Know what to expect on the day
Knowing what to expect at the courthouse may help you to feel more comfortable on the day of your court hearing. Courthouses run to a timetable but can experience delays. To make things run smoothly for yourself and everyone else, we recommend you do the following:
- Have the correct documentation and ID ready.
- Know your case number and listen for it being called.
- Know what can and can't pass through security screening.
- Be aware that refreshments are not available in courthouses.
Documentation and ID you may need
Make sure you bring any documentation relating to your case with you. These may include:
- Your court application, court summons or Notice of Motion. This document contains the date and time of your hearing, the venue and other important case information. Keep it safe.
- Affidavit of Means, bank statements and pay slips. These and similar financial documents may be helpful to your specific hearing or case.
- Photo ID to verify your identity in court, if asked. This can be your passport, driver's licence or public services card.
Remember you should never share or leave documentation with anyone who is not involved in your case.
Helpful tip: Keep a photo of your application document on your phone.
When you arrive at the courthouse
Courthouses have security screening in place. Items that may be considered dangerous will be confiscated. You do not have to check in at Reception. Head to the waiting area and listen for your case to be called.
If you have a solicitor, you may want to organise a time and place to meet them inside or outside.
To manage the day's work, many courts do a callover. This means you will be called to the courtroom to see if your case is ready to go ahead that day or not.
Waiting for your case to be called
Family law hearings are called by case reference number, your initials and courtroom number. Have your case number handy to check these details. Your case may be called over a public announcement system, or you may be called in person.
- Cases do not always run on schedule, so be prepared for a wait. Make any arrangements if things run late. Cases do not always run in the same order as the court list. If other cases run over time, your court hearing may not be heard on the day you attend court.
- Water, food and refreshments are not available in all courthouse waiting areas, so come prepared.
Going to the courtroom
More than one courtroom may be in use on the day of your hearing. To find your courtroom, follow directional signage or ask a Courts Service staff member or the Court Garda.
In certain case types and circumstances, such as domestic violence, you may bring a support person with you. The judge will decide if that person can remain in the courtroom during your hearing.
Video: Attending Family Law Court
This video outlines what happens at the courthouse on the day of your court hearing. It covers what to do when you arrive, who can accompany you, where to wait, how your case is called, plus other helpful tips.