Changes to court rules and procedures regarding family cases

Year Published: 2011

The biggest changes to court procedure for 20 years have been announced. New rules will come into force on 06 April 2011 with important changes, some of which are highlighted below. The new Family Procedure Rules 2010 will govern all children cases at all levels of court. New forms will also be introduced.

The “overriding objective” is borrowed from Civil cases. This highlights the child’s welfare in all children proceedings, enshrines the need to deal with all cases expeditiously as well as fairly, but recognises the limitation of resources by requiring courts to save expense so far as is practicable. It will now apply to all family proceedings.

The court will now have a duty to consider alternative dispute resolution and mediation in an attempt to reduce animosity.

The court will be able to control the evidence by giving directions as to the issues on which it is required, the nature of the evidence and the way in which the evidence is to be placed before the court. This should help to shorten hearing times and reduce delay.

Forfurther information please contact a member of our our Personal Law team on 01625 442100.

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