The Practical Lawyer


Procedure – standard family orders

In March 2018, the President of the Family Division circulated the second batch of Standard Family Orders (the first batch was issued with his guidance of 30 November 2017). The three further orders are to be added to the compendium of Standard Family Orders.

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Procedure – financial remedies court pilot

The Birmingham-centred West Midlands pilot of the Financial Remedies Court has been successful, and the President of the Family Division has now announced a further phase of the pilot (in modified form).

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Procedure – children; arbitration

Important practice guidance has been issued by the President. Practice Guidance: Children Arbitration in the Family Court concerns the interface between the Family Court, and arbitrations conducted under the Arbitration Act 1996 where the parties to a post-relationship breakdown private law dispute relating to the welfare of a child or children where either or both having parental responsibility, or are otherwise concerned, have agreed to submit the issues in dispute to an arbitrator for a binding decision.

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Procedure – consent orders

Practitioners should note that Pilot Practice Direction 36I supplementing FPR Part 36 r36.2 is now in force as of 6 August 2018. The PD governs a pilot scheme for the procedure for online filing of certain applications for consent orders for a financial remedy.

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Disclosure – anonymity

The applicant’s general application for disclosure was refused, but he was permitted specific limited access to a limited number of documents regarding his family history.

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Maintenance Protocol – change of habitual residence

A child maintenance claim under the Maintenance Protocol, which included a retroactive claim, was made by a child whose parents are German nationals.

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Children – financial provision

M made three applications under Schedule 1 CA 1989 in a high-value separation case in which F had consistently deployed the so-called ‘millionaire’s defence’.

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Children – care proceedings

M successfully applied under s39 CA to discharge a care order in respect of her eight-year-old son (L). The LA had provided no tangible evidence of any individual concerns.

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Procedure – court bundles

The President of the Family Division has issued a final draft revised Practice Direction 27A – Family Proceedings: Court Bundles (Universal Practice to be applied in the High Court and Family Court) – in force from 23 July 2018.

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Contempt of court – care proceedings

M was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months, for contempt. She had already breached three injunctions prohibiting her from posting information about care proceedings involving two children (now adults) which started eight years ago.

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