The Family Law Act 1996 gave the Lord Chancellor the power to make grants in connection with marriage support services as well as research and development to improve those services. Subsequently the remit was widened to include other adult relationships. With the change of the Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD) to the Department for Constitutional Affairs overall responsibility for policy development and funding for Marriage and Relationship Support was transferred to the Department for Education and Skills in 2003. The DfES also handled the Parenting Fund which provides grants to support parenting within the UK. In 2007 responsibility for this work was transferred to the newly formed Department for Children, Schools and Families where MARS work is nominally part of the Children and Young People Grant funding.
Because this is so central to the work of many of the agencies and organisations working in the field of marriage support, this topic provides quick access to many of the key and current issues related to the work of these governmental departments.