The Practical Lawyer


Procedure – Financial Remedies Unit pilot scheme

The Central Family Court’s Financial Remedies Unit (FRU) has published a local practice direction pilot scheme for electronic filing of documents. All applications for the issue of financial proceedings, or applications made within financial remedy proceedings issued since 1 January 2016, may be made by email to the Financial Remedies Unit at the Central Family Court at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Children – public law

A mother made voluntary arrangements for her son’s accommodation with his grandmother, and the local authority played no part in those arrangements. The grandmother (G) had provided a loving and stable home for her grandson, though he was known to social services because of the chaotic, sometimes violent, lifestyle of his parents.

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Procedure – court duty scheme

The Law Society has published practice guidance on the court duty scheme for private law family clients. No legal aid has been available for private family law matters, unless there is a history of domestic violence and/or child abuse, since April 2013 resulting in an increase in LIPs in court.

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Children – care proceedings

An appeal by M against a care order with a care plan for adoption for her daughter (D), and an order dispensing with parental consent to adoption under s52ACA, was unsuccessful. D was four-and-a-half when the appeal was heard. The adoption plan was for an open adoption where face-to-face contact after the adoption would continue between D and her core family members.

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Civil partnerships and marriages – public information

The Civil Partnerships Records Regulations 2016, in force from 7 November 2016, allow individuals to lawfully obtain information on registered civil partnerships. Similarly, the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Civil Partnerships Records Regulations 2016 make it lawful for the release of information on marriages as of the same date (including civil partnerships which have been converted to marriages).

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Procedure – financial remedies; declarations of parentage

As of 3 October 2016, two amendments to the FPR 2010 are in force. The first relates to applications to set aside financial remedy orders; the second as to declarations of parentage.

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Children – abduction

The parties in a recent case lived in Saudi Arabia. M successfully appealed the enforcement of a return order in respect of her ten-year-old son. M brought him to the UK but did not return him to Saudi Arabia. F started wardship proceedings applying for the child’s summary return to Pakistan where they had lived earlier (his visa for Saudi Arabia had expired). The son was not party to the proceedings.

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Divorce – financial remedies

The court has allowed W’s claim for maintenance 20 years after the date of separation. In this case, the parties had no children, and separated when their business was in serious financial difficulties. They were both eventually made bankrupt, so no assets or income were available at the time of separation and the divorce in 1995.

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Children – private law

The Official Solicitor has published questions that practitioners should consider if applying for help for parents who lack litigation capacity in private law proceedings. Practitioners will find the questions helpful, and their aim is that they will assist the Official Solicitor to assess the issues in the case, including whether there is enough money to cover legal costs.

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Procedure – adoption

Practitioners should note the Family Procedure (Amendment No.3) Rules 2016, which are in force from 14 November 2016. The amendment provides for the assignment of serial numbers to adoptive parents (or prospective adoptive parents) in proceedings for adoption and certain other proceedings, with the purposes of keeping their identities confidential.

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