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Family Law Precedents Service


"An essential tool for all family practitioners"


Family Law Precedents Service provides family and child law practitioners with a comprehensive library of reliable and practical precedents designed to meet all your day-to-day needs, at every stage and is available as both a print and online subscription.

An exhaustive collection of precedents for applications and orders in respect of the most common – and many not so common – family proceedings is provided, together with a range of additional documents such as client care letters, declarations of trust and cohabitation agreements.

 Each precedent is generously annotated and well presented with drafting advice and procedural guides so that its form of words can be understood in the context of the law that governs it. The looseleaf format ensures that you keep abreast with the developments in practice and procedure, and includes precedents on the accompanying CD-ROM for you to use and adapt.

Family Law Precedents Service offers authoritative guidance and excellent value for money in a single volume and is a must for any practitioner carrying out children or financial remedies work.

Family Law Precedents Service provides

  • Over 500 precedents for applications, statements, orders and letters
  • Excellent value for money
  • Authoritative, concise commentary
  • Over 30 procedural checklists which ensure nothing is missed
  • Free CD-ROM containing all the precedents for you to use and adapt.
This major work offers authoritative guidance and excellent value for money in a single volume and is a must for any practitioner carrying out children or financial remedies work.

  • Procedural Guides and Precedents
  • Petitions and Answers in the Main Suit
  • Further Pleadings and Applications in the Main Suit
  • Financial Remedies
  • Originating Applications
  • Children
  • Inheritance
  • Injunctions
  • Trusts of Land
  • Cohabitation
  • Experts
  • Enforcement
  • Appeals
  • Costs
 Find out how to use this work
Find out what is in the latest update
"An essential tool for all family practitioners"

"Its first main and obvious benefit is that it deals exclusively with family law. This makes it refreshingly simple to navigate ... the comprehensive section on enforcement is a gem"

Family Law
Words and forms of words are the lawyer’s tools for expressing what a client seeks and wants to say, and the court’s tools for expressing what must happen. Clarity and concision are qualities to be encouraged and, when found, cherished, and it is hoped that this book will help practitioners of all descriptions to achieve them.

 It is hoped that the book is as comprehensive as possible. In the early editions, for reasons of policy it was decided not to include the forms of application and orders in public law children cases; the reason for this was that such applications always begin in a family proceedings court, but also, more significantly, that the legal departments of local authorities, who initiate all such proceedings, had well-settled procedures and forms available to them and it was thought unlikely that they need assistance. This has proved to be only partially true and it has been brought to our attention that there is, in fact, a lively demand for such material. We are pleased to meet this need and there is now a new section, by an expert author, on this topic.

This is a loose-leaf service and will be updated at least annually. Readers who note the absence of any precedent which they think should be included are encouraged to contact the publishers; all suggestions will be gratefully received.

I am very grateful to David Salter for kindly agreeing to be consultant editor. His advice and contributions have been invaluable. As will be seen, since the first edition the precedents have grown and it has proved impossible for David and myself to continue to provide all the precedents required. We are therefore delighted that we have been joined by a truly expert band of co-authors; Michael Keehan QC, Andy King and Charles Prest have added much to the authority and expertise of this work and we hope that ours will be a long and profitable association.

 Finally, we are honoured that the President agreed to write a foreword to the first edition, and are most grateful to her for her encouragement.

 5 September 2008
Practitioners are always grateful for coherent and practical resources to aid them in the demanding world of litigation. Whilst every careful practitioner avoids following precedents blindly, practical guidance is invaluable.

The Family Law Precedents Service provides a comprehensive source of precedents, which will be invaluable for practitioners of all levels of experience. It is up to date, and its loose-leaf format makes it highly adaptable and ensures that practitioners are kept informed of recent trends and current requirements in family proceedings.

The breadth of material covered by this service is impressive. The first Divisions of this work provide a range of precedents for petitions, answers and pleadings in main suits. The subsequent Divisions relate to financial ancillary relief and other financial applications, and children proceedings. There then follows a series of Divisions covering a broad range of topics, from claims under the Inheritance (Provisions for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, to injunctions, trusts of land, cohabitation, appointment of experts, enforcement proceedings, appeals, and finally, costs.

District Judge Roger Bird and David Salter are to be congratulated for making available a major new service to family practitioners.

 President of the Family Division
 May 2002
Founding Editor Roger Bird Former District Judge, Bristol County Court

General Editor David Salter Joint National Head of Family Law, Mills & Reeve, Leeds, Manchester, Cambridge, Norwich, Birmingham and London

The Hon Mr Justice Keehan
Deputy District Judge Charles Prest 
Park Square
Susan Jackson District Judge, Central London County Court, Nominated Judge of the Court of Protection
Marc Marin District Judge, Barnet Civil and Family Court Centre, Nominated Judge of the Court of Protection
Lisa Phillips Solicitor Advocate, Switalskis Solicitors, Leeds
Extract from The Cohabitation Contact - Precedent  I1A

This CohabitationContract is made on[date]

(1) [name]of [address] (Miss [surname])
(2) [name]of [address] (Mr [surname])

(A) The parties [intend to live together]/[havelived together since [date]].
(B) The parties wish to enter into an agreementwhich they intend to be legally binding upon them during and after the periodin which they live together as to their respective rights and duties towardseach other and any children of the relationship.
(C) The parties [intend to]/[now] live at [address] (the Home) which is vestedin the sole name of [name ofhome owner].
(D) Each party has received independent legaladvice upon the matters referred to in this Deed.
(E) The parties have disclosed to each other theirmeans and other relevant circumstances, particulars of which are set out inPart 1 of the Schedule to this Deed.

It is agreed
1 Sole property held prior to cohabitation
All property owned by [name 1] before the parties began to livetogether (as set out in Part 2 of the Schedule to this Deed) and all propertyowned by [name 2]before the parties began to live together (as set out in Part 3 of the Scheduleto this Deed) will remain their respective sole property.
2 Joint property held prior to cohabitation
Any property owned jointly by the parties beforethey began to live together (as set out in Part 4 of the Schedule to this Deed)will remain their joint property and upon sale the proceeds will belong to themin equal shares ...


Extract from H2 Specimen directions under theTrusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996


Any request forinspection copies of disclosed documents must be made by 4 pm on [normally 7days after disclosure]. Copies of the requested documents must be suppliedby 4 pm on [normally a further 7 days later].

Specific disclosure: property documents

The[Claimant]/[Defendant]/[parties] shall [jointly] use [his]/[her]/[their] bestendeavours to obtain and disclose:
(a)the file heldby the conveyancer who acted in the purchase of [address] (‘theProperty') including any deed of declaration of trust (whether or notcompleted);
(b)the mortgageapplication to [name of mortgagee] and mortgage offer in relation to theProperty;
(c)any notice ofseverance served by either party on the other in relation to the Property;

Office copies of registered title

The party inwhose name the title to the Property is registered shall file and serve officecopies of the entries in the Register at HM Land Registry by 4 pm on [ ] 20[ ].

Witness statements

The Claimantshall file and serve any amended or additional witness statements in support ofthe claim and any notices of intention to rely on hearsay evidence by 4 pm on [] 20[ ].
The Defendantshall file and serve any amended or additional witness statements in defence ofthe claim and any notices of intention to rely on hearsay evidence by 4 pm on [] 20[ ]

Video link evidence

The evidence of [witness]shall be given by video link and the [Claimant]/[Defendant] shall by 4 pm on [date]make the necessary arrangements with the Diary Manager. The cost of the videolink shall [be borne by the [Claimant]/[Defendant]/[the parties equally]]/[becosts in the case].

Looseleaf updating

The looseleaf arrangement of the Family Law Precedents Service enables the book to be updated by the removal and insertion of replacement pages, which will be supplied in the form of updates.Each update will be accompanied by filing instructions, which should b efollowed carefully to ensure that your book is fully and correctly updated. At the end of the binder, you will find a filing record card, which should be filled in each time an update has been filed. A checklist of pages is sent with each updating issue, to be filed at the back of the binder. You should use this to check that your copy of the Family Law Precedents Service has been correctly updated.

Structure of the book

The binder is divided into 15 divisions labelled General and AN, which are separated by red plastic divider cards. The General Division contains headings and opening and closing parts that are in common use for many family law applications, and some precedents relating to minors and parties under a disability. Detailed contents lists are given at the beginning of each division.

Precedents are sequentially numbered through out each division, eg Precedent F1 et seq.

Page numbering

The page number is at the foot of each page and includes the division letter and the page number, eg A–31.

How to use the precedents

The precedents in this book are model documents,which are intended to be adapted for use as working documents. Most of these are available on the accompanying CD-ROM, in word-processing format. Further details concerning the use of the CD-ROM and its contents are available in the file read me.doc.
Within the model documents, text in square brackets in italics gives instructions; text in square brackets in roman is suggested text or alternative wordings. Alternative provisions are introduced by EITHER [alternative A] OR [alternative B], etc. Once the document has been modified and completed to suit individual needs, the square brackets,instructions, alternative text and any clauses which are not required should be deleted. Any text in round brackets should remain.

Tables and index

The book contains tables of cases, statutes,statutory instruments and practice directions. These are located behind the plastic divider card marked ‘Tables’.
A subject index appears at the end of the binder.

The tables and index will be updated along with the rest of the book.
2018 Print Subscription Information
+ p&p
3 updates per year. You will continue to receive updates until you countermand this. 

Update 38 June 2017

We have pleasure in enclosing Update 38 to Family Law Precedents Service.

This update contains amendments to Divisions A (Main Applications), B (Further Applications in the Main Application); C (Financial Orders); D (Miscellaneous Applications); E (Children); F (Inheritance); G (Injunctions); H (Trusts of Land); I (Cohabitation); K (Enforcement); L (Appeals); and N (Protected Parties).

The following new precedents have been added:
H1A Particulars of claim: co-ownership under express declaration of trust.
H1B Particulars of claim: resulting trust.
H1C Particulars of claim: constructive trust.
H1D Defence: gift.
I3A Advice letter to client regarding pre-marital agreement.
I3B List of main issues for pre-marital agreement: ring-fencing certain items.
I3C List of main issues for pre-marital agreement: each party retains pre-marital resources.
I3D Application notice for separate hearing of issue as to the effect of a pre-marital agreement.
I3E Order for separate hearing of issue as to the effect of a pre-marital agreement.

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