What is family law?

Family Solicitors in Portsmouth

The family has to deal with a wide range of situations, whether as parents, offspring or as other family members. Emotions can run high and cloud judgement. Family law is there to help in cases where how people live, and with whom and with what needs to be clearly stated, understood and acted upon.

Because family law deals with intimate and important relationships, often involving children, family solicitors in Portsmouth have to deal with their cases with more kindness, understanding and compassion than in other areas of the law. At Andrew & Andrew, our team of family solicitors in Portsmouth regularly deal with the following aspects of family law:

Ending legal relationships

Divorce and similar legal endings are a staple of family law. Putting a legal end to a relationship can happen in several different ways:

  • Divorce is the dissolution of a marriage contract after a couple has been married for at least a year
  • Civil dissolution – this is the same thing, except for people joined by a civil partnership
  • Nullity – the court declares that a marriage is null and void. This can happen at any time after the registration of the marriage
  • Judicial separation – a legal recognition that a couple no longer live together but are still married and cannot marry anyone else.

There is a different legal pathway for each of these situations, including different forms. All forms must be filled in with accurate information.


Children are an important aspect of family law, who they live with, whom has rights to have them to stay, known as custody and visitation rights. As family solicitors in Portsmouth, we can help you arrange contracts that are legally binding, whether you are a mother, father or a grand-parent. Other areas of family law to do with children include:

  • changing a child’s surname
  • taking children out of the country
  • schooling issues
  • religious upbringing.

Living together but not married

This is known in law as cohabiting and does not give couples the same rights as being married confers. When cohabiting couples separate and need help with disputes over property or land, they need to use Trusts law rather than family law. Using family solicitors in Portsmouth can smooth this process.