The Family Proceedings Courts (Family Law Act 1986) Rules 2001
6th March 2001
Laid before Parliament
9th March 2001
Coming into force
1st April 2001
The Lord Chancellor, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by section 144 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980(1), after consultation with the Rule Committee appointed under that section, hereby makes the following Rules:—
Citation, commencement and transitional provisions
1. These Rules may be cited as the Family Proceedings Courts (Family Law Act 1986) Rules 2001 and shall come into force on 1st April 2001.
2. These Rules shall apply to proceedings begun on or after 1st April 2001.
Amendment of Family Proceedings Courts (Child Support Act 1991) Rules
3. In rule 4 of the Family Proceedings Courts (Child Support Act 1991) Rules 1993(2 ) —
(a) in paragraph (1) , delete “and an application under section 27 of the Act of 1991 (reference to the court for declaration of parentage) ”;
(b) delete paragraph (3) ;
(c) in paragraph (4) , for “sections 20 or 27” substitute “section 20”.
Amendment of Family Proceedings Courts (Matrimonial Proceedings etc.) Rules
4. The Family Proceedings Courts (Matrimonial Proceedings etc.) Rules 1991(3 ) shall be amended in accordance with the following provisions of these Rules and in those provisions any reference to a Part, rule or Schedule by number alone shall be construed as a reference to the Part, rule or Schedule so numbered in the said Rules of 1991.
5. In the heading to Part II, after “DOMESTIC PROCEEDINGS AND MAGISTRATES COURTS ACT 1978” insert “, PROCEEDINGS UNDER SECTION 55A OF THE FAMILY LAW ACT 1986(4 ) ”.
6. In rule 2—
(a) in paragraph (1) , for “the Act or, as the case may be, the Family Law Act 1996” substitute “the Act, the Family Law Act 1986 or the Family Law Act 1996, as the case may be”;
(b) in paragraph (2) , for “in the Act or, as the case may be, in the Family Law Act 1996” substitute “in the Act, the Family Law Act 1986 or the Family Law Act 1996, as the case may be”.
7. After rule 3A, insert the following new rule—
“Applications under section 55A of the Family Law Act 1986 3B. (1) An application for a declaration of parentage under section 55A of the Family Law Act 1986 shall be made in Form FL 423.
(2) An application in Form FL 423 shall be supported by a statement which is signed and is declared to be true. Provided that if the applicant is under the age of 18, the statement shall, unless otherwise directed, be made by his next friend.
(3) A statement under paragraph (2) may contain statements of information or belief with the sources and grounds thereof.
(4) Within 14 days of service of the application the respondent shall file and serve on the parties an answer to the application in Form FL 423.
(5) Where the respondent or one of the respondents is a child, the justices' clerk or the court may at any stage in the proceedings appoint a guardian ad litem, but only if it considers that such an appointment is necessary to safeguard the interests of the child.
(6) The justices' chief executive shall send a copy of the application and every document accompanying it and of any answer to the Attorney General if he has notified the court that he wishes to intervene in the proceedings.
(7) When all answers to the application have been filed the applicant shall issue and serve on all respondents to the application a request for directions for the conduct of the proceedings, including directions as to any other persons who should be made respondents to the application or given notice of the proceedings.
(8) When giving directions in accordance with paragraph (7) the court shall consider whether it is desirable that the Attorney General should argue before it any question relating to the proceedings, and if it does so consider and the Attorney General agrees to argue that question—
(i) the justices' chief executive shall send a copy of the application and every document accompanying it and of any answer to the Attorney General;
(ii) the Attorney General need not file an answer; and
(iii) the court shall give him directions requiring him to serve on all parties to the proceedings a summary of his argument.
(9) Persons given notice of proceedings pursuant to directions given in accordance with paragraph (7) shall within 21 days after service of the notice upon them be entitled to apply to the court to be joined as parties.
(10) The Attorney General may file an answer to the application within 21 days after directions have been given in accordance with paragraph (7) and no directions for the hearing shall be given until that period and the period referred to in paragraph (9) have expired.
(11) The Attorney General, in deciding whether it is necessary or expedient to intervene in the proceedings, may have a search made for, and may inspect and obtain a copy of, any document filed in the court offices which relates to any other family proceedings referred to in the proceedings.
(12) Where the justices' clerk or the court is considering whether or not to transfer proceedings under section 55A of the Family Law Act 1986 to another court, rules 6, 14(2) (h) , (4) and (11) and 32 of the Family Proceedings Courts (Children Act 1989) Rules 1991(5 ) shall apply as appropriate.
(13) A declaration made in accordance with section 55A of the Family Law Act 1986 shall be in form FL 424.
(14) The prescribed officer for the purposes of section 55A(7) of the Family Law Act 1986 shall be the justices' chief executive, who shall, within 21 days after a declaration of parentage has been made, send to the Registrar General a copy of the declaration and of the application.”.
8. In Schedule 1, after Form FL 422 insert the Forms set out in the Schedule to these Rules.
Irvine of Lairg , C.Dated 6th March 2001