FPR 2010—overriding objective

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

  • FPR 2010—overriding objective
  • Requirements
  • Case management
  • Key points

FPR 2010—overriding objective

This Practice Note sets out the overriding objective contained in the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010) and details the factors the court must take into account and how the court must further the overriding objective by active case management. It also summarises key concepts regarding the overriding objective.

The overriding objective is set out in FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, 1.1, with the aim of enabling the court to deal with cases justly, having regard to any welfare issues involved.

While the concept of an overriding objective was introduced by the Civil Procedure Rules 1998, it is not entirely new to family law and was referred to in preceding practice directions. The concept of an overriding objective also received judicial encouragement prior to the FPR 2010.


Dealing with a cases justly includes:

  1. ensuring cases are dealt with expeditiously and fairly

  2. dealing with the case in ways which are proportionate to the nature, importance and complexity of the issues

  3. ensuring that the parties are on an equal footing

  4. saving expense, and

  5. allotting an appropriate share of the court’s resources, while taking into account the need to allot resources to other cases

The court must seek to give effect to the overriding

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