The Family Court at Northampton is soon to join the Financial Remedies Pilot, as part of the court’s strategy to manage court proceedings relating to matrimonial finances. Following further consultation, the current President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, announced that the regional piloting scheme was to be extended to eight new courts, including Northampton.
The Financial Remedies Court is a new court set up to specialise in dealing with financial remedy cases, with the initial piloting receiving positive feedback from its preliminary trials in Birmingham.
The lead judge at the Family Court in Northampton, HHJ Mark Rogers, will liaise with Mostyn J and HHJ Hess, to coordinate the detailed local arrangements.
The pilot does not provide for the creation of any specified designated hearing centres, nor are judges that are hearing financial remedy cases expected to sit elsewhere than where they currently do. Instead, cases will continue to be heard in the premises currently used by the Family Court in the usual way.
Further, applications will continue to be processed in the regional divorce centres, due to the work currently being undertaken by HM Courts and Tribunals Service to enable these applications to be issued and processed online. However, once an application has been issued at the regional divorce centre, it will be transmitted to the regional hub court, for allocation to the right judge, at the right level, and in the right place.
The President said, “In essence the new scheme is a ticketing and allocation regime designed to ensure that all financial remedy cases are case managed and heard by a suitably experienced judge. The positive reports of the operation of the Birmingham pilot auger well for its replication elsewhere. I am very grateful to HHJ Robin Rolland and DJ Jane Ingram who have led this work in Birmingham just as I am to the judges who will now take up the similar task in the new pilot courts.”