"What do family lawyers do?"

Key Facts...

Family law is an extremely diverse area of law. 

It can cover legal topics such as marriage, divorce, financial separation, child law, domestic abuse and socio-legal family law issues, to name a few! 

Family law deals with some very personal aspects of a person's life so it can be quite an emotional area of law to practice in. 

Broadly, family law can be categorised into two areas: matrimonial law and child law. 

Many lawyers in this area tend to specialise in either matrimonial law or child law but it is possible to do a mix!

Matrimonial Law

Family lawyers specialising in matrimonial law will advise clients on the following types of matters: 

  • prenuptial agreements

  • cohabitation agreements or arrangements

  • divorce 

  • financial implications of divorce and/or separation 

Typical tasks of a matrimonial lawyer will include: 

  • drafting, negotiating and advising on the above agreements; 

  • preparing cases for divorce and settlement hearings; 

  • obtaining evidence/support for a client's case including organising witnesses and reviewing the assets and finances held by the parties; 

  • liaising with family law barristers; and 

  • negotiating settlements 

Child Law

Family lawyers specialising in child law will advise clients on the following types of matters: 

  • child custody as a result of divorce or separation 

  • child arrangement orders (deciding where a child lives and contact arrangements) which may involve local authorities 

  • disputes between family members over the care of a child 

  • parental responsibility 

Typical tasks of a matrimonial lawyer will include: 

  • advising clients on the implications of divorce on child custody and residence

  • keeping up to date with legislation

  • reading and reviewing hundreds of pages worth of documents in preparation for a hearing 

  • representing clients (which can include local authorities, parents, children or guardians) in care proceedings 

For the full job spec of a child care lawyer - click here!

Skills to be a Family Lawyer

Family law is a people focused area of law so a genuine interest and care about the lives of others is a must!

Demonstrating trust and empathy. 

The ability to be detached from an emotional situation and have a non-judgemental attitude. 

Excellent interviewing skills and the ability to deal with a variety of emotions. 

Strong negotiation skills. 

Practical approach to legal issues and strong understanding of family law. 

Ability to handle a varied and large caseload. 

Day in the life of a family solicitor

by @londonfamilysolicitor (insta handle)