Vulnerable persons—participation and evidence in family proceedings
Vulnerable persons—participation and evidence in family proceedings

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

  • Vulnerable persons—participation and evidence in family proceedings
  • Background
  • Key provisions
  • Key definitions
  • Factors the court must take into account
  • What directions may be made by the court?
  • What are the changes as to the giving of evidence?
  • Procedural requirements
  • Funding
  • Family Justice Council guidance
  • more

This Practice Note is impacted by the exit of the UK from the EU on 31 January 2020. and sets out the current position on vulnerable persons in family proceedings. For guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit and family law.

The Family Procedure (Amendment No. 3) Rules 2017, SI 2017/1033 amended the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955, with effect from 27 November 2017 by inserting FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, Pt 3A, making special provision about the participation of vulnerable persons in family proceedings and the giving of evidence by vulnerable persons, accompanied by FPR 2010, PD 3AA. The rules include provision for the court to make ‘participation directions’ as to the involvement of a vulnerable person, protected party or child in family proceedings, as well as the power to appoint an intermediary whose functions may include communicating questions put to a witness or party.

In April 2018, the President of the Family Division issued guidance on Family Proceedings: Parents with a Learning Disability, in particular to highlight the Good practice guidance on working with parents with a learning disability issued by the Working Together with Parents Network and the Norah Fry Centre in September 2016.

The Family Justice Council has issued Guidance on the Capacity to Litigate in Proceedings Involving Children—April 2018 to assist judges in the family courts to resolve