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3 Ways To Make Christmas Easier For Separated Families:

Christmas is a hectic time of year for any parents, but it can carry extra stresses and strains for separated families – where parents  are separated or divorced.  Despite the challenges involved, there are steps you can take to make things a little easier: 1.      Keep Children Top of the Agenda in Separated Families It’s their time, so where possible, they should have contact with both parents. This allows them …Read More

Why I am standing for the Law Society Council

I’m delighted to have been nominated as a candidate in the forthcoming Law Society Council Elections. I would appreciate your support and ask you to consider me when casting your ballot before polling ends at 5.00pm on Thursday 27th October. Why I am Seeking Election I believe that smaller practices, both inside and outside of Dublin, need greater representation within the Law Society. I believe in diversity. I believe it’s important …Read More

Addressing the gaps in our Child Protection system

Every Child has a legal right to be protected from abuse and neglect, and the State is charged with vindicating that right. While certain progress has been made in child protection, much remains to be done to protect and support vulnerable children and to reduce risk. The key areas which need to be addressed urgently include: • Staff vacancies in Social Work departments countrywide must be filled, to ensure that …Read More

Children’s rights to have their voices heard in Court

Despite some recent changes, there are still issues surrounding children’s rights to have their say in family law courts. I recently spoke with a 14 year old girl who was the subject of family law proceedings before the District Court. The application concerned parentage and access. Mary – not her real name – was adamant that she wanted her views to be heard by the Judge, and when I spoke …Read More

The Children First Law Seminar 2016 – FEB 18, DUBLIN

The Children First Law Seminar 2016 takes place on Thursday 18th February in Dublin and brings together a panel of experts to discuss the new Children First legislation. What is it? The Children First Act 2015 was signed into law by the President on 19th November 2015. The Act will see obligations imposed on organisations that provide services to children. It will also introduce the mandatory reporting of child protection concerns …Read More

Ireland’s first Childhood Bereavement Awareness Day – Fri 20th Nov 2015

It can be hard to help children cope with bereavement or loss – even those closest to them can struggle to support them through such a difficult process.  That’s one of the main reasons why I founded Arklow children’s charity, The Guardian Project, with the assistance of co-founders Michelle Gaffney and Johanne Kenny, in 2010. The charity is hosting a special event to mark Irelands first ever National Bereaved Children’s …Read More

Why schools need policy on dealing with parental separation

The recent Equality Tribunal award of €4,000 against an Irish school for ‘discriminatory’ treatment of a separated father should act as a wake-up call for all schools, when it comes to dealing with parental separation and divorce.   In the case successfully taken to the Equality Tribunal (read more) the separated father who took the case claimed that the school had sided with his estranged wife in withholding information from …Read More

Secrets for a Successful Divorce – the Three C’s:

You may not think the words ‘Divorce’ and ‘successful’ belong in the same sentence, but there are good and bad ways to deal with the breakdown of your relationship, particularly when there are children involved.  Communication, compromise and co-operation lie at the heart of negotiating your way ‘successfully’ through the process: COMMUNICATION Communication is key, and should be prioritised in a number of ways: Communication with your ex-partner/spouse: It is …Read More

First Communion and Confirmation for divorced parents: a how-to guide

  Family occasions can be fraught with difficulties during or after a relationship breakdown. But when your children are involved – and particularly when they are centre stage – the potential for serious tensions shoots right up.  Our advice is to take it step-by-step…follow these tips to help you through:   1.            Put your child and their wishes first. The most important thing is that your child has an enjoyable …Read More

5 ways to survive your divorce

There is no easy way through Separation or Divorce but with a little thought and planning, you can make things a little easier. Here are 5 ways to help you through: Stay out of court! If at all possible, try to keep your separation or divorce proceedings out of the courtroom by exploring all the alternatives such as mediation or collaborative family law. It costs more to go to court, …Read More