Amendments to Family Procedure Rules
Amendments to paragraph 1.4 and 11.1 of Practice Direction 36N, to add provision for a legal representative of a respondent to use the online system for contested financial remedy applications and remove references to Maintenance Pending Suit applications, came into force on 18 December 2020. The remainder of the amendments come into force on 11 January 2021.
The following new Practice Direction comes into force 1 February 2021:
The introduction of new Practice Direction 41C to provide for a procedure by which, in specified circumstances, appeal proceedings in Family Division of the High Court may proceed by electronic means using an online case management system.
The following Practice Direction amendments came into force on 18 December 2020:
- Amendment to the European Union Exit Practice Direction Update to ensure that the transitional provisions in relation to the EU Protection Measures Regulation align with the Withdrawal Agreement. Amendment of the current expiry date of Practice Direction 36G from 31 January 2021 to 30 September 2021. The PD makes provision for a pilot scheme which enables applications for child arrangement orders (under section 8 Children Act 1989) to be generated online.
- Amendment of the current expiry date of Practice Direction 36H from 31 December 2020 to 31 June 2021 to extend the current interim provision in place for communicating Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation Protection Orders (FMPOs and FGMPOs) to relevant police forces and regional policing leads.
- Amendment of the current expiry date of Practice Direction 36J from 31 December 2020 to 31 December 2021 to extend the pilot arrangements allowing 'legal bloggers' to attend family proceedings heard in private.
- Amendment of the current expiry date of Practice Direction 36K from 31 January 2021 to 30 September 2021. The Practice Direction makes provision for a pilot scheme for the bulk scanning of section 8 Children Act 1989 applications for child arrangements orders.
- Amendment of the current expiry date of Practice Direction 36M and 36P from 31 April 2021 to 1 August 2021. These Practice Directions enable pilot schemes testing the online submission within certain public law proceedings, emergency proceedings relating to children, and placement proceedings – as part of HMCTS's Family Public Law Reform Project.
- Amendments to Practice Directions 5B, 36G, 36M, 36N, 36O, 36P, 41A and 41B to clarify the position regarding the timing of receipt of applications or other documents submitted by email, via online schemes or via bulk scanning.
Amendment to Practice Direction 41B to remove the reference to Maintenance Pending Suit applications from the online system for consent financial remedy applications.
For the Family Procedure Rules, click here