Family law

Family law covers a wide range of areas related to families, couples and children - including divorce, parental rights and responsibilities, and inheritance.

We are committed to modernising family law and improving people’s experience of the family justice system.


We are:

We also publish guidance for family law professionals such as information for child welfare reporters on carrying out the role.

We have also produced a guide to child welfare reports for parents involved in a legal dispute about a child's upbringing.

Family law and Brexit

We have been preparing for what happens after Brexit if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, including:


We published a family justice modernisation strategy in September 2019 which sets out work to improve the operation of family justice.

Bills and legislation

We introduced the Children (Scotland) Bill to the Scottish Parliament in September 2019. Alongside this we published impact assessments covering equalities, business, child rights and wellbeing, Fairer Scotland, data protection and island communities.

We introduced the Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill in September 2019. This was published alongside impact assessments covering: equalitybusiness, and child rights and wellbeingThis Bill passed Stage 3 on 23 June 2020.  It obtained Royal Assent on 28 July and became an Act on that date.

The Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Act 2019 removes the defence of  “reasonable chastisement” from the law. John Finnie MSP introduced this Act to the Scottish Parliament. We support the removal of the defence. You can find out more about this Act, its background and what we have done to prepare for it in our factsheet.


You can find pre-2016 research publications relating to family law at the archive



Family Law Team 

St. Andrew’s House
Regent Road


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