Issuing private children proceedings in the Family Court
Issuing private children proceedings in the Family Court

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

  • Issuing private children proceedings in the Family Court
  • Allocation and gatekeeping
  • Guidance on allocation and gatekeeping in private children proceedings
  • Directions on issue
  • Urgent hearings
  • Judicial continuity
  • Transitional provisions
  • Judicial Protocol for Children’s Cases in Scotland, and England and Wales

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.

This Practice Note is impacted by the exit of the UK from the EU on 31 January 2020. This has implications for practitioners, inter alia, when considering which courts have jurisdiction to determine a dispute. For guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—children proceedings. This Practice Note sets out the current position on issuing private children proceedings in the Family Court.

Allocation and gatekeeping

There is one central location for the Family Court in each geographic area, the designated family centre, where the designated family judge is based and the principal location at which hearings will take place. There may be one

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