Notice to show cause applications in family proceedings

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

  • Notice to show cause applications in family proceedings
  • Procedure
  • If Form A has not been issued
  • If Form A has been issued
  • Directions
  • Case law
  • Practice points

Notice to show cause applications in family proceedings

If one party considers that an agreement has been reached (usually in relation to financial arrangements between the parties), or an agreement was made but one party seeks to resile from it, the party relying on an agreement reached between the parties may make an application for the other party to show cause why an order should not be made in the terms of the agreement. The agreement may be in the form of:

  1. a pre-nuptial agreement—see Practice Note: Implications of pre-nuptial agreements within proceedings for financial provision

  2. a post-nuptial, separation or maintenance agreement—see Practice Note: Implications of maintenance, separation and post-nuptial agreements within proceedings for financial provision

  3. an agreement reached following arbitration—see Practice Notes: Family arbitration—introduction and Family arbitration—the role of the courts

  4. a negotiated agreement, either within or independent of financial remedy proceedings—see Practice Note: Action on reaching agreement prior to final hearing

A notice to show cause application has been known historically as a 'Dean summons' following the case of Dean where, shortly after signing an agreement, the wife changed her mind and sought to resile from the agreement. The court ordered that the wife show cause why the minutes of agreement should not be made an order of the court.

Procedure

For a notice to show cause application to be made, there do not need to

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