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).
With particular regard to private law children proceedings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic guidance has been released by the President, Cafcass and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS), for full details see Practice Note: Child Arrangements Programme—the procedure for section 8 applications—The procedure for section 8 applications—COVID-19.
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, inter alia, for practitioners considering which courts have jurisdiction and as to the methods of enforcement available. For guidance, see Practice Notes: Brexit and family law and Brexit—children proceedings.
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