Figures compiled by the Law Society's family and child law committee show that 2015 was a record year for divorce applications.

This followed a drop in divorce rates during the recession.

The committee's research suggests that family law disputes may have been postponed during the economic crisis as couples chose not to apply for divorce because of factors such as an inability to run two households, negative equity in the family home, and a downturn in businesses.

Divorce application rates dropped by over 12% in 2009.

In 2010 they fell to 3,357, before beginning to rise again before reaching their highest level this century in 2015, at 4,290 applications.

Numbers dropped slightly last year to 4162, according to the figures compiled by solicitor Keith Walsh, the chairman of the Law Society's committee.

The figures for those seeking a judicial separation have dropped, with 1,324 applications for a separation last year.

The Law Society says it is extremely concerned at the ongoing lack of dedicated family law facilities around the country.

The society is reiterating its call for the creation of specialist family courts and judges, and for more resources to be allocated to the system of family law.

Speaking at the launch of the society's new code of practice on family law, Geoffrey Shannon, member of the Society's Family and Child Law Committee, said as a matter of urgency the Government should introduce legislation for dedicated family law judges, a dedicated family court system and a dedicated welfare system.

He said Ireland was one of the few jurisdictions in Western Europe not to have a dedicated family law system.

Speaking about the divorce process in Irish courts, Mr Shannon said it was very difficult for children to get a real say in the divorce process until there were properly trained judges with a designated court and all of the available resources.