WHERE HAVE ALL TH’AMENDMENTS GONE?…: Family Court rules 2014 (and aplogies to the late Pete Seeger)


Rules for the family court

Family Procedure Rules Committee met on Monday 10 February 2014. On amendment rules for family proceedings and teh family court, my information is that:

  • The family court is still on course for commencement on 22 April 2014
  • Four amendment SIs are in the pipeline:

(1)   The current draft to pick up points consulted upon: simplified Part 9 financial remedy procedure, eg for variation of periodical payments; appeals from magistrates etc

(2)   Amendment No 2 to cover the matters referred to in minutes of FPRC over past four months, with a couple of detail of detail referred back to the

(3)   Amendment No 3 to deal with Children and Families Bill (which is expected to receive royal assent any day now

(4)   Amendment No 4 to deal with Same Sex Marriage Act

  • All but (4) are expected to be signed off by FPRC at a meeting early in March, then be made and laid within days. Officially they will be SIs (as to (1), (2) and (3)) after that. 

Disclosure in family proceedings

Disclosure remains a matter for the common law in family proceedings: that’s official as confirmed by FPRC meeting minutes of December 2013. In practice much of the common law (continuing duty of disclosure (see CPR 1998 r 31.11), use of disclosed documents (CPR 1998 r 31.14) is in effect summarised by Civil Procedure Rules 1998. Civil Procedure Rules 1998 do not apply to family proceedings (CPR 1998 r 2.1(2)). Well, yes – eg rr 31.11 and 31.14 – they do.

Sharland (http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2014/95.html) shoots all this in yet another family law foot. No wonder people lament the cost of family breakdown litigation. It is those who frame define the statutory (primary or delegated) aspects of all this, who have a lot to blame. 

Watch this space

On (1) family court; (2) disclosure in family proceedings; (3) the cost of it all: stay tuned folks …


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