Sometimes families are the people we rely on most in the world. Other times they are the people that test our patience to the ends of the earth. In every family there can be legal issues to take care of. This will help you find out what options are open to you.

How do I know if I need a lawyer?

Lawyers can help you in different ways.

Our types of lawyers page has got information about the different types. Regulated lawyers who can able help you with a family problem are usually Chartered Legal Executives, CILEx Practitioners or Solicitors.

These lawyers often work in law firms that you can find on your local high street or town centre. Some also can provide their services to you over the internet. There is a network called Resolution which might be helpful to you as well. The lawyers that are members of Resolution specialise in family law.

What situations can a family lawyer help me with?

A family lawyer can help you in lots of ways. These include:

  • getting a divorce - where you legally end your marriage
  • dissolving a civil partnership – where you legally end a civil partnership
  • applying for maintenance – where a court order is requested to make sure regular money payments are made to yourself or a child
  • applying for ancillary relief – which are court proceedings to sort out financial matters like the family home or pensions
  • making a separation agreement – this can be used when a couple separating do not want to go to court, where lawyers can help with documents and arrangements
  • resolving issues with children – this could include advice on what should happen if you do not agree with the child’s other parent about when each parent sees a child, or where a child should live
  • support during care proceedings - where lawyers support families at hearings involving children that are being considered for care arrangements
  • helping to prevent domestic violence – which can include getting a court order in place to protect someone from physical violence
  • providing mediation – where someone meets with a separating couple to help them work out how to divide family assets, such as a family home, and how often children will see each parent - the following clip by the Ministry of Justice helps to explain this:

  • advising you about a will or inheritance – where a family lawyer can help you make decisions about the legal consequences of a will and who would inherit if a divorce or marriage took place
  • providing collaborative law services – where a separating couple each instruct a lawyer to work out how to resolve all the legal matters without needing to go to court
  • getting advice before marrying – where a lawyer can help you with 'pre-nuptial' arrangements and support you with understanding how getting married would affect your financial assets.