Brexit—service of documents in family proceedings
Brexit—service of documents in family proceedings

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Brexit—service of documents in family proceedings
  • Current position
  • Position under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EU(W)A 2018)
  • No deal/no transition period
  • Transition period
  • Previous drafts of the Withdrawal Agreement
  • Post-transition period
  • Potential service methods

This Practice Note considers the impact that the UK exiting the EU (commonly known as Brexit), will have on the service ofcourt documents in family proceedings within the EU. It considers the current position under Regulation (EC) 1393/2007 (the Service Regulation) and summarises the UK’s and EU’s respective positions and considers the likely potential outcomes, based on the information available. The Practice Note then considers potential issues which may arise when the UK exits the EU and potential regimes which may assist when seeking to serve documents in the EU.

For details ofthe current position as to EU law, the potential implications for family law ofthe UK exiting the EU, and resources available in relation to both Brexit generally and family law specifically see Practice Note: Brexit and family law.

Current position

The rules about the service ofapplication forms/notices and other documents in family proceedings out ofthe jurisdiction ofEngland and Wales, and the procedure for service, are contained in chapter 4 ofthe Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955, Pt 6 (SI 2010/2955, 6.40–6.48). This is supplemented by FPR 2010, PD 6B.

The general rule is that where the applicant wishes to serve a document on a respondent out ofthe UK, it may be served by any method:FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, 6.43(3)

  1. provided for by:

    1. FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, 6.44—service in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 ofthe European Parliament and ofthe Council adopted on 13 November 2007 on the service in the Member States ofjudicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters (service ofdocuments) (the Service Regulation),