What is the purpose of Family Law?

Family Law is used to ensure that everybody within the family is protected and that fair results are achieved for everybody who is involved, both children and adults. Dealing with Family Law can be emotionally complicated as well as legally complex, and it takes expert solicitors to be able to deal with these specific issues

What is Family Law?

Family Law is the term given to a collection of laws and regulations that deal with issues and relationships within the family. For many people, this relates to divorces and the issues relating to them, but, in fact, Family Law relates to a whole range of different issues in a range of different situations. Family law aims to regulate and protect the rights and responsibilities of parties within family units and ensure the well-being of all family members involved.

What Does Family Law Cover?

Family Law offers recourse and guidance through complex personal situations and its diverse scope reflects the legal needs of differing family structures – from issues relating to children, to issues needing to be resolved within a family unit, whether this is a married couple or cohabiting couple.

Child Care

Childcare Law encompasses various legal aspects concerning the welfare and upbringing of children. This includes: Child Arrangement Orders, which determine live with and spend time with arrangements, (Formally Residence and Contact), Specific Issue Orders, for resolving specific disputes like education or medical, Prohibited Steps Orders to prevent certain actions, establishing parentage, Care Proceedings involving child protection, and Special Guardianship Orders granting legal guardianship to non-parents for stability and security.

Divorce & Separation

One of the most common instances that Family law is used is at times of divorce or separation. Family Law in the circumstances of divorce looks formally bring an end to a marriage. A divorce and separation does not end with simply the ending of the relationship and it will also be necessary to consider the details of the divorce and separation in terms of factors such as Child Arrangement Orders, the separation of assets, and financial agreements.


Cohabitation in Family law refers to unmarried couples residing together in a domestic partnership. While the relationship is not legally recognised as marriages are, cohabiting partners can safeguard their interests through a Cohabitation Agreement.

Cohabitation Agreements are in place for couples that are cohabiting but not married. They are an effective way for couples to make an agreement about the division of assets should they break up in the same way as a pre-nuptial agreement. These also come under the jurisdiction of Family Law.


For people that are looking to adopt a child, the process is a complex one that requires a high degree of legal expertise. This falls under Family Law, and you can adopt a child through an agency or a step-child. Family lawyers can help you with a range of aspects of the adoption process, including:

  • Giving useful advice
  • Giving the relevant notice required by Local Authorities for step-child adoptions
  • Aiding with adoption in the UK if you are not a British citizen
  • Aiding with the process of adopting from abroad
  • Helping you to make the application to the court
  • Attending the court on your behalf or helping you to prepare for the court
  • Aiding you to prepare for an appeal if you are turned down

The court can grant an adoption order, whereby the parental rights and responsibilities are completely given to the adoptive parent(s). This is carried out by Family Law.

Social Services

Social Services is a governmental organisation that is in place to protect the welfare of children and vulnerable adults. There are a number of different reasons why you might be contacted by social services. These can include:

  • Following a family request for help with a child or family problem
  • Following a request from a teacher or GP
  • Following concerns over drugs or alcohol in the home
  • If children are taken into care following an emergency intervention or court order
  • If there are child protection issues
  • If a parent requires help with a child’s behaviour

Splitting Assets

Another important part of the work that Family Law Solicitors do relates to the splitting of assets. The issue of what happens to assets after a couple gets divorced or separated can be very contentious, especially for couples that have been together for a long time and built a life together.  If, for example, one of the pair has been the main income earner throughout the relationship and the other has forfeited a career to bring up their children, arguments can be made on both sides as to where the assets are distributed when they split.

It is down to a Family Law expert to look at the circumstances around the relationship, rights, and responsibilities to ensure that an agreement is come to that is fair for all parties reflecting both the past and the future in terms of their needs – This also applies to inheritance.

Often couples look to protect their individual assets by taking out a pre-nuptial or Post Nuptial agreement. These are agreement that is made either before or after marriage that stipulates how the division of certain assets will be made on the occasion of a divorce. Pre-nuptial and Post Nuptial agreements, although might not sound romantic, are an effective way to ensure that the division of assets is fair should there be a break-up. These are also handled by Family Law.

Why Hire a Family Law Solicitor?

When it comes to matters of the family, any sort of necessity for going to court can be very emotional. Whether it is relating to divorce, childcare, or financial aspects, a family law expert can help you through the process and make sure that you get a fair representation and the best outcome for all members of the family.

There are many different areas to family law, and you may find that you do better with a Family law expert who specialises in the aspect of family law that is affecting you, or, likewise one that specialises more generally.

Family law can also overlap with some of the other areas of law, including property law, mediation, and collaborative law, and immigration and naturalisation law.

Contact Waldrons Solicitors

Whatever your query, get in touch with us here at Waldrons today and we will endeavour to assist you effectively and promptly.

More information on Family Law

Back to all Insights