Family Law Solicitors, much like South African Family Law Attorneys deal with a number of issues which include jurisdiction and conflict of law; pre- and post-nuptial agreements (ANC’s)  and matrimonial property regimes; divorce, nullity, children, surrogacy and adoption, cohabitation, family dispute resolution, civil partnership/same-sex marriage.

Common law is the basis of the legal system of England and Wales. There is no codified system of law. Family law is found in Acts of Parliament and applied and interpreted by the Higher Courts to create legal precedent.

  • The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA 1973) is the core legislation relating to divorce and financial proceedings. 
  • The Children Act 1989 (CA 1989) is the primary source of law in relation to children, their upbringing and welfare.

In addition to the above Acts, the UK also has numerous other important statutes.

The UK has also ratified a number of conventions dealing with the international aspects of family law including:

  • HCCH Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980 (Hague Child Abduction Convention).
  • HCCH Convention on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition, enforcement and co-operation in respect of parental responsibility and measures for the protection of children 1996 (Hague Child Protection Convention). 

Section 31A of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 established a single Family Court from April 2014, which exercises jurisdiction in the majority of family proceedings..

The High Court continues to operate in family proceedings and helpful guidance was provided in February 2018 on the allocation and transfer of proceedings within the Family Court to High Court judge level and the transfer of cases from the Family Court to the High Court. However, only a limited number of cases are automatically reserved to or must be commenced in the High Court. These include those which involve the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court whether in relation to children (wardship) or incapacitated or vulnerable adults and certain international cases under the Hague Child Abduction Convention.

For direct answers to your specific personal questions, please contact us directly.

Author – Kate Bailey – Hill

More Posts