Making policy for divorced and separated families

Making policy for separated or divorced families over the last decade has proved difficult. The process has been characterised by a lack of political consensus, prolonged conflict between competing interest groups, intense media scrutiny, a squeezing out of research evidence and a pervading sense of crisis. Implementation has also proved problematic with flagship policies failing, including the Family Law Act, FAINS and the recent Family Resolutions Pilot.

This project will take a systematic look at the policy-making process in this field, exploring the reasons for some of the apparent policy failures as well as successes and looking for ways in which the policy process might be enhanced. The project will use a case study approach combined with stakeholder interviews. A focused review of the broader policy studies and evidence-based policy literature and a number of supplementary international case studies will provide additional context and insights.

Project details



Professor Liz Trinder, School of Law, University of Exeter

Grant amount and duration


March 2008 - April 2013