The Family Court Practice 2013 (plus Autumn Supplement) Order your copy today!
Covering the entire range of family business in every level of court, The Family Court Practice remains the acknowledged authority on practice and procedure. Completely revised and updated for 2013, it contains fully and expertly annotated statutes and rules together with scores of unique step-by-step procedural guides, which direct the user effortlessly to the relevant rules and annotations. Ensure you order your copy of the invaluable Red Book today.
The Family Court Practice 2013 includes an Autumn Supplement which will be published at the end of November. Customers will be placed on standing order to receive this supplement and new editions of the red book, until countermanded.
To secure your copy of The Family Court Practice 2013, please click on the 'add to cart' button above, call 0117 918 1492 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
-Judicial Reviews and Appeals
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, the Magistrates’ Courts (Enforcement or Variation of Orders Made in Family Proceedings and Miscellaneous Provisions) Rules 2011, the Magistrates’ Courts Rules 1981 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.
Extract from The Family Court Practice 2013 by His Honour Judge Anthony Cleary
The ill health of the President overshadowed 2012 and resulted in the post falling vacant in the latter part of the year. During his tenure, many helpful and practical initiatives were published – Sir Nicholas’s bulletins remain pertinent and valuable – and his departure is a great loss. All is not gloom, however. In December, the appointment of Sir James Munby was announced. In the current troubled legal climate, the advent of our new President is a tonic.
The Department for Education announced in November 2012 that the Government intends to insert a new section 1(2A) into the Children Act 1989. Commentators have loosely described this insertion as “shared parenting”. A superficial reading of the section (which imports a presumption that “involvement of [each] parent in the life of the child concerned will further the child’s welfare”) suggests that the good intentions espoused in the proposed legislation can only be helpful. But more thought is needed, given that the amendment stems from pressure from those who would assert that absent parents – usually fathers – are at a significant disadvantage in Children Act cases, this despite the introduction and recognition of the sharing of parental responsibility, enshrined for the first time in the 1989 Act.
The paramount consideration – the welfare of the child – was not a startling development in 1989. Statutory acknowledgement of that principle was articulated, for example, in the Guardianship of Infants Act 1925 and re-iterated in 1971. The Children Act 1989, however, bolted a menu on to the welfare declaration, found in section 1(3) – the now well-known “checklist”.
One might be surprised by the assertion that, taken together, the best interests declaration and the checklist are not enough and that somehow they do not adequately promote the interests of the child. Except that on analysis, to many commentators, it is apparent that it is not the interest of the child that is promoted by the concept of “shared parenting”, but that of the absent parent.
Of the substantial number of separations between parents, only a minority find themselves in conflict over the upbringing of their children (as low as 10%, according to the Parliamentary Justice Select Committee). Unhappily, the disputes that require judicial intervention usually arise out of multiple problems and it is unlikely that a declaration, or a statutory starting point, of shared “involvement” will lessen conflict. To the contrary, it is likely to encourage argument and promote control over the resident parent, adding yet another ingredient to the conflict.
Unhappily, a considerable number of contact and even residence disputes are accompanied by allegations of risk to the child. Analysis of risk is not assisted by, and is likely to be obscured by, the proposed presumption. Litigants in person (the term “self-represented litigants” flared briefly in 2012) will inevitably equate “sharing” with “equal”. Pity the judges who, as well as nursing disputes through the management of introductory contact, interim arrangements and emotionally charged directions hearings, will have somehow to assist the parents in understanding that they do not have rights – he and she have responsibilities – and that those responsibilities are of equal weight; however, the rights to shared involvement are not, where they conflict with the needs of the child.
Rather than assisting the parents to reach a common goal – to help their child make the best of his fractured home – shared parenting is likely to herald more and lengthier litigation. Fathers who claim during proceedings that the odds are stacked against them, that judges are always on the side of the mother or that they are always marginalised, are fathers who cannot communicate with the other parent or listen to (let alone understand) what the court or Cafcass is saying. To add to this, to muddle the principles or welfare considerations with starting points that will be so easily misunderstood, is unhelpful to the process and damages any attempt to promote a civil, let alone cordial, relationship between the parents, which is so vital to the wellbeing of the child as he struggles to come to terms with the departure of one parent.
Flaws have been identified and expressed by the Nuffield Foundation and the Family Justice Review. The experience in Australia, whence we have often taken examples as a guide, is that litigation has increased, while willingness to compromise has reduced. Mediation is now a required filter before entry to private law disputes but, unhappily, combative parents are habitually less willing to negotiate and resolve arguments over their children outside the court arena and will hardly be encouraged to do so when their unrealistic definition of the term “shared” is challenged during the process. Coming at a time when those who cannot afford legal representation are denied access to legal advice by the removal of Legal Aid in family proceedings, the moment is hardly opportune.
A perfect storm brews: unrepresented litigants handicapped by ignorance of the system, probable bewilderment with the procedure and likely fear of each other; a new, fit for purpose but substantial core of Rules which are wholly alien to the lay person; and a rump of parents who are disadvantaged emotionally, are often angry, and are likely to misunderstand, intentionally or otherwise, the use of terms such as “rights” and “responsibilities”. All this matched against static court resources, demoralised court listing personnel and harassed judges seeking to accommodate an ever-lengthening queue of private law litigants against a public law imprimatur that all public law cases should be concluded within 26 weeks. The warnings have been sounding for months, if not years. We can only pray that the forecasts are wrong or, if our worst fears are realised, that Government is watching.
Meanwhile, the Law Commission is consulting on Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements. There is inadequate space in this Introduction to rehearse the arguments for and against the section 25 menu, but it has to be recognised that the determination of the outcomes of applications under that section are led by advice which follows decisions of the Division and the Court of Appeal (and of course the Supreme Court), driven by cases which are litigated between spouses with access to eye-watering amounts of assets, the like of which are never seen in the vast majority of disputes litigated by family practitioners in the provinces. In times of a faltering economy, the good intentions of the section are likely to be unbalanced when there is inequality of arms and inadequacy of assets.
There is danger, however, in prescription. Rigidity of outcome might not be universally “fair”. And that very word brings into focus the remarkable criticism by the Court of Appeal of the longstanding attempts at “fairness” practised by the family courts as reported in the litigation between Mr and Mrs Prest. Lord Justice Thorpe’s compelling judgment was robustly overcome by the icy logic of his commercial colleagues in a decision which will, if not overturned by the Supreme Court, result in likely further subterfuge, costly enquiry and, no doubt, unfairness – issues which might remain outside the likely boundaries of the Law Commission report. The decision is expected shortly after publication of this Edition. It is keenly awaited.
Save where narratives have taken account of subsequent developments, the law is stated as at 1 February 2013.
His Honour Judge Anthony Cleary, March 2013
Lord Wilson of Culworth
His Honour Judge Anthony Cleary
The Rt Hon Lady Justice Black
District Judge Gordon Ashton OBE, Retired District Judge and Nominated Judge of the Court of Protection
Jane Bridge, Barrister
David Burrows, Solicitor Advocate
District Judge Neil Hickman, Milton Keynes County Court
District Judge Robert Hill, Recorder, Deputy District Judge, Regional Costs Judge, North Eastern Circuit
Michael Keehan QC
Alistair MacDonald QC
The Rt Hon Lord Justice McFarlane
Her Honour Nasreen Pearce
District Judge Caroline Reid, Principal Registry, Family Division
David Salter, Solicitor
Maggie Silver BA, Solicitor, Family Legal Services Manager, Surrey Magistrates' Court
"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, September 2012
"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 of Richmond Green Chambers
"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!"
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