Family law solicitors’ guidelines for court procedure

10th March 2015 by

When considering a divorce, seeking the advice of the best family law solicitor in London, Brighton, or wherever you are in England and Wales, that you can find is always recommended in order to achieve the most positive outcome.

Yet, divorce lawyers and family law practitioners also need guidance on court processes and in January 2011 a new set of rules was passed that would offer them definitive guidance on modern family law procedure.

Family Procedure Rules 2010
Following full public consultation on underlying policy and draft wording the new Family Procedure Rules 2010 were laid before Parliament on 17th December 2010 and were published on 4th January 2010 with an implementation date of 6th April 2011. The Rules were long-awaited by family law practitioners in England and Wales as many felt that a single set of rules for family proceedings should be applicable to cases heard in the magistrates’ court, county court or High Court.

Following the successful implementation of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998, the Family Procedure Rule Committee aimed to produce one set of rules to achieve unity of action throughout the family courts, at their varying levels, using the Civil Procedure Rules as a model.

In 2005 a preliminary yet significant portion of the rules were made –, the Family Procedure (Adoption) Rules – and, following their positive reception, the fully consolidated Family Procedure Rules were modernised to form a single set of rules, in a clear format, to be followed in all family proceedings, whichever court they are to be held in.

The Committee had four key objectives to achieve:

      Modernisation of language;


  • Streamlining of procedure and harmonising with the Civil Procedure Rules;
  • Production of a single unified code of practice; and
  • Alignment in all levels of court.


The Rules are supplemented by dedicated Practice Directions and forms to cover all proceedings in family law

Family Procedure Rules for divorcing couples
The Rules are available to view at the National Archives legislation website and begin with introductory Parts which deal with matters of fundament within family law and primary issues of legal application. Early Parts provide the overriding objectives for the fair application of justice and provisions for interpretation of the rules.

Solicitors of couples seeking divorce, financial settlement and those settling terms for child contact and residency will be most concerned with the following Parts:

  • Part 7 deals with procedure for applications in matrimonial and civil partnership proceedings;
  • Part 8 includes miscellaneous chapters on applications relating to property in divorce, applications for financial remedy after an overseas divorce, proceedings relating to transfer of tenancy and applications for orders preventing avoidance of child maintenance amongst others;
    Part 9 deals with applications for financial remedy, including applications for financial remedies for children and the handling of pensions;
  • Part 12 establishes proceedings relating to children, but not parental order proceedings or proceedings for adoption, placement and related proceedings which are handled in Part 14.

There are 36 Parts in all

Healys’ solicitors for family law advice
Just as you will seek out advice from the best family law solicitor you can find, the teams at Healys in London and Brighton strive to keep abreast of developments in legislation and legal practice relating to all aspects of family proceedings and to offer the best guidance possible whatever your family law issue.

As a full service law firm our divorce solicitors and family law lawyers also have access to collective knowledge and expertise of other legal specialists which may be invaluable in your case.

Our aim is to proceed in family matters with sensitivity and understanding, but always to seek the most advantageous outcome for our client. We are able to offer a collaborative divorce service and are proud to count among our team a number of members of the Law Society’s Family Law Panel.

If you wish to discuss your circumstances with one of Healys’ experienced family law solicitors please call our offices today. You can speak directly to Catherine Taylor on 01273 669 124 or e-mail on