Undergraduate Module Descriptor

LAW3057: Family Law: Adult Relationships

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.


NQF Level 5
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (12 weeks)

Academic staff

Professor Liz Trinder (Convenor)


Students must be on one of the following programmes:

  • INBOUND Semester
  • INBOUND Semester 2
  • One Semester Flexible Combined Honours 
  • OAS Law (Dresden) 
  • One Semester Law
Available via distance learning


Family law is an exciting and topical module which explores how the law and family justice system operate to regulate adult relationships.

By analysing the legal and policy framework for family law in the context of the changing ways that people partner, you will engage in an assessment of the effectiveness of the current family justice system and consider and debate proposals for reform of the law and the relevance of international regulation to aspects of law in this field. You will also explore relevant socio-legal research in this area and consider its importance to the development of family law in the 21st century. 

Within the module, you will consider the role of family law and the legal definition of family in the 21st century. You will consider the formation, termination and legal consequences of the adult relationships of marriage, civil partnership/gay marriage and cohabitation. Topical issues include the adequacy of remedies for domestic violence; the use of pre-nuptial agreements; the introduction of gay marriage; and how to achieve fairness in asset distribution on relationship breakdown. You will explore recent radical changes in the Family Justice system, including withdrawal of legal aid from private family law court disputes, shifts towards alternative methods of dispute resolution, such as mediation and collaborative law.

Please note, students must also be on one of the following programmes:

  • INBOUND Semester 1
  • INBOUND Semester 2
  • One Semester Flexible Combined Honours
  • OAS Law (Dresden)
  • One Semester Law


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