Practice Direction – Amendments to FPR

From 3 October 2016 amendments to the existing Practice Direction supplementing the Family Procedure Rules will come into force. This blog briefly outlines the amendments that will be made and how it might affect you.

As you may already be aware, Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAM) are required before an application to court unless your circumstances are such that a MIAM meeting is exempt. You can read more about MIAM in our blog here.

Exemptions to a MIAM include where there is domestic violence, a need for the court the to deal with something urgently or where the child is at risk of harm. In cases of domestic violence, the amendment to the relevant Practice Direction (PD 3A), the period for exemption is extended from 24 months to 60 months giving the victim more flexibility. There will also be a new exemption which covers domestic abuse.

Practice Direction 9A now provides that if a financial remedy order was made before 22 April 2014 by any court, an application to set it aside is to be made in the Family Court (rather than the county court that made the order prior to the unified court changes). If a financial order was made on or after 22 April 2014, any applications to set aside will be heard by the same court who made the original order.

Applications to set aside must be dealt with at least by the same level of judge, if not the same judge who made the original order.

There are other amendments to the Practice Direction that will affect family lawyers relatively drastically, particularly in terms of which forms should be used and how an application should be made. It is important, if you choose to instruct a solicitor to deal with you divorce, separation, finance or children matter, that they are fully up to date with the law and any changes to it.

Serving Bedford, Northampton and Milton Keynes, our lawyers can help you with your family law and divorce matters. Contact us today on 01234 889777 to speak to a solicitor about how we can assist you.

Serving Bedford, Northampton and Milton Keynes, our lawyers can help you with your family law and divorce matters. Contact us today on 01234 889777 to speak to a solicitor about how we can assist you.

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