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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

02 JAN 2014

The Family Procedure (Amendment No.3) Rules 2013

These Rules may be cited as the Family Procedure (Amendment No.3) Rules 2013 and come into force on the date on which section 17(3) of the Crime and Courts Act 2013  is brought fully into force.

These Rules amend the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (S.I. 2010/2955) ("the FPR 2010"). The majority of the amendments made to the FPR 2010 by these Rules are made to reflect the creation of the family court. Provision in respect of the family court is made in section 17 of, and Schedules 10 and 11 to, the Crime and Courts Act 2013 (c.22). The family court, and the High Court, have jurisdiction to deal with family proceedings. The jurisdiction formerly exercised by magistrates' courts and county courts in relation to family proceedings, and enforcement of orders made in family proceedings, held by magistrates' courts and county courts, is removed by provision in the Crime and Courts Act 2013.

In particular, these Rules amend the following Parts of the FPR 2010-

(a) Part 2 (application and interpretation) to state that the FPR 2010 apply in family proceedings in the High Court and the family court, and to make consequential amendments to rule 2.3 FPR 2010 (interpretation) and to rules relating to powers to perform functions of the court;

(b) Part 4 (general case management powers) so that Part will apply to the High Court and the family court;

(c) Part 5 (forms and start of proceedings) to make provision as to where to start proceedings (the High Court or the family court);

(d) Part 6 (service) to make provision in respect of deemed service;

(e) Part 7 (procedure for applications in matrimonial and civil partnership proceedings) to reflect the fact that with the advent of the family court, divorce county courts and civil partnership proceedings county courts no longer exist, the fact that the Principal Registry of the Family Division of the High Court is no longer to be treated as such a county court, and the fact that the family court is a national court for England and Wales;

(f) Part 8 (procedure for miscellaneous applications) to make provision as to where and how to start certain proceedings;

(g) Part 9 (applications for financial remedy) to make provision as to where to start certain proceedings, and as to the procedure to apply to particular types of applications;

(h) Parts 10 (applications under Part 4 Family Law Act 1996) and 12 (certain children proceedings) to remove provisions relating to transfer between courts (given the national nature of the family court) and to remove references to county courts and magistrates' courts;

(i) Parts 13 (procedure under section 54 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008) and 14 (procedure for applications in adoption, placement and related proceedings) to make cross-references to the new rule 29.17 on transfers between the High Court and the family court, to put in place a single procedure for applications for recovery orders and to remove references to magistrates' courts;

(j) Parts 17 (statements of truth), 18 (procedure for other applications), 20 (interim remedies and security for costs), 24 (witnesses) and 28 (costs) to remove references to certain rules not applying in magistrates' courts;

(k) Part 22 (evidence) to remove references to proceedings pending, or treated as pending, in a divorce county court or civil partnership proceedings county court;

(l) Part 29 (miscellaneous) to make new provision in respect of the transfer of proceedings between the High Court and the family court, and to clarify that the Part 18 procedure applies in respect of an application to the family court for proceedings to be heard in a different Designated Family Judge area;

(m) Parts 32 (registration and enforcement of orders) and 34 (reciprocal enforcement of maintenance orders) to-

- reflect the fact that magistrates' courts will no longer deal with these proceedings;

- in the High Court for enforcement purposes; and

- incorporate into the FPR 2010 procedures in relation to enforcement which were previously set out in the Magistrates' Courts (Enforcement or Variation of Orders Made in Family Proceedings and Miscellaneous Provisions) Rules 2011 (S.I. 2011/1329).

Transitional and saving provision is made in rule 137.

An impact assessment for these Rules is annexed to the Explanatory Memorandum, which is available alongside this instrument at www.legislation.gov.uk.

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