10 things you need to know about family law reform

10 things you need to know about family law reform

As I’ve been busily head down writing and updating content with seemingly endless law reform changes over the past few months (and we are currently at the eye of the storm…) I thought I would list ten important things about family law reform in 2014. In no particular order (and you may spot a theme...), these are my thoughts. Do comment if you think of anything else for the list.

  1. There’s a lot of it! No really, changes everywhere. Don’t under estimate how much will change, this isn’t just about the single family court or changes in terminology or even a new court seal. This is radical reform.
  2. The changes to the pre-application protocol for mediation information and assessment (MIAM) – from 22 April attendance at a MIAM will be compulsory for applicants prior to issuing proceedings save in certain specified circumstances (largely relating to domestic abuse). A new Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), PD 3A will be issued and new forms. This applies to all 'relevant family proceedings' (the limited list of proceedings the protocol doesn't apply to is in PD 3A).
  3. The single family court – comes into effect on 22 April 2014 and replaces the current three tiers of court structure (family proceedings court, county court, High Court), save that the High Court will retain exclusive jurisdiction over a limited number of cases. One of the most important aspects is changes to allocation and transfer of proceedings. Appeals are also changing. On the surface the single family court might seem similar, particularly with hearings taking place in existing court buildings, but there are many procedural changes ahead. See also: 

Subscription Form

Already a subscriber? Login
RELX (UK) Limited, trading as LexisNexis, and our LexisNexis Legal & Professional group companies will contact you to confirm your email address. You can manage your communication preferences via our Preference Centre. You can learn more about how we handle your personal data and your rights by reviewing our  Privacy Policy.

Related Articles:
Latest Articles:

Access this article and thousands of others like it free by subscribing to our blog.

Read full article

Already a subscriber? Login

About the author:

Geraldine is Head of LexisPSL Family. She was admitted as a solicitor in 1992 and was in practice for 15 years, most recently as a partner and head of the family team at Hart Brown, a large Surrey firm.

Geraldine writes for Butterworths Family Law Service and is a past editor of the Resolution Review. She has been published in the New Law Journal, the Law Society Gazette and the District Judges’ Bulletin as well as in the national press including the Times and the Telegraph.

When in practice she was a member of the Law Society Family and Children Panels, and an accredited Resolution Specialist with a focus on advanced financial provision and pensions. A past Resolution regional secretary and press officer, Geraldine also contributed chapters to the Resolution publications, International Aspects of Family Law (3rd Edition 2009) and The Modern Family (2012).