Q&As

Where there are concurrent proceedings under Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989 (ChA 1989) and under ChA 1989, s 8 for a child arrangements order, is it possible to list the first directions appointment for the proceedings under ChA 1989, Sch 1 to be heard at the same time as the final hearing of the child arrangements application if the proceedings are interconnected?

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Published on LexisPSL on 20/05/2020

The following Family Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Where there are concurrent proceedings under Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989 (ChA 1989) and under ChA 1989, s 8 for a child arrangements order, is it possible to list the first directions appointment for the proceedings under ChA 1989, Sch 1 to be heard at the same time as the final hearing of the child arrangements application if the proceedings are interconnected?

Although referring to correspondence as opposed to court proceedings, the Resolution Good Practice Guidance to Correspondence states in relation to arrangements for children that:

‘Children arrangements should not be referred to in letters about the financial arrangements. The issues should be kept separate and there should be no suggestion that the children are being used as bargaining tools.’

While it may be envisaged in some cases that there may be a costs saving if directions are given on an application under Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989 (ChA 1989) at the conclusion of a final hearing as to arrangements for the children, potentially emotions may be heightened and one or both parties may be unhappy with the outcome of the hearing as to child arrangements, making any discussions as to financial provision more difficult.

The court has wide case management powers under the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955, including to actively manage cases and, inter alia, under FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, 1.4 to:

  1. decide the order in which issues are to be resolved, and

  2. deal with as many aspects of the case as it can on the same occasion

See Practice Note: Court's case management powers—FPR 2010.

However, in addition to the potential friction that may arise in some cases by child arrangements and finances being dealt with consecutively, different parts of FPR 2010,

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