De-linking financial remedy applications
It is recommended that financial order applications
should be de-linked from divorce / dissolution proceedings (although the report
notes that from an IT systems point of view this would currently be difficult
Choice of court location
It is recommended that the Central Family Court
should be an available point of entry for financial remedy applications for
applicants who may want to take advantage of the specialism of the Financial
MIAM and Non-Court Dispute Resolution
Again on the theme of dispute resolution, and with a
view to encouraging take-up of MIAMs, the report makes some recommendations
which practitioners may be pleased to note.
The report supports the proposal that the MoJ should
consider paying for all MIAMs for a period of twelve months.
There is also support for the recommendation that the
£200 settlement fee for obtaining a consent order following mediation should be
increased to £300.
The recent development of specialist family arbitration leads the report
to recommend procedural changes with a view to ensuring the adoption of
arbitral awards in the Family Court as swiftly and simply as possible. It is
also recommended that a Family Division equivalent of Form N8 should be devised.
Courts’ power to order payment of outgoings
Practitioners will be aware that previously
provisions relating, for example, to one party paying the mortgage on behalf of
the other, were included by way of undertaking.
The report makes it clear that the court has the power to impose and order
Guidance for Litigants in Person
A draft form of guidance has been prepared which will
be sent to LiPs when financial remedy proceedings are issued. A copy of the draft is available here.
Clearer language in court orders for LiPs
In order to make orders clearer for LiPs, the report
recommends considering the language used, such as using the parties’ names
instead of 'Applicant and Respondent' and saying 'send to the court and the
other party' instead of 'file and serve.'
However, it is specifically noted that orders must be
complied with by LiPs as much as by advocates.
Recommendations have been made for specific training
for the judiciary to enable them to deal more effectively with LiPs, for
example by taking a more inquisitorial approach.
Standard form orders in financial remedy proceedings
The adoption of some standard form financial orders
was recommended. The draft orders are
available as part of the consultation here.
(1) This is an
interim report so now is the time to familiarise yourself with the proposals
and consider your views.
(2) In the
meantime, if after reading the report, you have any observations, send them to
the President’s Private Secretary, Alex Clark, by email to: Alex.email@example.com
yourself with the draft standard orders and consider using them where
(4) Keep an eye on
Family Law for further updates on the MAP.
(5) Check out our Children and Vulnerable Witnesses Essential Update