Matrimonial lawyers


Matrimonial lawyers are legal professionals, either solicitors or barristers, who specialise in the laws relating to marriage and divorce.

There are several different scenarios one can envisage in which there will be a need for matrimonial lawyers, although most commonly the need arises in relation to a divorce.

When do I need a matrimonial lawyer?

Matrimonial solicitors deal with family law areas such as:

  • Annulments
  • Divorce, separation and financial issues
  • Ancillary relief
  • Private children law, including parental responsibility, residence, contact, parentage declaration
  • Child abduction and parental relocation abroad
  • Child care, custody, child support
  • Domestic violence / harassment
  • Mediation
  • Collaborative law


A matrimonial solicitor commonly deals with issues arising from divorce. Some of the most emotionally charged and legally complex issues which are often associated with divorce are:

  • Custody
  • Visitation rights
  • Access to children

The reason that the law is often complex on matters of children is that the courts are commonly unwilling to make orders regarding children, preferring the parents work out a compromise. If a court does have to decide, they will always put the welfare of the child first.


Matrimonial lawyers are often called in by individuals going through a break up in an attempt to secure assets or a relationship with the children. In these cases the solicitor can usually offer to represent the client in a family court, or the solicitor can advise on faster and more cost-effective resolution through mediation or arbitration.

These options, commonly referred to as alternative dispute resolution, are only available when both sides agree to cooperate, and are only binding in arbitration cases.

Sudden death

Another possibility in which the legal opinion of matrimonial lawyers is required is in the event of a death and when the deceased's partner was not married to the deceased. Certain rights which are associates with marriage also arise in other situations, but only if certain conditions are fulfilled.

Matrimonial lawyers can guide the executor of a will through the distribution steps, ensuring that the laws relating to the partner’s rights are complied with.

If you have a legal issue which relates to your rights as a partner in a relationship, you might consider seeking the advice of a solicitor. There are many rules which govern this area of law and many exceptions to these rules. Therefore finding the rules which apply to you can be difficult without the assistance of a legal professional.

Want to resolve the issue without a solicitor? See our information page on family law mediation.

Do you need help with a matrimonial matter? We can put you in touch with a specialist family law solicitor to help you with a wide range of issues. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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