Modern Blended Family Law

A blended family is created when you and a partner form a new family unit and one or both of you have children from a previous relationship. This can create challenging dynamics and a range of legal and practical issues, including:

  • Difficulties about a child’s name and identity.
  • Issues about a new partner’s exercise of parental responsibility for a step-child.
  • Difficulties managing relationships with ex-partners.
  • Issues about an ex-partner’s time, care and upbringing of your child.
  • Issues about legal status of a step-parent and the blended family unit.
  • Issues in conceiving a child with a new partner through assisted conception.

Creating a blended family requires time, effort and understanding to successfully navigate legal, emotional and practical issues.  It can encompass a wide range of matters including: parental anxiety by a step-parent (particularly if they are an inexperienced parent or are undertaking significant day-to-day parenting responsibilities), hostility from an ex-partner towards a new partner, reluctance from children to adjust or bond with a new partner and their children from a previous relationship.

If you wish to expand your blended family and conceive a further child together, this can introduce a range of further legal and medical issues relating to fertility treatment, donor conception, surrogacy and financial arrangements depending upon your age, health and personal circumstances. Assisted conception is complex and it requires expert legal navigation of fertility and family law from the outset.

If you require legal assistance or wish to discuss your situation contact us.

 +44 (0) 20 7965 8399

How we can help

Our legal services include:

  • Legal packages
  • Bespoke legal advice tailored to your situation, needs and wishes
  • Preparation of legal documentation
  • Legal support and representation in court proceedings

Package One

Blended family uncontested legal status acquisition – legal review

  • Advises on acquisition of legal status, rights, responsibilities and identity of biological, legal, step and social parents for a child.
  • Carries out a legal benefit and risk analysis.

Package Two

Blended family legal status dispute

This provides tailored expert legal advice under English fertility and family law following separation, divorce, remarriage about disputed legal status, rights and responsibilities of a new partner or spouse for a child. It

Leading case law

Louisa has dealt with numerous modern and blended family law cases in the UK including,

AB v CD, EF, GH & IL [2018] EWHC 1590 (Fam), representing an intended mother in international contested assisted reproduction and modern family law proceedings in the High Court concerning 2 surrogate born children. This case marks a legal first in the treatment of blended families in the UK following assisted reproduction, divorce, re-marriage, serious allegations of domestic violence and abuse as well as the legal status and identity of two surrogate born children, their biological, intended and social parents and arrangements for the children’s care and upbringing.

In JP v LP & Ors [2014] EWHC 595 (Fam), acting for the intended father in a high profile complex UK surrogacy dispute case following marriage breakdown and divorce. This case established for the first time a legal framework for cases where the legal criteria for a parental order cannot be met, including wardship, and featured in The Telegraph, BBC News and Mail Online (6 March 2014).

Find out more here.

News and commentary

Click here to read more about our media and commentary work in relation to family and fertility law, policy and practice.

“Later-life parenthood: what do I need to consider?” Louisa Ghevaert Associates’ blog (5 August 2022).

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