The Justice Minister Alan Shatter says a referendum on the establishment of a new Family Court will be held next year.
Speaking at a conference in Dublin this morning, Minister Shatter said Ireland should have a dedicated and integrated Family Court structure to meet the needs of the people.
A two-tier system comprising a lower Family Court with limited jurisdiction and a higher Court with unlimited jurisdiction would be established - both staffed with specialist judges.
The lower Court would deal with cases concerning family law and child care matters which are currently heard by the District Court.
The higher court would deal with family matters such as adoption and child abduction.