the mix. From locating assets and determining their value to managing complex financial matters and handling disputes, the expertise of a seasoned probate solicitor becomes invaluable.

Furthermore, a probate case can prove to be even more complicated when there is no will in place. In fact, according to the 2021 Annual Court Report, the number of probate grants issued for estates with no will, known as intestacies, rose from 2,868 in 2020 to 3,113 in 2021.

And of course, at a time when emotions and stress levels are at an all-time high, it can be difficult to make sense of the legalities of the process. So by engaging the services of a reputable probate solicitor, you can navigate through the complexities with confidence, ensuring that all legal obligations are met and potential obstacles are overcome. Their experience and knowledge can streamline the process and alleviate the burden on your shoulders.


Our Guide To Finding The Best Probate Solicitor - Summit Law (2)


Factors to consider when choosing a probate solicitor


Expertise and specialisation: Look for a solicitor who specialises in probate and estate administration. Their in-depth understanding of the legal complexities involved in the process will ensure a smooth and efficient resolution. And the law is always changing, so it’s important to choose a solicitor who is keeping abreast of any updates in the field of probate law.

Reputation and track record: Reputation is crucial when it comes to choosing a solicitor, so take the time to do some research. Seek recommendations from friends, family, or professionals who have previously worked with them. A solid track record of successful probate cases is a good indicator of their competence.

Client reviews and testimonials: Read reviews and testimonials from past clients to gauge the solicitor’s professionalism, communication skills, and client satisfaction levels. Their experiences can provide valuable insights into the solicitor’s approach and service quality. Platforms such as Trustpilot or Google My Business are great resources for providing client testimonials.

Transparency and communication: Particularly for anyone going through the probate process for the first time, trying to comprehend the legal jargon can be an added stress. Finding a solicitor who engages in clear and transparent communication is crucial when dealing with sensitive matters like probate. Choose a solicitor who is responsive, attentive, and maintains open lines of communication throughout the process.

Cost and fee structure: While the cost should not be the sole determining factor, it is essential to understand the solicitor’s fee structure upfront. Seek clarity on how fees are calculated and whether there are any additional costs involved so there are no nasty surprises when it comes to receiving the bill. As with most services, shopping around is always a good idea. Consider obtaining multiple quotes and comparing them to make an informed decision.


Making the final decision on your probate solicitor


When it comes to selecting the best probate solicitor for your needs, prioritise your preferences and requirements. Consider scheduling consultations or initial meetings with shortlisted solicitors to discuss your case in detail, assess their approach, and determine whether they are the right fit for you. Remember, the probate process can take a long time, so you need to be sure that you are choosing a probate solicitor who will work with you in maintaining a solid solicitor/client relationship.


Find expert probate solicitors here at Summit Law


The probate process can be hugely stressful and time-consuming. Therefore it’s crucial to have the right probate solicitor on your side to help you navigate the complexities of this process with ease.

By considering all the factors mentioned above such as expertise, reputation, client reviews, communication, and cost, you can make an informed decision when choosing a probate solicitor.

At Summit Law, we understand the emotional and logistical challenges you may be facing in dealing with the estate of a deceased loved one. Our dedicated team of probate solicitors is here to guide you through every step of the probate process. We are committed to providing empathetic and reliable legal support during these difficult times.

Get in touch with Summit Law today to learn more about our probate services and how we can assist you.

Don’t forget to also explore our blog and resources for additional information on probate and estate matters and more.


Our Guide To Finding The Best Probate Solicitor - eBook - SM - Summit Law

How To Write A Will And Why You Should Do It When You’re Young

Writing a will is often a task that is associated with older individuals planning for the inevitable, but did you know that creating a will at a younger age can bring unique advantages and benefits? Despite these advantages, many young adults aren’t even entirely sure how to write a will.

Regardless of age, nobody knows what the future holds and while it may seem premature or unnecessary, writing a will empowers you to make important decisions regarding your assets and loved ones. So ultimately, there’s never a wrong time for setting out your will to ensure that your wishes are legally documented.

In this article, we explore the reasons why you should consider writing a will at a younger age and how it can safeguard your loved ones and provide peace of mind.


Why write a will at a younger age?


There is a common misconception that wills are only for older individuals. However, anyone with responsibilities, such as mortgages, young children, or financial assets, should consider writing a will. By doing so, you can ensure that your wishes regarding estate planning and the distribution of assets are known and honoured.

Let’s look at the reasons why you should set out your will as soon as possible:


Taking control of your future


Writing a will at a younger age puts you in the driving seat for your future. It gives you the power to make important decisions about how your assets should be distributed and who should inherit them. By planning ahead, you can have peace of mind knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of according to your wishes. And you can involve your loved ones in the process, eliminating the potential for conflict or confusion following your passing.


Protecting your loved ones


Perhaps one of the most crucial aspects of writing a will is safeguarding your loved ones. Particularly if you have dependents, such as young children, a will ensures their well-being and financial security in the event of your unexpected passing. It can be an emotional and stressful time, so by giving clarity on your preferences for their guardianship and providing for their needs, you can protect their future.


Guardianship of children


There’s no doubt that an untimely passing of a parent can have a profound effect on their children. In situations where either both parents have passed away or the other parent is not present, it can be deeply unsettling for any children involved so they must have as much stability as possible. By appointing guardians for your children, you are providing them with this stability at a time they need it the most. You can choose individuals whom you trust to raise your children and provide them with the care they deserve.


How To Write A Will And Why You Should Do It When You’re Young - Summit Law (2)


Avoiding unintended consequences


Failing to have a will in place can lead to unintended consequences. In the absence of a will, intestacy laws come into play, which in Ireland are covered by part IV of the Succession Act 1965. So if you have not made a will, these laws will dictate how your estate is distributed, which may not align with your wishes. Potentially, this could lead to conflict amongst your loved ones who may feel upset that an estranged family member is now a beneficiary of your estate. Writing a will helps to avoid any conflict or confusion by ensuring that your assets are shared out according to your intentions.


Asset distribution and estate planning


When it comes to your assets, you want to make the process as simple as possible for your loved ones, particularly as probate can take a long time to be finalised. The sooner you set out your will, the sooner you can rest easy knowing that you have planned for the future and provided for your loved ones. Whether it’s ensuring financial stability for your family or leaving a legacy for future generations, a will allows you to make informed decisions about your assets.

Furthermore, if you set out your will with a financial plan in mind, you can help your loved ones avoid a hefty tax bill or penalties if you have gifted them property or a lump sum.


Flexibility and the ability to update


Life is unpredictable and so it’s inevitable that your wishes may evolve. Writing a will early in life provides flexibility and the ability to update it as circumstances change, such as growing your family or the purchase of a property. By regularly reviewing and updating your will, you can ensure that it accurately reflects your current circumstances and wishes.
Seeking professional guidance for how to write a will

The whole process of writing a will, particularly for younger people, can be overwhelming, and since your will is such an important legal document, it needs to be comprehensive and legally sound. A law firm with a dedicated team specialising in Will Services can help you navigate any complex legal issues that may arise and ensure that your will is tailored to your specific needs.


How to write a will


If you’re considering writing a will at a younger age, here are some practical tips to guide you through the process:

  • Begin by making a list of your assets, including property, investments, and valuable possessions
  • Determine how you want your assets to be distributed and who should inherit them
  • Appoint an executor to handle the administration of your estate
  • Consider guardianship for any dependents, specifying who should care for them if something happens to you
  • Seek professional advice from a solicitor specialising in will services to ensure that your will is legally valid and reflects your wishes accurately
  • Review and update your will regularly, particularly after significant life events such as marriage, the birth of children, or the acquisition of new assets


Take the first step with Summit Law


There’s no time like the present to set your will down on paper. It puts you in control of your future and gives you the peace of mind that your loved ones will be taken care of according to your wishes.

At Summit Law, we understand that the process of writing a will can be overwhelming, particularly for younger people, which is why we are on hand to offer our expert advice. Our experienced team of solicitors can guide you through the process and ensure your will has clarity and is legally valid.

Contact us today to take proactive steps in legally documenting your wishes and protecting your loved ones. To learn more about this or any of our other legal services, take a look at our blog and resources page.

What Do Family Lawyers Do?

Most people will be familiar with the role of a conveyancing solicitor when buying a property or a probate practitioner for writing a will, however often one may wonder what do family lawyers do for their clients. When facing complex issues related to the family unit...

read more

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