This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

LPC Law Notes Family Law Notes

Family Law Principle Notes

Updated Family Law Principle Notes

Family Law Notes

Family Law

Approximately 181 pages

A collection of the best LPC Family Law notes the director of Oxbridge Notes (an Oxford law graduate) could find after combing through twenty-nine LPC samples from outstanding students with the highest results in England and carefully evaluating each on accuracy, formatting, logical structure, spelling/grammar, conciseness and "wow-factor".

In short these are what we believe to be the strongest set of LPC Family Law notes available in the UK this year. This collection of notes is fully updated...

The following is a more accessible plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Family Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Only non-blood relationship given legal recognition is marriage

As society expanded, law has slowly expanded to recognise other family form

Hyde v Hyde- Lord Penzance: as understood in Christendom, may be defined as the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others

Deech: not one word of this remains true in British marriage law

  • Civil & Religious Marriage- Christian and other religion

  • Forced Marriage

  • Divorce

  • Same sex marriage

Discriminatory- Different in rights?

  • Same sex- Partnership/ Marriage

  • Heterosexual- Marriage only

Civil Partnership: Legally allow union of same sex marriage, similar rights entitled

Claim only difference in name

Marriage previously S11(c) MCA 1973 must be between man and woman

Marriage is legally binding, recognised, and governed relationship for non-related adults with protected rights (brings responsibilities) Marriage is the only way to get

Only type: Religious factor, to promote such institution by special privileges, enhance society, protect children (how about children outside marriage?)

Deech: Ultimate commitment with crux of generational support- ceremonial aspect adds seriousness and public recognition to the institution


  • No inheritance tax

  • Benefit from spouse’s pension

  • Superior claim under inheritance under Inheritance Act 1975

  • Occupation rights and subject to claim property of relationship breaks down

  • Use of surname

  • Defence of martial coercion for wives on offence other than treason and murder

  • Immune from be charged with conspiracy with each other

  • Compelled to give evidence for the prosecution in certain limited circumstances (immune in others)

No duty to have sexual intercourse but have consequences ie. Incapacity/ wilful refusal for annulment

Civil Partnership could not use adultery as evidence for divorce

Stephen Cretney: From odious crime to gay marriage

  • Come to the point of equality

  • Society not always intolerant towards homosexuality: Local Government Act 1988 take position defending and promoting traditional family values

  • Previously, buggery punishable by death- decriminalised in 2001

  • Marriage necessary as not sufficient to simply be tolerated, must be accepted

  • Gender Recognition Act 2004 & Civil Recognition Act 2004

    • In fact, same sex couples have been slowly gaining rights in different aspects of family life thought the years

  • Civil Partnership Act 2004- Path to equality?

    • Allow same sex couple to register their relationship legally and conferred marriage-like rights and duties

    • only for same sex- Rebecca & Charles Keidan (2016) lose in claim to heterosexual civil partnership

    • almost identical to the form of marriage- practically same as Matrimonial Causes Act 1973

    • dissolving civil partnership almost identical to dissolve marriage

    • Financial consequences upon dissolution identical

Same Sex Marriage:

  • Ettelbrick & Sullivan: final acceptance and ultimate affirmation of identity

  • Deech: aspirational and inclusive nature of marriage

  • To complete the journey and final equality

  • Second class right still? Only civil marriages and not recognised in every country

  • Reason to against?

    • Marriage is defined as between man and woman

    • Framework to raise children- reproduction issue?

    • Slippery slope argument- Country deeply religious ie. Ireland had referendum not to have gay marriage

    • Threatening religious freedom

  • Fair to assume all gay people want to get married and is a good thing in the eyes of all homosexual?

    • Many homosexual against marriage on principle- do not want to fit relationship in marriage

    • Marriage is old age and patriarchy- oppressing women and sexual minorities- reinforce existing power structure

    • Discriminatory against other models of family living

  • Marriage (Same Sex Couple) Act 2013

    • Shalk & Kopf v Austria (2010): ECHR held same sex couples had family life under Art 8

    • S1(1)- Legalise same sex marriage

    • Still some difference- retain strict heterosexual view of the role of sex in adult relationship

      • Religious ceremony cannot be used for civil partnership

      • Religious organisations can opt in but not obliged to do so- cannot bring claim against religious organisation for refusing to conduct

      • Marriage is unlawful if conducted religiously

    • Sex is essential in adult relationship in context of procreation- sex is not used as a basis to end civil partnership or same sex marriage

      • Non-consummation cannot be used to annul

      • Adultery cannot be used to dissolve civil partnership or as a fact of divorce- as adultery is a sexual intercourse with a person of opposite sex outside marriage

Same sec relationships have 2 options of legal recognition

  • Discriminatory to heterosexual couples

  • Also discriminatory to same sex couples: suggesting that they can choose commitment but heterosexual only have one single ‘gold standard’- decide own family form (autonomy)

  • Law does not recognise sexual intimacy as important in a same sec relationship

  • Same sex cannot rely on adultery

  • Reinforces stereotypes and cheapens same sex relationship

  • Deech: Law not truly equal

  • Law seems to still priorities heterosexual marriage or downgrading civil partnership


  • No single definition

    • S1(2)Domestic Violence and Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1976: man & woman living together in same household as husband and wife- CPA 2004 include same sec couples

    • Fatal Accident Act 1976: Minimum of 2 years

    • Husband & Wife- Crake v Supplementary Benefits Commission (1982)

      • Members of the same household

      • Stable relationship

      • Financial support- mutual pool of resources

      • Sexual relationship- on-going

      • Children from this relationship

      • Public acknowledgement (as unit)

      • Must look at overall relationship holistically

    • Re J (1995): Reluctant to see as cohabitation if never had sexual relationship

    • Kimber v Kimber (2000): Added Sharing of daily life tasks and duties & intention and motivation

  • 5.9m Cohabiting- doubled over 2 decades

  • Less protection and not recognised in law but also not bound by any law (freedom)-...

Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our Family Law Notes.