The first appointment
The first appointment

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

  • The first appointment
  • Purpose
  • Preparation
  • Common issues
  • Costs
  • Replies to questionnaire
  • Expert evidence
  • Joining third parties
  • Filing statements
  • Interim orders
  • More...

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 sets out the procedure for the first appointment of an application for a financial order in family proceedings under the standard procedure. It covers issues commonly raised at a first appointment including estimates of costs in Form H, the filing of replies to questionnaires, joining third parties, obtaining expert evidence, filing statements and listing the financial dispute resolution appointment (FDR). Where the fast-track (shortened) procedure applies, see Practice Note: Fast-track (shortened) financial remedy procedure.


The objective of the first appointment is to define the issues and save costs. It is a time-tabling hearing at

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