What is the purpose of family law?

Family Law is the term given to a collection of laws and regulations that deal with issues with 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 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.

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 look at the details of the separation in terms of factors such as Child Arrangement Orders, the separation of assets, and financial agreements.

Child Arrangements

When parents divorce, working out the childcare arrangements can be complicated and difficult to come to an agreement on. Child Agreement Arrangement Orders can be made in Family Law to layout the final arrangement for any children.  It is sometimes the case that the Local Authority might have to become involved in children’s arrangements. If this is the case, it is important that parents understand their rights and responsibilities and a Family Law solicitor can explain this to you.

Splitting assets & inheritance

Another important part of the work that Family Law solicitors do relates to the splitting of assets and inheritance. 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 family law 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 agreement. This is an agreement that is made before marriage that stipulates how the division of certain assets will be made on the occasion of a divorce. Pre-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.

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.

Adoption

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

Contact Waldrons solicitors

Whatever your query, get in touch with us here at Waldrons today.

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Last reviewed on 11/07/23 by Alka Wood who is a Solicitor