Family Procedure (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2021

The Family Procedure (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2021, which come into force on 1st October 2021 (except for rules 3 to 6 which come into force on the day on which section 63 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 comes into force), amend the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (the FPR).

Rules 3 to 6 insert provisions into Part 3A of the FPR as required by section 63 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021. The amendments automatically deem victims of domestic abuse as "vulnerable" for the purposes of determining whether a participation direction should be made. The court will therefore not need to make a determination as to vulnerability for parties or witnesses who state that they are, or are at risk of being, victims of domestic abuse before proceeding to consider which measures (if any) are necessary as a result of that vulnerability. The amendments also insert relevant statutory definitions from the Domestic Abuse Act 2021.

Rules 7 and 8 amend Part 10 of the FPR to clarify that the court may direct a means of service, other than personal service, of an application or order under Part 4 of the Family Law Act 1996.

Rule 9 amends rule 10.10 of the FPR to clarify that the court officer must notify the police of certain orders made under Part 4 of the Family Law Act 1996 where the court is to effect service of such an order in accordance with rule 10.6(2) of the FPR.

Rule 10 amends rule 27.11 of the FPR to make provision for the attendance at private hearings by duly authorised lawyers attending for specified purposes.

Rule 11 amends rule 29.6 of the FPR to refer to additional proceedings concerning gender recognition in relation to which documents, while in the custody of the court, must be kept in a place of special security.

For the Amendment No 2 Rules, click here.