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Why is Family Law Important?

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

Family law includes a range of laws and legislation relating to issues affecting family relationships. These relationships are at the heart of how large numbers of people live.

But why should the law become involved in people’s everyday lives?

One answer is that our lives are often quite messy. One major area of family law is divorce, for example. There are over 100,000 divorces a year in England and Wales, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

But family law covers other areas too, including cohabitation and prenuptial agreements, arrangements for children, domestic abuse and family mediation.


For some couples, different or same-sex, divorce becomes an unfortunate fact of life.

Under the new “no fault” law no allegation needs to be made, and so an application for a divorce can be issued when someone concludes that a marriage has broken.  Without allegations being made it is hoped that much of the confrontation can be taken out of the divorce process

Divorce can also involves the separation of assets, related to property and finances, and making arrangements for children. In both these areas, family law provides the necessary framework to help parties reach a resolution.  This does not prevent an agreed way forward being found, with contested proceedings only being necessary where there is a fundamental dispute that cannot otherwise be worked through.

The services and input of an experienced family law solicitor can prove essential in helping people navigate their way through the complexities of divorce proceedings.


The major aspects of family law concerned with children come under the Children Act 1989. The general principles of the Children Act are that the welfare of the child comes first; that any delay will be damage this welfare; and that the court should not make any orders regarding the child unless there would be a positive benefit for the child.

This no order principle is important, as it reflects the whole approach of the act, which is that the law emphasises that parents should agree on what would be best for a child, with the involvement of a Court being a last resort.

As children may often be at the heart of a divorce, family law can help with encouraging parents to make suitable arrangements, which should always be in the child’s interest first.


In recent years cohabiting, unmarried couples are the fastest-growing family type. But unmarried couples living together in England and Wales don’t have the same rights as married couples.

When cohabiting couples separate, the court has no power to transfer assets unless it finds it legal or beneficial evidence for them. This is a good reason why, in law, cohabitation agreements can be enormously helpful for unmarried couples.

This type of agreement works in much the same way as a prenuptial, where both parties agree on what will happen to shared assets should they separate in the future.

Domestic Abuse

Recent figures indicate a rise in domestic abuse offences in the UK during lockdown.

Domestic abuse can involve physical violence, but it can also include bullying, threats, harassment and verbal abuse.

The family law system can help people who are suffering from domestic abuse, normally by issuing injunctions against domestic abuse offenders, such as occupation orders or non-molestation orders.

An occupation order can control who occupies a property, including preventing occupying or entering it or evicting someone from it.

A non-molestation order prevents a partner or ex-partner from harming someone or threatening them with harm.

Family Mediation

Another important part of family law services is family mediation. This offers couples in dispute an alternative to going to court.

Family mediation can help to resolve disputes over children, financial matters and property.

This voluntary process, with the facilitation of a legal professional, can help reduce hostilities, keep communication channels open, and help the parties involved make decisions that they will all benefit from.

Why Use a Family Law Solicitor?

Family law covers a wide variety of issues, and it can support people who are going through the stresses of separation, or who require the protection of the law.

It puts people’s interests first and can help them avoid drawn-out legal procedures and costly court proceedings.

For more information about our family law services, please call us on 0800 088 6004, or fill in our contact form, and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

Edward Rawlins


Edward Rawlins


Ed has over 20 years experience as a specialist advising on situations arising from the breakdown in relationships (marriage, civil partnerships and cohabitation) in respect of both children, finances and business assets. He is a member of Resolution and a Law Society Accredited Family Mediator.