This section has information on the main policy areas affecting the family. These are marriage and relationship support, divorce or separation, children, court-directed paternity testing and domestic violence.
We have responsibility for relationship support, as well as promoting safe contact between children and non-resident parents. We also sponsor the work of the Office of the Official Solicitor and Public Trustee.
| 31 October 2005 |
New court rules on disclosure of information in family court cases involving children
On 31st October 2005, new rules come into force which specify circumstances in which information from family proceedings involving children heard in private may be disclosed without needing the express permission of the court. There is guidance available on the new rules for court users and people receiving information. The new rules are:
| 2 February 2005|
The draft Children (Contact) and Adoption Bill will provide the courts with new and more flexible powers to help ensure that contact orders - outlining contact arrangements between children and separated parents - are enforced. This Department for Education and Skills' (DfES) legislation also sets out the process by which adoptions from other countries may be suspended when there are concerns about child welfare. The Department for Constitutional Affairs is also concerned with the family justice system.
| 1998 - 2004 |
» The Office of the Official Solicitor and Public Trustee is currently administered as part of the Lord Chancellor's Department. The Official Solicitor provides representation for minors or adults under legal disability, and sometimes others, in county court or High Court proceedings in England and Wales, and in the Court of Protection. The Public Trustee and the Official Solicitor can both act as personal representative of the estate of a deceased person and act as trustee of a trust. Their site has technical and practical information for the legal profession, and for members of the general public. The current appointee to both the office of the Official Solicitor to the Supreme Court, and of the Public Trustee, is Laurence Oates, a barrister. For more information on the Office of the Official Solicitor and Public Trustee
The links in this section will redirect you to the forms and guidance section of this site, under the publications heading.