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Personal profile

Research interests

Family Law, Financial Remedies, Family Justice

Research interests

Emma Hitchings is a Professor of Family Law at the University of Bristol Law School. Her main research and teaching interests lie in the field of family law and family justice, in particular financial remedies on divorce. Emma teaches on the Family Law units in the School and is, and has been, an external examiner for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at other universities. 

For 10 years, Emma was the academic member on the Family Law Committee of the Law Society and she was a member of the Law Commission’s Advisory Board for marital property agreements. Currently, she is the joint editor of the Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law.

Emma has led, and been involved with, a range of research grants awarded by the Nuffield Foundation, the Law Commission, the Ministry of Justice and the Bar Council. Her funded empirical work has included projects examining financial settlements on divorce, litigants in person and fee-charging McKenzie Friends. 

Emma is currently leading the ‘Fair Shares on Divorce’ research project funded by the Nuffield Foundation. The aim of the project to provide the first detailed, representative picture of the use of different kinds of financial arrangements reached by divorcing couples in England and Wales, importantly including information both on couples who do and do not make use of the legal system. A survey of recent divorcees will profile the use of different kinds of ongoing and ‘clean break’ financial arrangements and in-depth interviews will collect more detailed information on how arrangements were reached, what professional or other support they received and how they put their arrangements into effect. The research aims to provide essential data to inform current debates on how the law should be reformed, as well as guidance to the legal profession, support providers and policy-interest groups to improve practice.


Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Families and Parenting


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