The following Family practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance has been issued, including by the President of the Family Division, regarding all proceedings in the Family Court in England and Wales during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and until further notice, which profoundly affects normal practice, including requirements for the majority of family hearings to be dealt with remotely. For details about the changes to court processes and procedures during this time, see Practice Note: Coronavirus (COVID–19)—news and resources for family lawyers. In addition, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) toolkit provides easy access to news, practical guidance and Q&As from across a number of Practice Areas (subject to subscription). This Practice Note sets out the procedure prior to the pandemic and during this period of disruption to the justice system, practitioners should be aware that local practice may vary.
The Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955, Pt 1 sets out the overriding objective. The overriding objective is to enable the court to deal with cases justly having regard to any welfare issues involved. See also Practice Note: FPR 2010—overriding objective.
The court must further the overriding objective by actively managing cases. Active case management includes the following thirteen elements:
setting timetables or otherwise controlling the progress of the case
identifying at an early stage:
the issues, and
who should be a party to the proceedings
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