Undefended suits—judicial separation
Undefended suits—judicial separation

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

  • Undefended suits—judicial separation
  • What is an undefended case?
  • The procedure for undefended cases
  • Application for decree of judicial separation
  • Consideration of costs
  • Consideration of the arrangements for the children of the family
  • Consideration of agreement as to financial provision
  • Pronouncement of decree
  • Rectification of decrees
  • Rescinding decree of judicial separation

Judicial separation proceedings are governed by the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955, in particular Pt 7. FPR 2010 introduced a change in the terminology used in judicial separation proceedings. There remains some inconsistency between the terminology used in the rules, which use the new terms, and the terminology used in the forms and the Practice Directions, which refer to old terms. In the new rules:

  1. judicial separation proceedings are referred to as matrimonial proceedings

  2. a petition is referred to as an application for a matrimonial order

  3. a decree of judicial separation is referred to as a matrimonial order

In the forms, however, an application for a matrimonial order is still referred to as a petition.

What is an undefended case?

An undefended case is one in which:

  1. an acknowledgment of service has been filed indicating that it is not intended to file an answer, or

  2. an acknowledgment of service has been filed indicating an intention to defend but no answer has been filed, or any answer filed has been dismissed or withdrawn

A case will also be undefended where both the petitioner and respondent have issued their own petitions, where neither have filed answers, or such answers have been dismissed.

For further information, see:

Butterworths Family Law Service > Family Courts: Jurisdiction and Procedure > 2A Narrative > Chapter 2