'19th Century Laws for 21st Century Relationships', is written by the firm's Family lawyers.
The book comprises five chapters:
Through these chapters, Mishcon de Reya's lawyers tackle the most prevalent challenges currently facing separating families and the family justice system.
Using the first-hand experience of the lawyers who wrote it, and with reference to the historical social forces that shaped family law, the book examines how archaic sensibilities continue to dictate the legal treatment of modern relationships. It looks into the different kinds of relationship that exist today – such as cohabitees, those in civil partnerships, as well as married couples - and how, and why, different families are treated differently by the law in the event that these relationships break down.
'19th Century Laws for 21st Century Relationships' has been created as a resource for anybody keen to understand family law, its role in today's society and what it means in practice for individuals.
Head of Mishcon de Reya's Family Department, Sandra Davis, said of the book:
"It is very clear that Family law is not keeping pace with societal change. In our book, we explore the impact this has on modern families. We debunk the pernicious myth of 'common law marriage' and explore whether there is any modern justification for spousal maintenance following divorce.
"As a department, we have drawn upon our collective experience of working in Family law over several decades to produce a book that we hope will provoke debate about law reform, and better inform modern families of the complex laws by which they are regulated."