Please type more than three letters in your search query

Manchester Family Court

Manchester divorce

A Guide to Manchester Family Court For First Time Users

Manchester Family Court is a division of the family court system in England & Wales. It operates within the jurisdiction of Manchester, a major city in the North West. Family courts in England deal with a variety of legal matters related to family issues, including divorce, matrimonial finances / financial remedy,  child custody, child contact and domestic abuse.

Manchester Family Court, like other family courts across the country, aims to resolve family disputes in a fair and impartial manner, with the best interests of any children involved being a primary consideration. The family court handle sensitive and often emotionally charged cases, requiring judges and family law solicitors to have a deep understanding of family law and interpersonal dynamics.

If you have a specific family law or children law issue or case related to family matters in Manchester, seeking advice from a qualified family law solicitor is advisable. They can provide legal guidance tailored to your situation and help navigate the legal process within the Manchester Family Court system.


Where is the Manchester Family Court?


To get to Manchester Family Court (Manchester Civil Justice Centre), you’ll need to consider various transportation options depending on your starting point.

The address is:

Manchester Civil Justice Centre (Civil and Family Courts)

1 Bridge Street West


M60 9DJ

Do I need legal advice before or at any family court hearing?

The short answer is, yes.

A family law or divorce solicitor is there to help, advise and guide you.

There are always going to be tactical considerations when you are involved in family law proceedings. You will naturally want to achieve the best possible outcome. A good family law solicitor will have an ability to quickly take your instructions, identify the relevant issues and how to present your case. This is what I call the ‘substance’ of the case.

There is, however, a ‘process’. You should therefore also be looking for a family law solicitor in Manchester who has experience of the court system, who can navigate it and advise you how to proceed and/or what options you have.

We are only a 10 minute walk the Manchester Family Court. Our address is:

61-63, The Lightwell, Brown St, Manchester M2 2JG

We are a team of 11 specialist family law solicitors and offer initial consultations to people wanting or needing legal advice. This includes representation at family court hearing in Manchester or across England & Wales.

How do I get to Manchester Family Court?

Here’s a general guide:

Public Transport

  • Bus: Manchester has an extensive bus network operated by several companies. You can use services like Stagecoach, First Manchester, or Go North West to reach the court. Use a journey planner app or website like Transport for Greater Manchester to find the best route.
  • Tram: Manchester Metrolink tram system also serves various parts of the city. Check the tram routes and see if any pass near the court.
  • Train: Manchester has several train stations including Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Victoria, and Manchester Oxford Road. Depending on your location, you can take a train to one of these stations and then use buses or trams to reach the court.
  • Driving: If you plan to drive, use GPS or maps to navigate to the Manchester Family Court. Make sure to check for parking facilities nearby as parking may be limited. Please note, there are no parking facilities at the Manchester Family Court. There is an NCP car park available on Bridge Street, Manchester or for alternative car parking in the city centre please see here.

You can use smartphone apps like Google Maps, Waze, or Apple Maps for navigation.

  • Taxi: taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft are also available in Manchester. You can use these services for a convenient door-to-door transportation option.
  • Walking or cycling: If you’re located nearby, walking or cycling might be an option. Manchester has dedicated cycle lanes and pedestrian paths in many areas.

Make sure to plan your journey in advance, considering factors like traffic, transportation schedules, and possible delays, rail strikes and so on. It’s also a good idea to double-check the address and any specific instructions provided by the court. It is very important that you arrive at court in good time before your family hearing.


What facilities are available at Manchester Family Court?

Manchester Family Court also has a number of facilities.

If you have a disability or need help coming to a hearing the court asks that you contact 0161 240 5000. A link listing out the building facilities in Manchester can be found here.

Such facilities include disabled access, hearing loop facilities (and portable hearing enhancement systems), a prayer and quiet room, children’s waiting room. Video facilities are available by prior arrangement and following any necessary approval by the court.

Can I have an interpreter at Manchester Family Court?

You will need to contact the family court in Manchester in advance if you need an interpreter.

Your interpreter will normally be available during the hearing although they might be able to take part in legal discussions before or after a court hearing and if the judge allows it.

You might be able to have an interpreter if you cannot understand English and this will also depend on what your case involves.

You’ll be given an interpreter if your case involves children, domestic violence or forced marriage. You might still be able to get an interpreter for other types of cases, if the following apply:

  • you cannot afford to pay for an interpreter yourself
  • you do not qualify for legal aid
  • you do not have a friend or family member who the judge says can act as your interpreter.

You might be able to have a friend or family member act as your interpreter. You must ask the court in Manchester for permission to do so before the hearing.

You will be given an interpreter if you are deaf or have difficult hearing. Again, it is important to check this facility in advance of any family court hearing.

Attending Manchester Family Court


Entering the family court in Manchester for the first time can be a daunting experience, filled with uncertainty and emotions running high. Whether you’re there for a divorce, financial remedy, child custody or child contact, or any other family matter, the process can feel overwhelming. As an experienced family law solicitor, I know all too well that this can add to the challenges and complexities involved.

Here are 10 basic tips:

1. Arrive on time: When I go to court, I often prefer to arrive 1 hour or so in advance. This will allow you to have plenty of time to find the actual court building, the courtroom and to meet your family law solicitor. There are also café facilities at the court in Manchester. This will all help you settle your nerves and help you focus on what is happening at the hearing and what you need to say or do.

2. Read the papers: it perhaps sounds obvious, but it is important that you have read and are familiar with any applications that have been made, statements and/or reports that have been filed and so on. So many people don’t but when you are a family court room, there are different pressures or anxieties and not to overlook any nerves. You will need to be on top of your own case and have a good understanding of the other party’s case. This is to look at the strengths and weaknesses in each. In turn, this will help your confidence and understanding of what is being discussed and why. It will also help you make relevant representations to the family judge in Manchester or through your family law advocate or solicitor.

3. Prepare notes: linked to the above point, is sometimes the need to prepare some basic notes, points or questions. I often go to the family court with a checklist to make sure that everything is covered and so that all of the relevant issues are properly addressed and ruled on.

4. Consider what it is you wish to achieve: the family court system is adversarial; it puts one party against the other. But do not litigate points or issues for the sake of it. Aside from time and costs, this might not get you anywhere and may simply add to the stress of the situation or the feeling that the eventual outcome is unfair.

5. Finding support: One of the most valuable resources during this time is the support of family and friends. Having someone to lean on, to offer guidance and reassurance, made a world of difference. A friend or family member may be able to accompany you to the court in Manchester. They will not be allowed into the actual family law hearing unless the judge allows it. Additionally, seeking the family law advice from a good solicitor will provide clarity and a sense of direction amidst the legal intricacies.

6. Understanding the process: Navigating the family court system requires a thorough understanding of the process and procedures involved. From filing the initial paperwork to attending hearings and mediation sessions, each step demands attention to detail and adherence to strict timelines. Familiarising yourself with the family law terminology and requirements helped avoid or limit some of the confusion.

7. Facing the family hearings: The court itself can be an intimidating environment, with its formalities and the seriousness of the issues at hand. It is crucial to remain composed and articulate, expressing yourself clearly while respecting the authority of the court. A family law solicitor can help with making representations at court in Manchester on your behalf.

8. Managing Emotions: Emotions can run high in the family court, fuelled by the personal nature of the disputes being addressed. It’s essential to maintain a level head and focus on the best interests of all involved, especially if children are involved. Finding healthy outlets for stress and anxiety, such as therapy or support groups, can aid in emotional resilience.

9. Embracing Resolution: Ultimately, the goal of the family court is to facilitate resolution and provide a fair outcome for all parties. While the family law process may be arduous, it’s essential to remain hopeful and open to compromise. Negotiating settlements through mediation or collaborative law can offer a less adversarial path to resolution, fostering mutual understanding and cooperation.

10. Reflecting on the experience: the family law process will have a profound impact on you. But sometimes the journey does not end there. The family court will make a final order but, for example, if children are involved you will still need to follow the terms of any child arrangement order. Equally if you are dealing with financial issues, you will need to properly implement the terms of any financial order, consent order or financial settlement. Sometimes a financial case is not capable of a clean break, for example because of spousal maintenance issues. Either way, my best advice is often to attempt to avoid conflict moving forward. It is much better to attempt to resolve any future disputes by agreement rather than having a court impose a family law order, and one that neither of you might be happy with.

Navigating the family court system for the first time can be a daunting experience, but it’s one that many of us may encounter at some point in our lives. By seeking support, understanding the family law process process, managing emotions, and embracing resolution, we can navigate this challenging area with focus and resilience; and to achieve the best outcome and to take you Day 1 of your new life. 

How we can help you

We are a dedicated team of family lawyers with offices in Manchester city centre, Altrincham, Knutsford and Wilmslow. Manchester Family Court is our local court, as well as Stockport Family Court.  We have many years of experience in dealing with a variety of family law cases and hearings and before different judges including the Court of Appeal, High Court, Circuit judge, District Judge and Magistrates. We are ranked in Tier 1 for family law in the Legal 500 for 2023/24 and are recognised as leaders in our field.


A hard-working, broad bandwidth practice but with a strong in-depth team. If you want a solicitor who has your back this is the firm to instruct. They are totally committed to their clients, ultra-efficient and effective, offering clear and accurate advice. As a barrister, I can say that they are a joy to be instructed by.’

‘A team of specialists with strength and breadth in skills and experience levels. James Maguire is an international family law specialist and member of the IAFL. He leads from the front and is always available to mentor and guide the team. It is his belief that the people make the firm and client service levels are a priority. Success is evident in their client testimonials and online reviews.

Source: Legal 500 2023/24

For specialist advice on any family law related issue contact Maguire Family Law by email: or telephone:

Contact Us