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Family Court Practice 2016, The

(Red Book)

FROM £465.00

Order your copy today and get the Autumn Supplement


"Indispensable. It is the single book that every family practitioner and every family judge must have" Sir James Munby 

The Family Court Practice (Red Book), covers the entire range of family business and contains all the essential materials you need to practise in the Family Court.

The new edition is fully updated to include the latest case-law, full coverage of new and amended legislation, Practice Directions and guidance. It also contains fully and expertly annotated statutes and rules together with scores of unique step-by-step procedural guides, which direct you effortlessly to the relevant rules and annotation.

What is included in the 2016 Edition?

  • A new Procedural Guide on Setting Aside a Financial Relief Order
  • The latest amendments to the FPR and the CPR (including: Part 39 – Attachment of Earnings; and Part 40 – Charging Order, Stop Order, Stop Notice,plus PD40A)
  • Recent guidance on:
    • Tagging or Electronic Monitoring in Family Cases; 
    • Financial Remedies Unit at the Central Family Court; 
    • Committal for Contempt of Court; 
    • Arbitration in the Family Court, plus expert commentary on arbitration, including DB v DLJ [2016] EWHC 324 (Fam); 
    • The Efficient Conduct of Financial Remedy Hearings
  • Updated commentary on:
    • the Supreme Court’s decisions in Sharland and Gohil, including substantial updates to Procedural Guide E6: Applications to Re-open or Set Aside Final Court Orders; 
    • cases of alleged radicalisation, including Re X (Children) (No 3) [2015] EWHC 3651; 
    • add-backs, including MAP v MFP [2015] EWHC 627 (Fam); 
    • pensions valuation and pensions sharing, including WS v WS [2015] EWHC 3941 (Fam); 
    • children giving evidence, including Re R (Children) [2015] EWCA Civ 167; 
    • parental responsibility and same-sex families, including JB v KS and E (Contact: Parental Responsibility) [2015] 2 FLR 1180; 
    • removal of a child from the jurisdiction, including Re J (A child) [2015] UKSC 70; 
    • provision of accommodation for children and the use of CA 1989, s 20, including Re N (Children) (Adoption: Jurisdiction) [2015] EWCA Civ 1112;
    • child arrangements and supervision of contact, including Re S (A Child): (Child Arrangements Order: Effect of Long-Term Supervised Contact on Welfare) [2015] EWCA Civ 689; 
    • burden and standard of proof, including Re A (A Child) [2015] EWFC 11;
    • parents with disabilities, including Re D (A Child) (No 3) [2016] EWFC 1;
    • occupation rights under FLA 1996 and interim orders for sale, including BR v VT [2015] EWHC 2727 (Fam); 
    • the Maintenance Regulation, including Ramadani  v Ramadani [2015] EWCA Civ 1138
          And much more ...

Have you entered this years photo competition?
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*Please note that there is an additional cost for non-UK mainland p&p. 
Table of Statutes
Table of Statutory Instruments
Table of Cases
Table of Practice Directions
Table of CPR, FPR and Supreme Court Practice Directions

Part I: Procedural Guides

Detailed guidance covering the following areas:

  • Applications for Relief Other Than Divorce
  • Application for Matrimonial and Civil Partnership Proceedings and Related Orders
  • Enforcement of Orders
  • Children
  • Judicial Reviews and Appeals
  • Miscellaneous

Part II: Statutes

Pertinent provisions of all relevant statutes, reproduced in amended form and annotated by the expert team of contributors.

Part III: Procedure Rules

The full text of the Family Procedure Rules 2010 and practice directions, plus relevant provisions and practice directions from the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 and the Supreme Court Rules 2009. All provisions are reproduced as amended, along with detailed explanation and guidance.

Part IV: Statutory Instruments

Pertinent provisions of all relevant SIs appear in amended form, with commentary from the expert team of contributors.

Part V: Practice Guidance

Relevant practice guidance for family law practitioners.

Part VI: European Material

Coverage of significant European Regulations and Conventions, all fully annotated.

Summary of Fees
"May I voice, I am sure on behalf of all of us, my appreciation and thanks for the enormous effort that everyone involved with The Red Book put into the preparation of the 2014 edition.

The Red Book is indispensable. It is the single book that every family practitioner and every family judge must have. Where would we be without it?

The sheer scale of the reforms that came into effect on 22 April 2014 – how many pages of the 2013 Red Book were left unscathed? – imposed immense challenges on the publishers, the editors and everyone else involved in the process of producing the 2014 edition. It was vital that the new edition should contain the ‘new’ law, not the old, and that it should be available as soon as possible after 22 April 2014, but the final pieces of the statutory jigsaw were still being put in place in March and the resulting delays meant that the usual publishing schedule had to be pushed back. The editors and contributors worked heroically to finalise the text as soon as possible, Jordan Publishing willingly agreed to re-arrange the publishing schedule, and the production team achieved great feats. The 2014 Red Bookwas available, completely up-to-date, first on-line and very shortly after in print, remarkably soon after 22 April 2014. An astonishing feat! Thank you!"
Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division
Taken from Family Law journal, September, View from the President's Chambers (13).

Familiarly known as ‘The Red Book,’ The Family Court Practice, with its annual updates, has remained reassuringly authoritative and reliable since it was first published in 1993 – a time frame in which civil procedure for family work has undergone considerable change. Scarcely a family lawyer or family court judge is ever without it - and it has now entered the realm of the tried and true, having established itself as the definitive reference on family proceedings at every level of court … and it is the book you always see in court.
Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor, Richmond Green Chambers (2015 edition) Read ¦ Watch more

"The reference work of choice for all practitioners dealing with cases in the single Family Court"
Head of Chambers Alex Verdan QC, 4 Paper Buildings

"The 2012 edition of The Family Court Practice continues to build on the substantial work undertaken by this publication in 2011, to get up to speed with the fundamental changes brought about by the introduction of the Family Procedure Rules 2010.

The commentary to the new rules has been developed further and is impressively comprehensive. The procedural guides are fully up to date with references to the new Forms, as well as the new Practice Directions and Rules and this section of the book continues to be a useful launch pad for the most common applications. Where there is any deficiency in clarity, this can be traced back to the rules themselves.
Going forward we continue to have high expectations that the 'Red Book' will keep the profession fully briefed on the latest clarifications to the Rules and more generally on the developments within Family law. The Autumn Supplement published in November is a valuable addition to the annual update."
Mark Harper, Withers LLP

"It is not surprising that this book has, over the years, emerged as the standard work of reference in family law and has therefore become an essential acquisition for the family law practitioner"
Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor, Richmond Green Chambers (2014 edition) Read more >>

"Every year since 1993, 'The Family Court Practice' - the much valued 'Red Book' - has provided what has become the definitive work of reference in family law ... The 2011 edition reflects some quite enormous changes that have taken place since last year's edition. The most important change, with which all family practitioners are familiarizing themselves, is the coming into force in April 2011 of the Family Procedure Rules 2010, which extend to some 273 pages of text ... The fact that this work is published yearly keeps it topical and up to date ... such attributes include its ease of use, compactness, clarity of presentation and the reliabilty of the text ... "Where do I find it in the Red Book?" is, according to Wilson, a commonplace query on the part of the judges and woebetide the practitioner who hasn't brought a copy along.So if you haven't bought this year's particularly important edition, better do it now."
Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor, Richmond Green Chambers (2013 edition)


"invaluable ... I cannot now imagine being without it"
New Law Journal

"the clear market leader ... no serious family lawyer will practise without it ... brilliant! Buy it!"
Solicitors Journal
When first published in 1993, The Family Court Practice was new and innovative, designed to meet the need for a definitive work of reference covering the entire range of family proceedings at every level of court. It was hoped then that it might stand alongside The Supreme Court Practice and The County Court Practice as the comprehensive and authoritative guide for practitioners.

Over the ensuing years the hope has become reality and as civil procedure has changed so The Family Court Practice has been updated annually to reflect developments in law and procedure. The work is now universally accepted as a standard book of reference for judges and practitioners throughout the jurisdiction. Congratulations are due to the team of contributors who have achieved so much in just a few years.

The Hon Mrs Justice Bracewell
Family Division
February 2001
It is a high honour for me to become the new Editor-in-Chief of The Family Court Practice but my pleasure is mixed with sadness that the position should have become vacant. For Mrs Justice Bracewell was the book’s Editor-in-Chief for the first 14 years of its life and was far more than a distinguished figurehead. If she did not help to conceive the book, she was certainly its midwife at its birth in 1993; and she nursed it assiduously through its formative years. To my knowledge, she was very proud to be associated with its phenomenal success but typically she disclaimed any of the credit for it.

When in 1967 I began to practise family law, there was in effect only one text-book. And, being a creature of habit, I stuck almost exclusively to it for several years after 1993. It remains an admirable book which not infrequently I still use. But, like (I believe) almost all other family judges, I came to resolve that, in particular because of its ease of use, its compactness, its clarity of presentation, its reliability of text, and, above all, the accessibility of up-to-date material which only its annual format can readily provide, I would generally consult The Family Court Practice.

It has been clever of Jordan Publishing to insinuate The Family Court Practice so close to the hearts of the family judiciary. For advocates have been quick to realise that, faced with the judge’s question “Where do I find it in the Red Book?”, it runs counter to their need to have an answer to everything for them to admit that they have not brought a copy. Thus has the book’s bandwagon rolled on.

For the last few months, since becoming associated with the book, I have begun to realise the degree of effort, initially on the part in particular of the General Editor, which results in the book’s immediacy. All significant developments, whether in case-law or otherwise, are communicated to the team within hours of publication, often with apologetic directions to the relevant contributor to include reference to it within the imminent fresh edition. You, the subscribers, are the beneficiaries of this astonishing level of committed efficiency.

Nicholas Wilson
Rt Hon Lord Justice Wilson
January 2008


The Rt Hon Lord Wilson of Culworth

General Editor

His Honour Judge Anthony Cleary

Consulting Editor

The Rt Hon Lady Justice Black


District Judge Michael Anson, Preston Combined Court Centre and Nominated Judge of the Court of Protection
David Burrows, Solicitor Advocate
Andrew Commins MA, LLM, Barrister, St John’s Chambers
District Judge Neil Hickman, Milton Keynes County Court
Robert Hill, Recorder, Deputy District Judge and Regional Costs Judge, North Eastern Circuit
Elizabeth Isaacs QC
The Hon Mr Justice Keehan
The Hon Mr Justice MacDonald
The Rt Hon Lord Justice McFarlane
Her Honour Nasreen Pearce
David Salter, MA, LLM, Solicitor
Maggie Silver BA, Solicitor, Family Legal Team Manager, East London Family Court


In his speech to the FLBA in January 2016, the President promised sweeping amendments and improvements to the Family Court. In the same month, the Education Secretary announced that significant amendment to the Children Act should be expected, to encourage adoption as the favoured outcome of care proceedings, which might (once chapter and verse are revealed), go some way to reverse the continuing decline in infants being placed for adoption. In the current absence of specifics, the President was moved in November 2015 (Re N (Children) (Adoption: Jurisdiction) [2015] EWCA Civ 1112) to take the opportunity to courteously but firmly remind neighbouring jurisdictions of the history and jurisprudence surrounding adoption in UK courts and of its compatibility with European conventions.

While we await developments, some running repairs are needed, while others are taking place. By way of example, the President has issued practice guidance on the recognition of arbitral awards in financial remedies, upon which case-law is already developing (on setting aside and on gender-based inequality to name but two areas). Expected shortly after this edition goes to press, we will see an update to the bundles practice direction, which is much needed, having been honoured more in the breach since its introduction and despite threats of costs sanctions. McKenzie friends are likely to be renamed ‘court supporters’, and greater clarification of their role is expected. Further ahead, the President appears keen to follow the siren call of virtual courts at the root of the review by Lord Justice Briggs. As what might be seen as a ‘taster’, the process of divorce will soon, it seems, become entirely electronic. The demand for the conclusion of the relationship (be it, one assumes, a marriage or civil partnership) will be received online and be dealt with entirely by electronic means. Judges, one assumes, let alone lawyers, will have no part to play in the process. But then, if the union can be celebrated on a beach or the centre circle of one’s favourite soccer club, why should the dissolution be any more dignified than the click of a mouse? Whether or not the fee on application will be reduced accordingly remains an open question. Certainly, the recent steep increase in the court fee has caused many commentators to complain that divorce is becoming unaffordable, to the extent even (it has been suggested by some) that some wives will be ‘trapped’ within an unhappy union.

But these and other modest steps do little to address what might increasingly be seen as a two-tier family court. One only needs to contrast the remarkable disclosure that in a financial remedies case which concluded in March 2016 (in which the parties squabbled long and hard over an award, to the wife, of £70m, she having pursued £100m and the husband having maintained an offer of £30m) the costs are said to have amounted to a colossal £500,000 on each side. In 2014, Mr Justice Mostyn had complained (J v J (Financial Remedies: Disproportionate Costs) [2014] EWHC 3654 (Fam)) that ‘the law-makers in this country, whether they are legislators or judges, must stop saying something must be done and actually do something’. However, his Lordship’s complaints (which are likely to be echoed by many subscribers), and whatever lessons might have been learned from Piglowska, have long since faded, while in the day-to-day business of the Family Court, legal aid (in private law) has all but disappeared and litigants of modest means (or less) seeking to present entirely proper cases are denied representation unless they somehow beg or borrow unaffordable sums, and often find that the alternative of mediation is either beyond their means or rejected by their opponent. Thus, as the Lord Chief Justice reported to Parliament in the New Year, the number of litigants in person continues to grow, an increase for which the current court system is not designed.

Focusing again on Financial Remedies, it might be thought that some control of costs budgets is required, but their control is not easy to envisage while costs orders remain a rarity. If Calderbank, or something like it, is not to be revived, perhaps lessons could be learned from the Civil Court and the Jackson reforms. In Private Law, where legal aid should still be available, applicants who complain of a history of abuse face exam-grade questions which they answer to the best of their ability but still find themselves disqualified by the Legal Aid Agency which, it has been revealed, has been accused of relying upon an entirely artificial time bar.

In Public Law, to the apparent surprise of all but practitioners and judges, a revolving door has been identified. The number of newborn babies taken into care – at birth – has doubled over a period of 5 years, the phenomenon more often occurring the younger the mothers, who are described, unkindly, as being ‘recycled’ by the Family Court. It is perhaps the surprise with which this revelation was greeted in late 2015 which is in fact surprising, as is the apparent failure of statutory agencies to address avoidance. However, the discovery has unhappy parallels in the recurrence and indeed increase of domestic abuse experienced by or inflicted by parents who have themselves been exposed to abusive upbringings. Research is needed to establish whether help is extended to victims and perpetrators alike after the conclusion of, as well as during the currency of, proceedings, both to identify the causes and prevent recurrence. The model of the Family Drug and Alcohol Court might be usefully engaged.

Against a background of increased demands on the Family Court (in the first quarter of 2016, Cafcass reported that applications for care orders had hit an all-time high, while private law applications revealed a 10% increase), Directors of Social Services can be forgiven for looking on with some bewilderment. A budget of anything approaching those which are routinely revealed in financial remedies cases would be a godsend. Instead, while Whitehall insists that council tax should not rise, expenses continue to outstrip resources, and local authorities are tempted to adopt the worst possible alternative, leaving cases which are judged to be of some lesser priority to mark time by retreating to s 20 agreements, failing in their duties both to the parents and the child, and ignoring the requirement to address the needs of the child without delay. The consequences of such ‘serial offending’ (a term adopted in Nottingham City Council v LM, DW & LW [2016] EWHC 11 (Fam)) have been highlighted more than once and have resulted in successive criticisms by the President and Judges of the Division and in costs sanctions. It is likely, however, that there are many more such cases which will come to light. Yet there must be a degree if not of sympathy for, certainly recognition of the poor resourcing of, local authority children departments, which might not immediately be apparent from the response of Government. On 14 December 2015, the Prime Minister announced that councils that fail to keep children safe from abuse or neglect will be stripped of their powers in an exercise described as ‘one of the big landmark reforms of this parliament, as transformative as what we did in education in the last. And it shows how serious we are about confronting state failure and tackling some [of] the biggest social problems in our country. Together we will make sure that not a single child is left behind’. There is more perhaps in those few words than is immediately apparent, for ‘state’ failure might be recognised as a failure of national rather than local government, and it is difficult to establish at first blush how, for example, failings of an authority in Sunderland can be addressed by a Director of Children’s Services based in Kingston upon Thames, in which locality, council tax bands, and therefore receipts, are rather more handsome than those of their Northern cousins.

The key, surely, is resourcing. It might be suggested that services, of necessity, must be locally marshalled, but funding should be a national responsibility.

Anthony Cleary 
May 2016

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The Family Court Practice Autumn Supplement (and Welsh Materials)

The 2016 Autumn Supplement includes relevant case reports since the publication of the main edition, plus all the latest amendments and updates to legislation and practice guidance. 

The Supplement now also provides you with expert commentary on the divergence of Welsh and English legislation in relation to children, plus up-to-date versions of all significant Welsh legislation.

All you need to do is order your copy of The Family Court Practice (main work) and the Autumn Supplement will be sent to you, to keep you reliably updated on the latest developments. 

Purchase, download and start reading the Red Book within minutes 

Available in ePDF format your eBook will have all the expert content of the hardback format, but with the added benefits of a keyword search function, ability to bookmark pages, annotate and highlight text.

The 2016 eBook is only available directly through Jordan Publishing. Add the eBook to your shopping cart, once payment has been received the eBook will be emailed to you.

Join the conversation on Twitter by following @JordansFamLaw and using hashtags  #RedBook16 #FCP16 

(#RedBook15 #FCP15)

Sign up to the Red Book Alerter 

Hear about updates to The Family Court Practice Online

The Alerter provides short summaries of the latest case-law, legislation amendments and practice guidance, with links to the full details available online (see the example opposite).

Email us to sign up.


Send us a photo of your new Red Book - the best photo/caption will win a prize!

How to Submit Your Photo and Caption

- Email your photo and caption to editor@familylaw.co.uk 
- Tweet us @Jordansfamlaw using #redbook2016

Need Some Inspiration?

See previous competition entries or watch a short video.

The Competition and the T&C's

The best four entries will each win a Red Book iPad cover. 

The winner will be announced as soon as possible following the closing date. Those who have not won will not receive any notification. 

Jordan Publishing will be allowed to use all photos submitted in future marketing. 

Competition closes at midnight on 30 June 2016. 

The competition is not open to Jordan Publishing or LexisNexis employees. 

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