Family Law Advice Online

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Summary of Family Law

Family Law encompasses all aspects of adult and child relationships laying down strict codes of conduct.

  • Marriage and Divorce

    Under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 there is only one ground for divorce: the marriage or civil partnership must have broken down irretrievably. However , the court cannot grant a divorce unless the petitioner also establishes certain facts. This section deals with these issues.

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  • Matrimonial Home Rights: Spouses

    This section deals with property rights of married partners or partners who have registered their relationship under the Civil Partnership Act 2004 and who are divorced or are entering into matrimonial proceedings. Spouses and partners who do not seek a decree are dealt with in the following section.

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  • Matrimonial Home Rights: Unmarried Partners

    This section relates to spouses who do not seek a divorce, for example where a spouse has died or became insolvent, and to partners who have never been married to each other but whom co habit in a settled relationship.

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  • Children: Financial Provisions

    The CSA, Parental responsibility, liability and issues of paternity relating to financial considerations

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  • Children: Parental and Adult Responsibilities

    At birth, the law defines a the relationship between a child and its parents and no other adult. Normally, the Law plays no further part in the child's upbringing but in some cases events subsequent to their birth result in the need for additional principles. This section covers the relationship between children and adults, not necessarily their parents, and also the principles the courts use when required to intervene and in some cases redraw the relationship created at birth.

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  • Children: Dispute Resolution

    Other than adoption and an order warding a child, all former orders that related to the upbringing of a child have been swept away by the Children Act. New guardianship schemes have been created and new parental responsibility orders for unmarried fathers implemented. Most importantly, four orders: a residence order, a contact order, a prohibited steps order and a specific issues order are now available.

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  • Children: Welfare and Protection

    Occasionally, the state is forced to intervene between a child and its carers, either to remove the child completely from the home or to provide some form of intermediate protection. This intervention may take one of the following forms: the care order, the supervision order, the education supervision order, the emergent protection order and the child assessment order.

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  • Domestic Violence

    It should be remembered that violence, wherever and with whom committed is a criminal offence. [See Criminal Law section] However, the criminal law is primarily concerned with punishment and does not always adequately protect the victim. This section therefore deals with civil remedies, the most effective of which is the injunction. An injunction can be granted not only to restrain violence but also to restrain molestation within the family unit.

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  • Adoption

    Adoption means that a child severs all legal relationships with his or her natural parents and replaces them with ba new legal relationship with the adoptive parents. However, in some cases, the courts can order that contact be maintained between the child's natural parents or siblings.

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  • Other

    If your question is not covered by the above sections or if you are unsure which area of Family Law your enquiry falls under, please select this option.

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Help

Our Rapid Response service is organised into 7 broad legal categories (shown left).

Within each category are a number of specific areas of law, that cover the majority of legal scenarios.

Browse to the area that relates most to your legal problem and click 'Select this Category'.

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