The network is led by the University of Exeter in collaboration with the Universities of Bristol and Cardiff.
This cross university partnership concentrates previously dispersed expertise, harnesses a range of national and international research links and deepens existing links between its members. The network seeks to be outward looking, collaborating with third sector organisations such as: Citizens Advice, Family Law Bar Association, One Plus One and Resolution.
The Network’s current members are:
Owen Abbott is a Leverhulme early career fellow in sociology with Cardiff University. His current project provides an empirical study of the role of forgiveness in personal relationships, an area of research that has so far gone largely untouched by sociologists. The project focuses on the ways in which forgiveness becomes significant to, and is practiced within, various types of personal relationships, including friendships, family, and romantic relationships.
Anne is Professor of Family Law and Policy at the University of Exeter and leads the network. She has a particular interest in the regulation of adult relationships such as cohabitation and marriage. Much of her recent work has centred on improving experiences and outcomes for those who settle out-of-court, including the voice of the child in out-of-court processes.
Donna is a Senior Research Assistant at the University of Bristol. She is also an ESRC funded PhD Candidate in Family Law at the University of Exeter examining the issues faced by military wives post-LASPO.
Liam is a PhD Candidate at the University of Bristol. His PhD looks at the birth registration system and its (in)ability to cater for ‘modern’ families (trans parents, surrogacy and poly/co-parenting arrangements). His research aims to de-centre and de-prioritise hetero- and cis-normativity as guiding legal and social norms.
Peter is a Senior Lecturer at University of Bristol Law School and an Associate Member of Garden Court Chambers. His research interests lie broadly in the field of gender, sexuality and the law - with a particular focus on LGBT+ family life in the UK and Europe.
Julie is a Senior Lecturer in Law at Cardiff University. Her research interests are care proceedings and adoption; privacy and transparency in family courts; and children’s rights.
Jan is a Research Fellow at the University of Exeter. Her work centres on children’s rights, particularly in out-of-court processes and healthy relationships.
Kathy is a Lecturer in Law at Cardiff University. Her research interests primarily lie in the legal recognition of different types of family relationship. Her PhD and subsequent work have focused on a theoretical comparative analysis of form-based and function-based recognition of adult relationships in law.
Anna is a Lecturer in Law at Cardiff University. Her research has a particular focus on the financial consequences of relationship breakdown.
Emma is Professor of Family Law at the University of Bristol. She is an expert on financial remedies on divorce and family justice issues. A key theme underpinning her research has been exploring how family law works in practice and its impact on individuals, professionals and the family justice system.
Hannah is a PhD Candidate at the University of Bristol. Her research focuses on the balance between emotional and technical content in the interactions which take place between lawyers and clients as they work through financial settlements on divorce.
Zaina is a is a Wellcome Trust funded PhD Candidate at the University of Exeter. Her thesis compares the current regulatory frameworks for surrogacy in Britain and in California, using socio-legal and health research methods to understand surrogates’ lived experiences.
Jess is a Lecturer in Law at Cardiff University. Her research specialisms span across the fields of access to justice, legal aid, family law, and socio-legal theory and methods.
Rebecca is a PhD Candidate at the University of Exeter. Her PhD explores whether the Equality Act 2010 offers protection to the identities of the non-binary community. Her research interests in family law lie in marriage law and how it relates to minority groups, such as small religious populations and LGBT+ couples, while in human rights her focus is on LGBT+ issues like non-binary representation and protection.
Lottie is a PhD Candidate at Cardiff University. Her PhD considers whether current domestic laws on surrogacy adequately protect children’s rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Rebecca is Professor of Family Law at the University of Exeter. The focus of her research is on the history and current law of marriage, cohabitation, bigamy, and divorce.
Janet is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Exeter. She is a psychologist, psychotherapist and family therapist whose research and clinical work primarily focuses on couples and families.
Russell is Professor of Law at Cardiff University. His research interrogates the interaction between Law and the Humanities, particularly the interaction between religion, law and the family.
Janet is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Exeter. Much of her research has focused on equality, diversity and social justice issues, especially gender issues.
Leanne is Associate Professor of Family Law at the University of Exeter and a founding member of the network. Her interests lie in parenting disputes, access to family justice and effective family dispute resolution. She explores how people use peer support in online communities to help them navigate family disputes, as well as the mechanisms through which information and advice about solving family disputes can be made useful and accessible.
Sharon is a Reader in Law at the Cardiff University. Her research in family law seeks to challenge assumptions and stereotypes about women and law. Her work has exposed power dynamics in prenuptial agreements and questioned the meaning and implications of the ‘gold digger’. Sharon re-examines family law history through a feminist lens to uncover new perspectives on how law is reformed.
Liz is Professor of Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Exeter. She has a particular interest in access to justice, particularly for litigants-in-person and creating safe in-court processes for victims of abuse and their children. Her research led to the overhaul of divorce law in England and Wales with the removal of fault from the process.
The network also collaborates with associates both nationally and internationally including:
Masha Antokolskaia (Free University of Amsterdam)
Peg Brinig (University of Notre Dame)
Gillian Douglas (King's College London)
Cathy Humphreys (University of Melbourne)