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About us

Families are becoming increasingly diverse, presenting interesting questions and challenges for theory and practice. The Network on Family, Regulation and Society, is a collaboration of family law academics from the universities of Exeter, Bristol and Cardiff, exploring the implications of these changes for the regulation of family and personal relationships in law and policy from a socio-legal research perspective. It aims to produce high quality research and pool expertise in areas such as child protection, family justice issues, the consequences of marriage and cohabitation breakdown and the effects of separation and divorce on children, including the impact of poverty. It seeks to ensure that family policy and law reform can be informed by robust research evidence.

As Anne Barlow, Professor of Family Law and Policy at the University of Exeter comments, "Our network addresses the legal and policy implications of profound recent changes in family life, locating these within a national, international and comparative context. Family policy is hotly debated in politics and problems can arise when debates are reduced to highly emotive commentary without the research evidence to back it up. This area of law and policy affects so many people in very personal, sensitive and intimate ways and it is critically important that high quality research informs the debate."


The Network gratefully acknowledges the support of all its funding partners.

Individual research projects have been funded by AHRC, Department for Education, Department for Work and Pensions, ESRC, The Family Justice Council, The Leverhulme Trust, The Ministry of Justice, Nuffield Family Justice Observatory, The Nuffield Foundation, The Socio Legal Studies Association and The Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health.