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THE FAMILY PROCEDURE RULES 2010

UK Statutory Instruments

Version as made

2010 No. 2955 (L. 17)


  • PART 1. OVERRIDING OBJECTIVE
    • PART 2. APPLICATION AND INTERPRETATION OF THE RULES
      • PART 3. ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION: THE COURT’S POWERS
        • PART 4. GENERAL CASE MANAGEMENT POWERS
          • PART 5. FORMS AND START OF PROCEEDINGS
            • PART 6. SERVICE
              • CHAPTER 1. SCOPE OF THIS PART AND INTERPRETATION
                • CHAPTER 2. SERVICE OF THE APPLICATION FOR A MATRIMONIAL ORDER OR CIVIL PARTNERSHIP ORDER IN THE JURISDICTION
                  • CHAPTER 3. SERVICE OF DOCUMENTS OTHER THAN AN APPLICATION FOR A MATRIMONIAL ORDER OR CIVIL PARTNERSHIP ORDER IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
                    • CHAPTER 4. SERVICE OUT OF THE JURISDICTION
                      • PART 7. PROCEDURE FOR APPLICATIONS IN MATRIMONIAL AND CIVIL PARTNERSHIP PROCEEDINGS
                        • CHAPTER 1. APPLICATION AND INTERPRETATION
                          • CHAPTER 2. RULES ABOUT STARTING AND RESPONDING TO PROCEEDINGS
                            • CHAPTER 3. HOW THE COURT DETERMINES MATRIMONIAL AND CIVIL PARTNERSHIP PROCEEDINGS
                              • CHAPTER 4. COURT ORDERS
                                • PART 8. PROCEDURE FOR MISCELLANEOUS APPLICATIONS
                                  • CHAPTER 1. PROCEDURE
                                    • CHAPTER 2. APPLICATION FOR CORRECTED GENDER RECOGNITION CERTIFICATE
                                      • CHAPTER 3. APPLICATION FOR ALTERATION OF MAINTENANCE AGREEMENT AFTER DEATH OF ONE PARTY
                                        • CHAPTER 4. APPLICATION FOR QUESTION AS TO PROPERTY TO BE DECIDED IN SUMMARY WAY
                                          • CHAPTER 5. DECLARATIONS
                                            • CHAPTER 6. APPLICATION FOR PERMISSION TO APPLY FOR A FINANCIAL REMEDY AFTER OVERSEAS PROCEEDINGS
                                              • CHAPTER 7. APPLICATION FOR THE TRANSFER OF A TENANCY UNDER SECTION 53 OF, AND SCHEDULE 7 TO, THE 1996 ACT
                                                • CHAPTER 8. APPLICATIONS FOR ORDERS PREVENTING AVOIDANCE UNDER SECTION 32L OF THE CHILD SUPPORT ACT 1991
                                                  • CHAPTER 9. APPLICATION FOR CONSENT TO MARRIAGE OF A CHILD OR TO REGISTRATION OF CIVIL PARTNERSHIP OF A CHILD
                                                    • PART 9. APPLICATIONS FOR A FINANCIAL REMEDY
                                                      • CHAPTER 1. APPLICATION AND INTERPRETATION
                                                        • CHAPTER 2. PROCEDURE FOR APPLICATIONS
                                                          • CHAPTER 3. APPLICATIONS FOR FINANCIAL REMEDIES FOR CHILDREN
                                                            • CHAPTER 4. PROCEDURE IN THE HIGH COURT AND COUNTY COURT AFTER FILING AN APPLICATION
                                                              • CHAPTER 5. PROCEDURE IN THE MAGISTRATES’ COURT AFTER FILING AN APPLICATION
                                                                • CHAPTER 6. GENERAL PROCEDURE
                                                                  • CHAPTER 7. ESTIMATES OF COSTS
                                                                    • CHAPTER 8. PENSIONS
                                                                      • CHAPTER 9. PENSION PROTECTION FUND COMPENSATION
                                                                        • PART 10. APPLICATIONS UNDER PART 4 OF THE FAMILY LAW ACT 1996
                                                                          • PART 11. APPLICATIONS UNDER PART 4A OF THE FAMILY LAW ACT 1996
                                                                            • PART 12. PROCEEDINGS RELATING TO CHILDREN EXCEPT PARENTAL ORDER PROCEEDINGS AND PROCEEDINGS FOR APPLICATIONS IN ADOPTION, PLACEMENT AND RELATED PROCEEDINGS
                                                                              • CHAPTER 1. INTERPRETATION AND APPLICATION OF THIS PART
                                                                                • CHAPTER 2. GENERAL RULES
                                                                                  • CHAPTER 3. SPECIAL PROVISIONS ABOUT PUBLIC LAW PROCEEDINGS
                                                                                    • CHAPTER 4. SPECIAL PROVISIONS ABOUT PRIVATE LAW PROCEEDINGS
                                                                                      • CHAPTER 5. SPECIAL PROVISIONS ABOUT INHERENT JURISDICTION PROCEEDINGS
                                                                                        • CHAPTER 6. PROCEEDINGS UNDER THE 1980 HAGUE CONVENTION, THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION, THE COUNCIL REGULATION, AND THE 1996 HAGUE CONVENTION
                                                                                          • Proceedings under the 1980 Hague Convention or the European Convention
                                                                                            • Applications relating to the Council Regulation and the 1996 Hague Convention
                                                                                              • CHAPTER 7. COMMUNICATION OF INFORMATION: PROCEEDINGS RELATING TO CHILDREN
                                                                                                • PART 13. PROCEEDINGS UNDER SECTION 54 OF THE HUMAN FERTILISATION AND EMBRYOLOGY ACT 2008
                                                                                                  • PART 14. PROCEDURE FOR APPLICATIONS IN ADOPTION, PLACEMENT AND RELATED PROCEEDINGS
                                                                                                    • PART 15. REPRESENTATION OF PROTECTED PARTIES
                                                                                                      • PART 16. REPRESENTATION OF CHILDREN AND REPORTS IN PROCEEDINGS INVOLVING CHILDREN
                                                                                                        • CHAPTER 1. APPLICATION OF THIS PART
                                                                                                          • CHAPTER 2. CHILD AS PARTY IN FAMILY PROCEEDINGS
                                                                                                            • CHAPTER 3. WHEN A CHILDREN’S GUARDIAN OR LITIGATION FRIEND WILL BE APPOINTED
                                                                                                              • CHAPTER 4. WHERE A CHILDREN’S GUARDIAN OR LITIGATION FRIEND IS NOT REQUIRED
                                                                                                                • CHAPTER 5. LITIGATION FRIEND
                                                                                                                  • CHAPTER 6. CHILDREN’S GUARDIAN APPOINTED UNDER RULE 16.3
                                                                                                                    • CHAPTER 7. CHILDREN’S GUARDIAN APPOINTED UNDER RULE 16.4
                                                                                                                      • CHAPTER 8. DUTIES OF SOLICITOR ACTING FOR THE CHILD
                                                                                                                        • CHAPTER 9. REPORTING OFFICER
                                                                                                                          • CHAPTER 10. CHILDREN AND FAMILY REPORTER AND WELFARE OFFICER
                                                                                                                            • CHAPTER 11. PARENTAL ORDER REPORTER
                                                                                                                              • CHAPTER 12. SUPPLEMENTARY APPOINTMENT PROVISIONS
                                                                                                                                • CHAPTER 13. OFFICERS OF THE SERVICE, WELSH FAMILY PROCEEDINGS OFFICERS AND LOCAL AUTHORITY OFFICERS: FURTHER DUTIES
                                                                                                                                  • CHAPTER 14. ENFORCEMENT ORDERS AND FINANCIAL COMPENSATION ORDERS: PERSONS NOTIFIED
                                                                                                                                    • PART 17. STATEMENTS OF TRUTH
                                                                                                                                      • PART 18. PROCEDURE FOR OTHER APPLICATIONS IN PROCEEDINGS
                                                                                                                                        • PART 19. ALTERNATIVE PROCEDURE FOR APPLICATIONS
                                                                                                                                          • PART 20. INTERIM REMEDIES AND SECURITY FOR COSTS
                                                                                                                                            • CHAPTER 1. INTERIM REMEDIES
                                                                                                                                              • CHAPTER 2. SECURITY FOR COSTS
                                                                                                                                                • PART 21. MISCELLANEOUS RULES ABOUT DISCLOSURE AND INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS
                                                                                                                                                  • PART 22. EVIDENCE
                                                                                                                                                    • CHAPTER 1. GENERAL RULES
                                                                                                                                                      • CHAPTER 2. RULES APPLYING ONLY TO PARTICULAR PROCEEDINGS
                                                                                                                                                        • PART 23. MISCELLANEOUS RULES ABOUT EVIDENCE
                                                                                                                                                          • PART 24. WITNESSES, DEPOSITIONS GENERALLY AND TAKING OF EVIDENCE IN MEMBER STATES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
                                                                                                                                                            • CHAPTER 1. WITNESSES AND DEPOSITIONS
                                                                                                                                                              • CHAPTER 2. TAKING OF EVIDENCE – MEMBER STATES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
                                                                                                                                                                • PART 25. EXPERTS AND ASSESSORS
                                                                                                                                                                  • PART 26. CHANGE OF SOLICITOR
                                                                                                                                                                    • PART 27. HEARINGS AND DIRECTIONS APPOINTMENTS
                                                                                                                                                                      • PART 28. COSTS
                                                                                                                                                                        • PART 29. MISCELLANEOUS
                                                                                                                                                                          • PART 30. APPEALS
                                                                                                                                                                            • PART 31. REGISTRATION OF ORDERS UNDER THE COUNCIL REGULATION, THE CIVIL PARTNERSHIP (JURISDICTION AND RECOGNITION OF JUDGMENTS) REGULATIONS 2005 AND UNDER THE HAGUE CONVENTION 1996
                                                                                                                                                                              • PART 32. REGISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF ORDERS
                                                                                                                                                                                • CHAPTER 1. SCOPE AND INTERPRETATION OF THIS PART
                                                                                                                                                                                  • CHAPTER 2. REGISTRATION ETC. OF ORDERS UNDER THE 1950 ACT
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Interpretation of this Chapter
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Registration etc of High Court and county court orders
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Registration etc. of Scottish and Northern Irish orders
                                                                                                                                                                                          • CHAPTER 3. REGISTRATION OF MAINTENANCE ORDERS UNDER THE 1958 ACT
                                                                                                                                                                                            • CHAPTER 4. REGISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF CUSTODY ORDERS UNDER THE 1986 ACT
                                                                                                                                                                                              • PART 33. ENFORCEMENT
                                                                                                                                                                                                • CHAPTER 1. GENERAL RULES
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Enforcement of orders for the payment of money
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Committal and injunction
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • CHAPTER 2. COMMITTAL BY WAY OF JUDGMENT SUMMONS
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • CHAPTER 3. ATTACHMENT OF EARNINGS
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • CHAPTER 4. WARRANT OF EXECUTION
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • CHAPTER 5. COURT’S POWER TO APPOINT A RECEIVER
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • CHAPTER 6. ORDERS TO OBTAIN INFORMATION FROM JUDGMENT DEBTORS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • CHAPTER 7. THIRD PARTY DEBT ORDERS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • CHAPTER 8. CHARGING ORDER, STOP ORDER, STOP NOTICE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • PART 34. RECIPROCAL ENFORCEMENT OF MAINTENANCE ORDERS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • CHAPTER 1. ENFORCEMENT OF MAINTENANCE ORDERS UNDER THE MAINTENANCE ORDERS (FACILITIES FOR ENFORCEMENT) ACT 1920
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • CHAPTER 2. ENFORCEMENT OF MAINTENANCE ORDERS UNDER PART 1 OF THE 1972 ACT
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Reciprocal enforcement of maintenance orders under Part 1 of the 1972 Act
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Modification of rules in Section 1 of this Chapter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • CHAPTER 3. ENFORCEMENT OF MAINTENANCE ORDERS UNDER THE CIVIL JURISDICTION AND JUDGMENTS ACT 1982,THE JUDGMENTS REGULATION AND THE LUGANO CONVENTION
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Registration and Enforcement in a Magistrates’ Court of Maintenance Orders made in a Contracting State to the 1968 Convention, a Contracting State to the 1988 Convention, a Regulation State or a State bound by the Lugano Convention
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Reciprocal enforcement in a Contracting State or Regulation State of Orders of a court in England and Wales
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • PART 35. MEDIATION DIRECTIVE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • PART 36. TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS AND PILOT SCHEMES
  • Version as made

Introductory Text

Statutory Instruments

2010 No. 2955 (L. 17)

Family Proceedings

Senior Courts Of England And Wales

County Courts, England And Wales

Magistrates’ Courts, England And Wales

The Family Procedure Rules 2010

Made

13th December 2010

Laid before Parliament

17th December 2010

Coming into force

6th April 2011

The Family Procedure Rule Committee makes the following rules in exercise of the powers conferred by sections 75 and 76 of the Courts Act 2003(1), section 18(1) of the Maintenance Orders (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1972(2), sections 12 and 48 of the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982(3), sections 10 and 24 of the Child Abduction and Custody Act 1985(4), section 97(1) of the Children Act 1989(5), section 54(1) of the Access to Justice Act 1999(6), sections 52(7), 102, 109(2) and 141(1) and (3) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002(7), after consulting in accordance with section 79 of the Courts Act 2003(8).

These rules may be cited as the Family Procedure Rules 2010 and shall come into force on 6th April 2011.

PART 1
OVERRIDING OBJECTIVE



1.1.—(1)  These rules are a new procedural code with the overriding objective of enabling the court to deal with cases justly, having regard to any welfare issues involved.

(2)  Dealing with a case justly includes, so far as is practicable—
(a) ensuring that it is dealt with expeditiously and fairly;
(b) dealing with the case in ways which are proportionate to the nature, importance and complexity of the issues;
(c) ensuring that the parties are on an equal footing;
(d) saving expense; and
(e) allotting to it an appropriate share of the court’s resources, while taking into account the need to allot resources to other cases. Application by the court of the overriding objective
1.2.  The court must seek to give effect to the overriding objective when it—

(a) exercises any power given to it by these rules; or
(b) interprets any rule. Duty of the parties
1.3.  The parties are required to help the court to further the overriding objective. Court’s duty to manage cases

1.4.—(1)  The court must further the overriding objective by actively managing cases.

(2)  Active case management includes—
(a) encouraging the parties to co-operate with each other in the conduct of the proceedings;
(b) identifying at an early stage—
(i) the issues; and
(ii) who should be a party to the proceedings;
(c) deciding promptly—
(i) which issues need full investigation and hearing and which do not; and
(ii) the procedure to be followed in the case;
(d) deciding the order in which issues are to be resolved;
(e) encouraging the parties to use an alternative dispute resolution procedure if the court considers that appropriate and facilitating the use of such procedure;
(f) helping the parties to settle the whole or part of the case;
(g) fixing timetables or otherwise controlling the progress of the case;
(h) considering whether the likely benefits of taking a particular step justify the cost of taking it;
(i) dealing with as many aspects of the case as it can on the same occasion;
(j) dealing with the case without the parties needing to attend at court;
(k) making use of technology; and
(l) giving directions to ensure that the case proceeds quickly and efficiently.

PART 2
APPLICATION AND INTERPRETATION OF THE RULES



2.1.—(1)  Unless the context otherwise requires, these rules apply to family proceedings in—

(a) the High Court;
(b) a county court; and
(c) a magistrates’ court.
(2)  Nothing in these rules is to be construed as—
(a) purporting to apply to proceedings in a magistrates’ court which are not family proceedings within the meaning of section 65 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980(9 ) or
(b) conferring upon a magistrate a function which a magistrate is not permitted by statute to perform. The glossary
2.2.—(1)  The glossary at the end of these rules is a guide to the meaning of certain legal expressions used in the rules, but is not to be taken as giving those expressions any meaning in the rules which they do not have in the law generally.

(2)  Subject to paragraph (3) , words in these rules which are included in the glossary are followed by GL.
(3)  The word “service”, which appears frequently in the rules, is included in the glossary but is not followed by “GL”. Interpretation
2.3.—(1)  In these rules— “the 1973 Act” means the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973(10 ) ; “the 1978 Act” means the Domestic Proceedings and Magistrates’ Courts Act 1978(11 ) ; “the 1980 Hague Convention” means the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction which was signed at The Hague on 25 October 1980; “the 1984 Act” means the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984(12 ) ; “the 1986 Act” means the Family Law Act 1986(13 ) ; “the 1989 Act” means the Children Act 1989; “the 1990 Act” means the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990(14 ) ; “the 1991 Act” means the Child Support Act 1991(15 ) ; “the 1996 Act” means the Family Law Act 1996(16 ) ; “the 1996 Hague Convention” means the Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-Operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children; “the 2002 Act” means the Adoption and Children Act 2002; “the 2004 Act” means the Civil Partnership Act 2004; “the 2005 Act” means the Mental Capacity Act 2005(17 ) ; “the 2008 Act” means the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008(18 ) ; “adoption proceedings” means proceedings for an adoption order under the 2002 Act; “Allocation Order” means any order made by the Lord Chancellor under Part 1 of Schedule 11 to the 1989 Act; “alternative dispute resolution” means methods of resolving a dispute, including mediation, other than through the normal court process; “application form” means a document in which the applicant states his intention to seek a court order other than in accordance with the Part 18 procedure; “application notice” means a document in which the applicant states his intention to seek a court order in accordance with the Part 18 procedure; “Assembly” means the National Assembly for Wales; “bank holiday” means a bank holiday under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971(19 ) — (a) for the purpose of service of a document within the United Kingdom, in the part of the United Kingdom where service is to take place; and (b) for all other purposes, in England and Wales. “business day” means any day other than— (a) a Saturday, Sunday, Christmas Day or Good Friday; or (b) a bank holiday; “care order” has the meaning assigned to it by section 31(11) of the 1989 Act; “CCR” means the County Court Rules 1981, as they appear in Schedule 2 to the CPR; “child” means a person under the age of 18 years who is the subject of the proceedings; except that— (a) in adoption proceedings, it also includes a person who has attained the age of 18 years before the proceedings are concluded; and (b) in proceedings brought under the Council Regulation, the 1980 Hague Convention or the European Convention, it means a person under the age of 16 years who is the subject of the proceedings; “child of the family” has the meaning given to it by section 105(1) of the 1989 Act; “children and family reporter” means an officer of the Service or a Welsh family proceedings officer who has been asked to prepare a welfare report under section 7(1) (a) of the 1989(20 ) Act or section 102(3) (b) of the 2002 Act; “children’s guardian” means— (a) in relation to a child who is the subject of and a party to specified proceedings or proceedings to which Part 14 applies, the person appointed in accordance with rule 16.3(1) ; and (b) in any other case, the person appointed in accordance with rule 16.4; “civil partnership order” means one of the orders mentioned in section 37 of the 2004 Act; “civil partnership proceedings” means proceedings for a civil partnership order; “civil partnership proceedings county court” means a county court so designated by the Lord Chancellor under section 36A of the 1984 Act(21 ) ; “civil restraint order” means an order restraining a party— (a) from making any further applications in current proceedings (a limited civil restraint order) ; (b) from making certain applications in specified courts (an extended civil restraint order) ; or (c) from making any application in specified courts (a general civil restraint order) ; “Commission” means the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission; “consent order” means an order in the terms applied for to which the respondent agrees; “contact order” has the meaning assigned to it by section 8(1) of the 1989 Act; “the Council Regulation” means Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and in matters of parental responsibility; “court” means, subject to any rule or other enactment which provides otherwise, the High Court, a county court or a magistrates’ court; (rule 2.5 relates to the power to perform functions of the court.) “court of trial” means— (a) in proceedings under the 1973 Act, a divorce county court designated by the Lord Chancellor as a court of trial pursuant to section 33(1) of the 1984 Act(22 ) ; or (b) in proceedings under the 2004 Act, a civil partnership proceedings county court designated by the Lord Chancellor as a court of trial pursuant to section 36A(1) (b) of the 1984 Act; and in proceedings under the 1973 Act pending in a divorce county court or proceedings under the 2004 Act pending in a civil partnership proceedings county court, the principal registry is treated as a court of trial having its place of sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice; “court officer” means— (a) in the High Court or in a county court, a member of court staff; and (b) in a magistrates’ court, the designated officer; (“designated officer” is defined in section 37(1) of the Courts Act 2003.) “CPR” means the Civil Procedure Rules 1998; “deputy” has the meaning given in section 16(2) (b) of the 2005 Act; “designated county court” means a court designated as— (a) a divorce county court; (b) a civil partnership proceedings county court; or (c) both a divorce county court and a civil partnership proceedings county court; “detailed assessment proceedings” means the procedure by which the amount of costs is decided in accordance with Part 47 of the CPR; “directions appointment” means a hearing for directions; “district judge”— (a) in relation to proceedings in the High Court, includes a district judge of the principal registry and in relation to proceedings in a county court, includes a district judge of the principal registry when the principal registry is treated as if it were a county court; (b) in relation to proceedings in a district registry or a county court, means the district judge or one of the district judges of that registry or county court, as the case may be; “district registry” means— (a) in proceedings under the 1973 Act, any district registry having a divorce county court within its district; (b) in proceedings under the 2004 Act, any district registry having a civil partnership proceedings county court within its district; and (c) in any other case, any district registry having a designated county court within its district; “divorce county court” means a county court so designated by the Lord Chancellor pursuant to section 33(1) of the 1984 Act, including the principal registry when it is treated as a divorce county court; “the European Convention” means the European Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions concerning Custody of Children and on the Restoration of Custody of Children which was signed in Luxembourg on 20 May 1980; “filing”, in relation to a document, means delivering it, by post or otherwise, to the court office; “financial order” means— (a) an avoidance of disposition order; (b) an order for maintenance pending suit; (c) an order for maintenance pending outcome of proceedings; (d) an order for periodical payments or lump sum provision as mentioned in section 21(1) of the 1973 Act(23 ) , except an order under section 27(6) of that Act(24 ) ; (e) an order for periodical payments or lump sum provision as mentioned in paragraph 2(1) of Schedule 5 to the 2004 Act, made under Part 1 of Schedule 5 to that Act; (f) a property adjustment order; (g) a variation order; (h) a pension sharing order; or (i) a pension compensation sharing order; (“variation order”, “pension compensation sharing order” and “pension sharing order” are defined in rule 9.3.) “financial remedy” means— (a) a financial order; (b) an order under Schedule 1 to the 1989 Act; (c) an order under Part 3 of the 1984 Act; (d) an order under Schedule 7 to the 2004 Act; (e) an order under section 27 of the 1973 Act; (f) an order under Part 9 of Schedule 5 to the 2004 Act; (g) an order under section 35 of the 1973 Act(25 ) ; (h) an order under paragraph 69 of Schedule 5 to the 2004 Act; (i) an order under Part 1 of the 1978 Act; (j) an order under Schedule 6 to the 2004 Act; (k) an order under section 10(2) of the 1973 Act(26 ) ; or (l) an order under section 48(2) of the 2004 Act; “hearing” includes a directions appointment; “hearsay” means a statement made, otherwise than by a person while giving oral evidence in proceedings, which is tendered as evidence of the matters stated, and references to hearsay include hearsay of whatever degree; “inherent jurisdiction” means the High Court’s power to make any order or determine any issue in respect of a child, including in wardship proceedings, where it would be just and equitable to do so unless restricted by legislation or case law; (Practice Direction 12D (Inherent Jurisdiction (including Wardship Proceedings) ) provides examples of inherent jurisdiction proceedings.) “judge”, in the High Court or a county court, means, unless the context requires otherwise, a judge, district judge or a person authorised to act as such; “jurisdiction” means, unless the context requires otherwise, England and Wales and any part of the territorial waters of the United Kingdom adjoining England and Wales; “justices’ clerk” has the meaning assigned to it by section 27(1) of the Courts Act 2003(27 ) ; “legal representative” means a— (a) barrister; (b) solicitor; (c) solicitor’s employee; (d) manager of a body recognised under section 9 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985(28 ) ; or (e) person who, for the purposes of the Legal Services Act 2007(29 ) , is an authorised person in relation to an activity which constitutes the conduct of litigation (within the meaning of the Act) , who has been instructed to act for a party in relation to proceedings; “litigation friend” has the meaning given— (a) in relation to a protected party, by Part 15; and (b) in relation to a child, by Part 16; “matrimonial cause” means proceedings for a matrimonial order; “matrimonial order” means— (a) a decree of divorce made under section 1 of the 1973 Act(30 ) ; (b) a decree of nullity made on one of the grounds set out in sections 11 or 12 of the 1973 Act(31 ) ; (c) a decree of judicial separation made under section 17 of the 1973 Act(32 ) ; “note” includes a record made by mechanical means; “officer of the Service” has the meaning given by section 11(3) of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000; “order” includes directions of the court; “order for maintenance pending outcome of proceedings” means an order under paragraph 38 of Schedule 5 to the 2004 Act; “order for maintenance pending suit” means an order under section 22 of the 1973 Act(33 ) ; “parental order proceedings” has the meaning assigned to it by rule 13.1; “parental responsibility” has the meaning assigned to it by section 3 of the 1989 Act; “placement proceedings” means proceedings for the making, varying or revoking of a placement order under the 2002 Act; “principal registry” means the principal registry of the Family Division of the High Court; “proceedings” means, unless the context requires otherwise, family proceedings as defined in section 75(3) of the Courts Act 2003; “professional acting in furtherance of the protection of children” includes— (a) an officer of a local authority exercising child protection functions; (b) a police officer who is— (i) exercising powers under section 46 of the Act of 1989; or (ii) serving in a child protection unit or a paedophile unit of a police force; (c) any professional person attending a child protection conference or review in relation to a child who is the subject of the proceedings to which the information regarding the proceedings held in private relates; or (d) an officer of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children; “professional legal adviser” means a— (a) barrister; (b) solicitor; (c) solicitor’s employee; (d) manager of a body recognised under section 9 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985; or (e) person who, for the purposes of the Legal Services Act 2007, is an authorised person in relation to an activity which constitutes the conduct of litigation (within the meaning of that Act) , who is providing advice to a party but is not instructed to represent that party in the proceedings; “property adjustment order” means— (a) in proceedings under the 1973 Act, any of the orders mentioned in section 21(2) of that Act; (b) in proceedings under the 1984 Act, an order under section 17(1) (a) (ii) of that Act; (c) in proceedings under Schedule 5 to the 2004 Act, any of the orders mentioned in paragraph 7(1) ; or (d) in proceedings under Schedule 7 to the 2004 Act, an order for property adjustment under paragraph 9(2) or (3) ; “protected party” means a party, or an intended party, who lacks capacity (within the meaning of the 2005 Act) to conduct proceedings; “reporting officer” means an officer of the Service or a Welsh family proceedings officer appointed to witness the documents which signify a parent’s or guardian’s consent to the placing of the child for adoption or to the making of an adoption order or a section 84 order; “risk assessment” has the meaning assigned to it by section 16A(3) of the 1989 Act; “Royal Courts of Justice”, in relation to matrimonial proceedings pending in a divorce county court or civil partnership proceedings pending in a civil partnership proceedings county court, means such place as may be specified in directions given by the Lord Chancellor pursuant to section 42(2) (a) (34 ) of the 1984 Act; “RSC” means the Rules of the Supreme Court 1965 as they appear in Schedule 1 to the CPR; “section 8 order” has the meaning assigned to it by section 8(2) of the 1989 Act; “section 84 order” means an order made by the High Court under section 84 of the 2002 Act giving parental responsibility prior to adoption abroad; “section 89 order” means an order made by the High Court under section 89 of the 2002 Act— (a) annulling a Convention adoption or Convention adoption order; (b) providing for an overseas adoption or determination under section 91 of the 2002 Act to cease to be valid; or (c) deciding the extent, if any, to which a determination under section 91 of the 2002 Act has been affected by a subsequent determination under that section; “Service” has the meaning given by section 11 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000; “the Service Regulation” means Regulation (EC) No. 1393/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2007 on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters (service of documents) , and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No. 1348/2000 , as amended from time to time and as applied by the Agreement made on 19 October 2005 between the European Community and the Kingdom of Denmark on the service of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil and commercial matters; “specified proceedings” has the meaning assigned to it by section 41(6) of the 1989 Act and rule 12.27; “welfare officer” means a person who has been asked to prepare a report under section 7(1) (b) of the 1989 Act(35 ) ; “Welsh family proceedings officer” has the meaning given by section 35(4) of the Children Act 2004.

(2)  In these rules a reference to —
(a) an application for a matrimonial order or a civil partnership order is to be read as a reference to a petition for—
(i) a matrimonial order;
(ii) a decree of presumption of death and dissolution of marriage made under section 19 of the 1973 Act(36 ) ; or
(iii) a civil partnership order, and includes a petition by a respondent asking for such an order;
(b) “financial order” in matrimonial proceedings is to be read as a reference to “ancillary relief”;
(c) “matrimonial proceedings” is to be read as a reference to a matrimonial cause or proceedings for an application for a decree of presumption of death and dissolution of marriage made under section 19 of the 1973 Act.
(3)  Where these rules apply the CPR, they apply the CPR as amended from time to time. Modification of rules in application to serial numbers etc.
2.4.  If a serial number has been assigned under rule 14.2 or the name or other contact details of a party is not being revealed in accordance with rule 29.1—

(a) any rule requiring any party to serve any document will not apply; and
(b) the court will give directions about serving any document on the other parties. Power to perform functions conferred on the court by these rules and practice directions
2.5.—(1)  Where these rules or a practice direction provide for the court to perform any function then, except where any rule or practice direction, any other enactment or any directions made by the President of the Family Division under section 9 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990(37 ) , provides otherwise, that function may be performed—

(a) in relation to proceedings in the High Court or in a district registry, by any judge or district judge of that Court including a district judge of the principal registry;
(b) in relation to proceedings in a county court, by any judge or district judge including a district judge of the principal registry when the principal registry is treated as if it were a county court; and
(c) in relation to proceedings in a magistrates’ court—
(i) by any family proceedings court constituted in accordance with sections 66 and 67 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980(38 ) ; or
(ii) by a single justice of the peace who is a member of the family panel in accordance with Practice Direction 2A. (The Justices’ Clerks Rules 2005 make provision for a justices’ clerk or assistant clerk to carry out certain functions of a single justice of the peace.)
(2)  A deputy High Court judge and a district judge, including a district judge of the principal registry, may not try a claim for a declaration of incompatibility in accordance with section 4 of the Human Rights Act 1998(39 ). Powers of the single justice to perform functions under the 1989 Act, the 1996 Act, the 2002 Act and the Childcare Act 2006
2.6.—(1)  A single justice who is a member of the family panel may perform the functions of a magistrates’ court—

(a) where an application without notice is made under sections 10, 44(1) , 48(9) , 50(4) and 102(1) of the 1989 Act(40 ) ;
(b) subject to paragraph (2) , under sections 11(3) or 38(1) of the 1989 Act;
(c) under sections 4(3) (b) , 4A(3) (b) , 4ZA(6) (b) , 7, 34(3) (b) , 41, 44(9) (b) and (11) (b) (iii) , 48(4) , 91(15) or (17) or paragraph 11(4) of Schedule 14 of the 1989 Act;
(d) in accordance with the Allocation Order;
(e) where an application without notice is made under section 41(2) of the 2002 Act (recovery orders) ;
(f) where an application without notice is made for an occupation order or a non molestation order under Part 4 of the 1996 Act; or
(g) where an application is made for a warrant under section 79 of the Childcare Act 2006;
(2)  A single justice of the peace may make an order under section 11(3) or 38(1) of the 1989 Act where—
(a) a previous such order has been made in the same proceedings;
(b) the terms of the order sought are the same as those of the last such order made; and
(c) a written request for such an order has been made and —
(i) the other parties and any children’s guardian consent to the request and they or their legal representatives have signed the request; or
(ii) at least one of the other parties and any children’s guardian consent to the request and they or their legal representatives have signed the request, and the remaining parties have not indicated that they either consent to or oppose the making of the order.
(3)  The proceedings referred to in paragraph (1) (a) , (c) and (d) are proceedings which are prescribed for the purposes of section 93(2) (i) of the 1989 Act. Single justice’s power to refer to a magistrates’ court
2.7.  Where a single justice —

(a) is performing the function of a magistrates’ court in accordance with rules 2.5(1) (c) (ii) and 2.6(1) and (2) ; and
(b) considers, for whatever reason, that it is inappropriate to perform the function, the single justice must refer the matter to a magistrates’ court which may perform the function. Court’s discretion as to where it deals with cases
2.8.  The court may deal with a case at any place that it considers appropriate. Computation of time

2.9.—(1)  This rule shows how to calculate any period of time for doing any act which is specified—

(a) by these rules;
(b) by a practice direction; or
(c) by a direction or order of the court.
(2)  A period of time expressed as a number of days must be computed as clear days.
(3)  In this rule “clear days” means that in computing the numbers of days—
(a) the day on which the period begins; and
(b) if the end of the period is defined by reference to an event, the day on which that event occurs, are not included.
(4)  Where the specified period is 7 days or less and includes a day which is not a business day, that day does not count.
(5)  When the period specified—
(a) by these rules or a practice direction; or
(b) by any direction or order of the court, for doing any act at the court office ends on a day on which the office is closed, that act will be in time if done on the next day on which the court office is open. Dates for compliance to be calendar dates and to include time of day
2.10.—(1)  Where the court makes an order or gives a direction which imposes a time limit for doing any act, the last date for compliance must, wherever practicable—

(a) be expressed as a calendar date; and
(b) include the time of day by which the act must be done.
(2)  Where the date by which an act must be done is inserted in any document, the date must, wherever practicable, be expressed as a calendar date.
(3)  Where “month” occurs in any order, direction or other document, it means a calendar month.

PART 3
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION: THE COURT’S POWERS



3.1.—(1)  This Part contains the court’s powers to encourage the parties to use alternative dispute resolution and to facilitate its use.

(2)  The powers in this Part are subject to any powers given to the court by any other rule or practice direction or by any other enactment or any powers it may otherwise have. Court’s duty to consider alternative dispute resolution
3.2.  The court must consider, at every stage in proceedings, whether alternative dispute resolution is appropriate. When the court will adjourn proceedings or a hearing in proceedings

3.3.—(1)  If the court considers that alternative dispute resolution is appropriate, the court may direct that the proceedings, or a hearing in the proceedings, be adjourned for such specified period as it considers appropriate—

(a) to enable the parties to obtain information and advice about alternative dispute resolution; and
(b) where the parties agree, to enable alternative dispute resolution to take place.
(2)  The court may give directions under this rule on an application or of its own initiative.
(3)  Where the court directs an adjournment under this rule, it will give directions about the timing and method by which the parties must tell the court if any of the issues in the proceedings have been resolved.
(4)  If the parties do not tell the court if any of the issues have been resolved as directed under paragraph (3) , the court will give such directions as to the management of the case as it considers appropriate.
(5)  The court or court officer will—
(a) record the making of an order under this rule; and
(b) arrange for a copy of the order to be served as soon as practicable on the parties.
(6)  Where the court proposes to exercise its powers of its own initiative, the procedure set out in rule 4.3(2) to (6) applies. (By rule 4.1(7) , any direction given under this rule may be varied or revoked.)

PART 4
GENERAL CASE MANAGEMENT POWERS



4.1.—(1)  In this Part, “statement of case” means the whole or part of, an application form or answer.

(2)  The list of powers in this rule is in addition to any powers given to the court by any other rule or practice direction or by any other enactment or any powers it may otherwise have.
(3)  Except where these rules provide otherwise, the court may—
(a) extend or shorten the time for compliance with any rule, practice direction or court order (even if an application for extension is made after the time for compliance has expired) ;
(b) make such order for disclosure and inspection, including specific disclosure of documents, as it thinks fit;
(c) adjourn or bring forward a hearing;
(d) require a party or a party’s legal representative to attend the court;
(e) hold a hearing and receive evidence by telephone or by using any other method of direct oral communication;
(f) direct that part of any proceedings be dealt with as separate proceedings;
(g) stay(GL) the whole or part of any proceedings or judgment either generally or until a specified date or event;
(h) consolidate proceedings;
(i) hear two or more applications on the same occasion;
(j) direct a separate hearing of any issue;
(k) decide the order in which issues are to be heard;
(l) exclude an issue from consideration;
(m) dismiss or give a decision on an application after a decision on a preliminary issue;
(n) direct any party to file and serve an estimate of costs; and
(o) take any other step or make any other order for the purpose of managing the case and furthering the overriding objective. (Rule 21.1 explains what is meant by disclosure and inspection.)
(4)  When the court makes an order, it may—
(a) make it subject to conditions, including a condition to pay a sum of money into court; and
(b) specify the consequence of failure to comply with the order or a condition.
(5)  Where the court gives directions it will take into account whether or not a party has complied with any relevant pre-action protocol(GL) .
(6)  A power of the court under these rules to make an order includes a power to vary or revoke the order.
(7)  Any provision in these rules—
(a) requiring or permitting directions to be given by the court is to be taken as including provision for such directions to be varied or revoked; and
(b) requiring or permitting a date to be set is to be taken as including provision for that date to be changed or cancelled.
(8)  The court may not extend the period within which a section 89 order must be made. Court officer’s power to refer to the court
4.2.  Where a step is to be taken by a court officer—

(a) the court officer may consult the court before taking that step;
(b) the step may be taken by the court instead of the court officer. Court’s power to make order of its own initiative
4.3.—(1)  Except where an enactment provides otherwise, the court may exercise its powers on an application or of its own initiative. (Part 18 sets out the procedure for making an application.)

(2)  Where the court proposes to make an order of its own initiative—
(a) it may give any person likely to be affected by the order an opportunity to make representations; and
(b) where it does so it must specify the time by and the manner in which the representations must be made.
(3)  Where the court proposes—
(a) to make an order of its own initiative; and
(b) to hold a hearing to decide whether to make the order, it must give each party likely to be affected by the order at least 5 days’ notice of the hearing.
(4)  The court may make an order of its own initiative without hearing the parties or giving them an opportunity to make representations.
(5)  Where the court has made an order under paragraph (4) —
(a) a party affected by the order may apply to have it set aside(GL) , varied or stayed(GL) ; and
(b) the order must contain a statement of the right to make such an application.
(6)  An application under paragraph (5) (a) must be made—
(a) within such period as may be specified by the court; or
(b) if the court does not specify a period, within 7 days beginning with the date on which the order was served on the party making the application.
(7)  If the High Court or a county court of its own initiative strikes out a statement of case or dismisses an application (including an application for permission to appeal) and it considers that the application is totally without merit—
(a) the court’s order must record that fact; and
(b) the court must at the same time consider whether it is appropriate to make a civil restraint order. Power to strike out a statement of case
4.4.—(1)  Except in proceedings to which Parts 12 to 14 apply, the court may strike out(GL) a statement of case if it appears to the court—

(a) that the statement of case discloses no reasonable grounds for bringing or defending the application;
(b) that the statement of case is an abuse of the court’s process or is otherwise likely to obstruct the just disposal of the proceedings;
(c) that there has been a failure to comply with a rule, practice direction or court order; or
(d) in relation to applications for matrimonial and civil partnership orders and answers to such applications, that the parties to the proceedings consent.
(2)  When the court strikes out a statement of case it may make any consequential order it considers appropriate.
(3)  Where—
(a) the court has struck out an applicant’s statement of case;
(b) the applicant has been ordered to pay costs to the respondent; and
(c) before paying those costs, the applicant starts another application against the same respondent, arising out of facts which are the same or substantially the same as those relating to the application in which the statement of case was struck out, the court may, on the application of the respondent, stay(GL) that other application until the costs of the first application have been paid.
(4)  Paragraph (1) does not limit any other power of the court to strike out (GL) a statement of case.
(5)  If the High Court or a county court strikes out an applicant’s statement of case and it considers that the application is totally without merit—
(a) the court’s order must record that fact; and
(b) the court must at the same time consider whether it is appropriate to make a civil restraint order. Sanctions have effect unless defaulting party obtains relief
4.5.—(1)  Where a party has failed to comply with a rule, practice direction or court order, any sanction for failure to comply imposed by the rule, practice direction or court order has effect unless the party in default applies for and obtains relief from the sanction. (Rule 4.6 sets out the circumstances which the court may consider on an application to grant relief from a sanction.)

(2)  Where the sanction is the payment of costs, the party in default may only obtain relief by appealing against the order for costs.
(3)  Where a rule, practice direction or court order—
(a) requires a party to do something within a specified time; and
(b) specifies the consequence of failure to comply, the time for doing the act in question may not be extended by agreement between the parties. Relief from sanctions
4.6.—(1)  On an application for relief from any sanction imposed for a failure to comply with any rule, practice direction or court order the court will consider all the circumstances including—

(a) the interests of the administration of justice;
(b) whether the application for relief has been made promptly;
(c) whether the failure to comply was intentional;
(d) whether there is a good explanation for the failure;
(e) the extent to which the party in default has complied with other rules, practice directions, court orders and any relevant pre-action protocol(GL) ;
(f) whether the failure to comply was caused by the party or the party’s legal representative;
(g) whether the hearing date or the likely hearing date can still be met if relief is granted;
(h) the effect which the failure to comply had on each party; and
(i) the effect which the granting of relief would have on each party or a child whose interest the court considers relevant.
(2)  An application for relief must be supported by evidence. General power of the court to rectify matters where there has been an error of procedure
4.7.  Where there has been an error of procedure such as a failure to comply with a rule or practice direction—

(a) the error does not invalidate any step taken in the proceedings unless the court so orders; and
(b) the court may make an order to remedy the error. Power of the court to make civil restraint orders
4.8.  Practice Direction 4B sets out—

(a) the circumstances in which the High Court or a county court has the power to make a civil restraint order against a party to proceedings;
(b) the procedure where a party applies for a civil restraint order against another party; and
(c) the consequences of the court making a civil restraint order.

PART 5
FORMS AND START OF PROCEEDINGS



5.1.—(1)  Subject to rule 14.10(2) and(3) , the forms referred to in a practice direction, shall be used in the cases to which they apply.

(2)  A form may be varied by the court or a party if the variation is required by the circumstances of a particular case.
(3)  A form must not be varied so as to leave out any information or guidance which the form gives to the recipient.
(4)  Where these rules require a form to be sent by the court or by a party for another party to use, it must be sent without any variation except such as is required by the circumstances of the particular case. Documents to be attached to a form
5.2.  Subject to any rule or practice direction, unless the court directs otherwise, a form must have attached to it any documents which, in the form, are—

(a) stated to be required; or
(b) referred to. Proceedings are started by issue of application form
5.3.—(1)  Proceedings are started when a court officer issues an application at the request of the applicant.

(2)  An application is issued on the date entered in the application form by the court officer. (Rule 29.7 requires an application form to be authenticated with the stamp of the court when it is issued)

PART 6
SERVICE



CHAPTER 1
SCOPE OF THIS PART AND INTERPRETATION



6.1.  This Part applies to the service of documents, except where—

(a) another Part, any other enactment or a practice direction makes a different provision; or
(b) the court directs otherwise. Interpretation
6.2.  In this Part “solicitor” includes any person who, for the purposes of the Legal Services Act 2007, is an authorised person in relation to an activity which constitutes the conduct of litigation (within the meaning of that Act).

CHAPTER 2
SERVICE OF THE APPLICATION FOR A MATRIMONIAL ORDER OR CIVIL PARTNERSHIP ORDER IN THE JURISDICTION



6.3.  In this Chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, a reference to an application—

(a) is a reference to an application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order; and
(b) includes an application by a respondent as referred to in rule 7.4. (Part 7 deals with applications in matrimonial or civil partnership proceedings.) Methods of service
6.4.  An application may be served by any of the following methods—

(a) personal service in accordance with rule 6.7;
(b) first class post, or other service which provides for delivery on the next business day, in accordance with Practice Direction 6A; or
(c) where rule 6.11 applies, document exchange. Who is to serve the application
6.5.—(1)  Subject to the provisions of this rule, an application may be served by—

(a) the applicant; or
(b) a court officer, if so requested by the applicant.
(2)  A court officer will not serve the application if the party to be served is a child or protected party.
(3)  An application must not be served personally by the applicant himself or herself. (Rule 6.14 deals with service of the application on children and protected parties.) Every respondent to be served
6.6.  The application must be served on every respondent. Personal service

6.7.  An application is served personally on a respondent by leaving it with that respondent. Service of application by the court

6.8.—(1)  Where the application is to be served by a court officer, the applicant must give the court officer an address at which the respondent is to be served in accordance with rule 6.4.

(2)  Where the court officer has sent a notification of failure of service to the applicant in accordance with rule 6.21, the applicant may request the court officer to serve the document on the respondent at an alternative address. Service by the bailiff
6.9.—(1)  An applicant may request that an application be served by a bailiff delivering a copy of the application to the respondent personally.

(2)  The request must be made in accordance with Practice Direction 6A.
(3)  Where the bailiff is unable to serve the application, the applicant may apply to the court for an order under rule 6.19 (service by an alternative method or at an alternative place). (Practice Direction 6A contains provision about when a request under this rule is appropriate.) (Rule 6.22 provides for notice of non-service by a bailiff.) Where to serve the application – general provisions
6.10.—(1)  The application must be served within the jurisdiction except as provided for by Chapter 4 of this Part (service out of the jurisdiction).

(2)  The applicant must include in the application an address at which the respondent may be served.
(3)  Paragraph (2) does not apply where an order made by the court under rule 6.19 (service by an alternative method or at an alternative place) specifies the place or method of service of the application. Service of the application on a solicitor within the jurisdiction or in any EEA state
6.11.—(1)  Where a solicitor acting for the respondent has notified the applicant in writing that the solicitor is instructed by the respondent to accept service of the application on behalf of the respondent at a business address within the jurisdiction, the application must be served at the business address of that solicitor.

(2)  Subject to the provisions of Chapter 4 of this Part, where a solicitor acting for the respondent has notified the applicant in writing that the solicitor is instructed by the respondent to accept service of the application on behalf of the respondent at a business address within any EEA state, the application must be served at the business address of that solicitor. (“Solicitor” has the extended meaning set out in rule 6.2 and “EEA state” is defined in Schedule 1 to the Interpretation Act 1978(41 ).) Service of the application where the respondent gives an address at which the respondent may be served
6.12.  Subject to rule 6.13, the respondent may be served with the application at an address within the jurisdiction which the respondent has given for the purpose of being served with the proceedings. Service of the application where the respondent does not give an address at which the respondent may be served

6.13.—(1)  This rule applies where—

(a) rule 6.11 (service of application on solicitor) ; and
(b) rule 6.12 (respondent gives address at which respondent may be served) , do not apply and the applicant does not wish the application to be served personally under rule 6.7.
(2)  Subject to paragraphs (3) to (5) the application must be served on the respondent at his usual or last known address.
(3)  Where the applicant has reason to believe that the respondent no longer resides at his usual or last known address, the applicant must take reasonable steps to ascertain the current address of the respondent.
(4)  Where, having taken the reasonable steps required by paragraph (3) , the applicant—
(a) ascertains the respondent’s current address, the application must be served at that address; or
(b) is unable to ascertain the respondent’s current address, the applicant must consider whether there is—
(i) an alternative place where; or
(ii) an alternative method by which,
service may be effected.
(5)  If, under paragraph (4) (b) , there is such a place where or a method by which service could be effected, the applicant must make an application under rule 6.19. Service of the application on children and protected parties
6.14.—(1)  Where the respondent is a child, the application form must be served on—

(a) one of the child’s parents or guardians; or
(b) if there is no parent or guardian, an adult with whom the child resides or in whose care the child is.
(2)  Where the respondent is a protected party, the application must be served on—
(a) one of the following persons with authority in relation to the protected party—
(i) the attorney under a registered enduring power of attorney;
(ii) the donee of a lasting power of attorney; or
(iii) the deputy appointed by the Court of Protection; or
(b) if there is no such person, an adult with whom the protected party resides or in whose care the protected party is.
(3)  Any reference in this Chapter to a respondent or party to be served includes the person to be served with the application form on behalf of a child or protected party under paragraph (1) or (2).
(4)  The court may make an order permitting an application form to be served on a child or protected party, or on a person other than the person specified in paragraph (1) or (2).
(5)  An application for an order under paragraph (4) may be made without notice.
(6)  The court may order that, although an application form has been sent or given to someone other than the person specified in paragraph (1) or (2) , it is to be treated as if it had been properly served.
(7)  Where a document is served in accordance with this rule—
(a) it must be endorsed with the notice set out in Practice Direction 6A; and
(b) the person commencing the proceedings must file a witness statement by the person on whom the application form was served stating whether—
(i) the contents of the application form; or
(ii) the purpose and intention of the application, were communicated to the child or protected party and, if not, why not.
(8)  Paragraph (7) (b) does not apply where the Official Solicitor is, as the case may be—
(a) the litigation friend of the protected party; or
(b) the litigation friend or children’s guardian of the child. Deemed service – receipt of acknowledgment of service
6.15.—(1)  Subject to paragraph (2) , an application is deemed to be served if the acknowledgment of service, signed by the party served or the solicitor acting on that party’s behalf, is returned to the court office.

(2)  Where the signature on the acknowledgment of service purports to be that of the other party to the marriage or civil partnership, the applicant must prove that it is the signature of that party by—
(a) giving oral evidence to that effect at the hearing; or
(b) if the application is undefended, confirming it to be so in the affidavit the applicant files under rule 7.19(4). Deemed service by post or alternative service where no acknowledgment of service filed
6.16.—(1)  Subject to paragraph (2) , if—

(a) an application has been served on a respondent by post or other service which provides for delivery on the next business day;
(b) no acknowledgment of service has been returned to the court office; and
(c) the court is satisfied that the respondent has received the application, the district judge may direct that the application is deemed to be served.
(2)  Where—
(a) the application alleges 2 years’ separation and the respondent consents to a matrimonial or civil partnership order being granted; and
(b) none of the other facts mentioned in section 1(2) of the 1973 Act(42 ) or section 44(5) of the 2004 Act, as the case may be, is alleged, paragraph (1) applies only if—
(i) the court is satisfied that the respondent has received notice of the proceedings; and
(ii) the applicant produces a written statement, signed by the respondent, containing the respondent’s consent to the grant of an order. Proof of personal service where no acknowledgment of service filed
6.17.—(1)  This rule applies where—

(a) an application has been served on a respondent personally; and
(b) no acknowledgment of service has been returned to the court office.
(2)  The person serving the application must file a certificate of service stating the date and time of personal service. (Practice Direction 6A makes provision for a certificate of service by a bailiff.)
(3)  If the respondent served was the other party to the marriage or civil partnership, the certificate of service must show the means by which the person serving the application knows the identity of the party served. Proof of service by the court etc.
6.18.—(1)  Where a court officer serves an application by post, or other service which provides for delivery on the next business day, the court officer must note in the court records the date of—

(a) posting; or
(b) leaving with, delivering to or collection by the relevant service provider.
(2)  A record made in accordance with paragraph (1) is evidence of the facts stated in it.
(3)  This rule does not affect the operation of section 133 of the County Courts Act 1984(43 ). (Section 133 of the County Courts Act 1984 provides that where a summons or other process issued from a county court is served by an officer of a court, service may be proved by a certificate in a prescribed form.) Service of the application by an alternative method or at an alternative place
6.19.—(1)  Where it appears to the court that there is a good reason to authorise service by a method or at a place not otherwise permitted by this Part, the court may direct that service is effected by an alternative method or at an alternative place.

(2)  On an application under this rule, the court may direct that steps already taken to bring the application form to the attention of the respondent by an alternative method or at an alternative place is good service.
(3)  A direction under this rule must specify—
(a) the method or place of service;
(b) the date on which the application form is deemed served; and
(c) the period for filing an acknowledgment of service or answer. Power of the court to dispense with service of the application
6.20.—(1)  The court may dispense with service of the application where it is impracticable to serve the application by any method provided for by this Part.

(2)  An application for an order to dispense with service may be made at any time and must be supported by evidence.
(3)  The court may require the applicant to attend when it decides the application. Notification of failure of service by the court
6.21.  Where—

(a) the court serves the application by post or other service which provides for delivery on the next business day; and
(b) the application is returned to the court, the court will send notification to the applicant that the application has been returned. Notice of non-service by bailiff
6.22.  Where—

(a) the bailiff is to serve an application; and
(b) the bailiff is unable to serve it on the respondent, the court officer will send notification to the applicant.

CHAPTER 3
SERVICE OF DOCUMENTS OTHER THAN AN APPLICATION FOR A MATRIMONIAL ORDER OR CIVIL PARTNERSHIP ORDER IN THE UNITED KINGDOM



6.23.  A document may be served by any of the following methods—

(a) personal service, in accordance with rule 6.25;
(b) first class post, document exchange or other service which provides for delivery on the next business day, in accordance with Practice Direction 6A;
(c) leaving it at a place specified in rule 6.26; or
(d) fax or other means of electronic communication in accordance with Practice Direction 6A. (Rule 6.35 provides for the court to permit service by an alternative method or at an alternative place.) Who is to serve
6.24.—(1)  A party to proceedings will serve a document which that party has prepared, or which the court has prepared or issued on behalf of that party, except where—

(a) a rule or practice direction provides that the court will serve the document; or
(b) the court directs otherwise.
(2)  Where a court officer is to serve a document, it is for the court to decide which method of service is to be used.
(3)  Where the court officer is to serve a document prepared by a party, that party must provide a copy for the court and for each party to be served. Personal service
6.25.—(1)  Where required by another Part, any other enactment, a practice direction or a court order, a document must be served personally.

(2)  In other cases, a document may be served personally except where the party to be served has given an address for service under rule 6.26(2) (a).
(3)  A document is served personally on an individual by leaving it with that individual. Address for service
6.26.—(1)  A party to proceedings must give an address at which that party may be served with documents relating to those proceedings.

(2)  Subject to paragraph (4) , a party’s address for service must be—
(a) the business address either within the United Kingdom or any other EEA state of a solicitor acting for the party to be served; or
(b) where there is no solicitor acting for the party to be served, an address within the United Kingdom at which the party resides or carries on business. (“EEA state” is defined in Schedule 1 to the Interpretation Act 1978.)
(3)  Where there is no solicitor acting for the party to be served and the party does not have an address within the United Kingdom at which that party resides or carries on business, the party must, subject to paragraph (4) , give an address for service within the United Kingdom.
(4)  A party who—
(a) has been served with an application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order outside the United Kingdom; and
(b) apart from acknowledging service of the application, does not take part in the proceedings, need not give an address for service within the United Kingdom.
(5)  Any document to be served in proceedings must be sent, or transmitted to, or left at, the party’s address for service unless it is to be served personally or the court orders otherwise.
(6)  Where, in accordance with Practice Direction 6A, a party indicates or is deemed to have indicated that they will accept service by fax, the fax number given by that party must be at the address for service.
(7)  Where a party indicates in accordance with Practice Direction 6A, that they will accept service by electronic means other than fax, the e-mail address or electronic identification given by that party will be deemed to be at the address for service.
(8)  This rule does not apply where an order made by the court under rule 6.35 (service by an alternative method or at an alternative place) specifies where a document may be served. Change of address for service
6.27.  Where the address for service of a party changes, that party must give notice in writing of the change, as soon as it has taken place, to the court and every other party. Service of an application form commencing proceedings on children and protected parties

6.28.—(1)  This rule applies to the service of an application form commencing proceedings other than an application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order.

(2)  An application form commencing proceedings which would otherwise be served on a child or protected party must be served—
(a) where the respondent is a child, in accordance with rule 6.14(1) ; and
(b) where the respondent is a protected party, in accordance with rule 6.14(2). Service of other documents on or by children and protected parties where a litigation friend has been or will be appointed
6.29.—(1)  This rule applies to—

(a) a protected party; or
(b) a child to whom the provisions of rule 16.5 and Chapter 5 of Part 16 apply (litigation friends).
(2)  An application for an order appointing a litigation friend where a protected party or child has no litigation friend must be served in accordance with rule 15.8 or rule 16.13 as the case may be.
(3)  Any other document which would otherwise be served on or by a child or protected party must be served on or by the litigation friend conducting the proceedings on behalf of the child or protected party. Service on or by children where a children’s guardian has been or will be appointed under rule 16.4
6.30.—(1)  This rule applies to a child to whom the provisions of rule 16.4 and Chapter 7 apply.

(2)  An application for an order appointing a children’s guardian where a child has no children’s guardian must be served in accordance with rule 16.26.
(3)  Any other document which would otherwise be served on or by a child must be served on or by the children’s guardian conducting the proceedings on behalf of the child. Service on or by children where a children’s guardian has been appointed under rule 16.3
6.31.—(1)  This rule applies where a children’s guardian has been appointed for a child in accordance with rule 16.3.

(2)  Any document which would otherwise be served on the child must be served on—
(a) the solicitor appointed by the court in accordance with section 41(3) of the 1989 Act; and
(b) the children’s guardian.
(3)  Any document which would otherwise be served by the child must be served by—
(a) the solicitor appointed by the court in accordance with section 41(3) of the 1989 Act or by the children’s guardian; or
(b) if no solicitor has been appointed as mentioned in paragraph (a) , the children’s guardian. Supplementary provisions relating to service on children and protected parties
6.32.—(1)  The court may direct that a document be served on a protected party or child or on some person other than a person upon whom it would be served under rules 6.28 to 6.31 above.

(2)  The court may direct that, although a document has been sent or given to someone other than a person upon whom it should be served under rules 6.28 to 6.31 above, the document is to be treated as if it had been properly served.
(3)  This rule and rules 6.28 to 6.31 do not apply where the court has made an order under rule 16.6 allowing a child to conduct proceedings without a children’s guardian or litigation friend. Supplementary provision relating to service on children
6.33.—(1)  This rule applies to proceedings to which Part 12 applies.

(2)  Where a rule requires—
(a) a document to be served on a party;
(b) a party to be notified of any matter; or
(c) a party to be supplied with a copy of a document, in addition to the persons to be served in accordance with rules 6.28 to 6.32, the persons or bodies mentioned in paragraph (3) must be served, notified or supplied with a copy of a document, as applicable, unless the court directs otherwise.
(3)  The persons or bodies referred to in paragraph (2) are—
(a) such of the following who are appointed in the proceedings—
(i) the children’s guardian (if the children’s guardian is not otherwise to be served) ;
(ii) the welfare officer;
(iii) the children and family reporter;
(iv) the officer of the Service, Welsh family proceedings officer or local authority officer acting under a duty referred to in rule 16.38; and
(b) a local authority preparing a report under section 14A(8) or (9) of the 1989 Act. Deemed service
6.34.  A document, other than an application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order, served in accordance with these rules or a practice direction is deemed to be served on the day shown in the following table—

Method of serviceDeemed day of service
First class post (or other service which provides for delivery on the next business day) The second day after it was posted, left with, delivered to or collected by the relevant service provider, provided that day is a business day; or, if not, the next business day after that day.
Document exchangeThe second day after it was left with, delivered to or collected by the relevant service provider, provided that day is a business day; or, if not, the next business day after that day.
Delivering the document to or leaving it at a permitted address.If it is delivered to or left at the permitted address on a business day before 4.30p.m., on that day; or in any other case, on the next business day after that day.
Fax.If the transmission of the fax is completed on a business day before 4.30p.m., on that day; or, in any other case, the next business day after the day on which it was transmitted.
Other electronic method.If the e-mail or other electronic transmission is sent on a business day before 4.30p.m., on that day; or in any other case, on the next business day after the day on which it was sent.
Personal serviceIf the document is served personally before 4.30p.m. on a business day, on that day; or, in any other case, on the next business day after that day.
(Practice Direction 6A contains examples of how the date of deemed service is calculated.) Service by an alternative method or at an alternative place

6.35.  Rule 6.19 applies to any document in proceedings as it applies to an application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order and reference to the respondent in that rule is modified accordingly. Power to dispense with service

6.36.  The court may dispense with the service of any document which is to be served in proceedings. Certificate of service

6.37.—(1)  Where a rule, practice direction or court order requires a certificate of service, the certificate must state the details set out in the following table—

Method of serviceDetails to be certified
Personal service.Date and time of personal service and method of identifying the person served.
First class post, document exchange or other service which provides for delivery on the next business day.Date of posting, leaving with, delivering to or collection by the relevant service provider.
Delivery of document to or leaving it at a permitted place.Date and time when the document was delivered to or left at the permitted place.
Fax.Date and time of completion of transmission.
Other electronic methodDate and time of sending the email or other electronic transmission.
Alternative method or place permitted by courtAs required by the court.


(2)  An applicant who is required to file a certificate of service of an application form must do so at or before the earlier of—
(a) the first directions appointment in; or
(b) the hearing of, the proceedings unless a rule or practice direction provides otherwise. (Rule 17.2 requires a certificate of service to contain a statement of truth.) Notification of outcome of service by the court
6.38.  Where—

(a) a document to be served by a court officer is served by post or other service which provides for delivery on the next working day; and
(b) the document is returned to the court, the court officer will send notification to the party who requested service that the document has been returned. Notification of non-service by bailiff
6.39.  Where—

(a) the bailiff is to serve a document; and
(b) the bailiff is unable to serve it, the court officer must send notification to the party who requested service.

CHAPTER 4
SERVICE OUT OF THE JURISDICTION



6.40.—(1)  This Chapter contains rules about—

(a) service of application forms and other documents out of the jurisdiction; and
(b) the procedure for service. (“Jurisdiction” is defined in rule 2.3.)
(2)  In this Chapter— “application form” includes an application notice; “Commonwealth State” means a State listed in Schedule 3 to the British Nationality Act 1981(44 ) ; and “the Hague Convention” means the Convention on the service abroad of judicial and extra-judicial documents in civil or commercial matters signed at the Hague on November 15, 1965. Permission to serve not required
6.41.  Any document to be served for the purposes of these rules may be served out of the jurisdiction without the permission of the court. Period for acknowledging service or responding to application where application is served out of the jurisdiction

6.42.—(1)  This rule applies where, under these rules, a party is required to file—

(a) an acknowledgment of service; or
(b) an answer to an application, and sets out the time period for doing so where the application is served out of the jurisdiction.
(2)  Where the applicant serves an application on a respondent in—
(a) Scotland or Northern Ireland; or
(b) a Member State or Hague Convention country within Europe, the period for filing an acknowledgment of service or an answer to an application is 21 days after service of the application.
(3)  Where the applicant serves an application on a respondent in a Hague Convention country outside Europe, the period for filing an acknowledgment of service or an answer to an application is 31 days after service of the application.
(4)  Where the applicant serves an application on a respondent in a country not referred to in paragraphs (2) and (3) , the period for filing an acknowledgment of service or an answer to an application is set out in Practice Direction 6B. Method of service – general provisions
6.43.—(1)  This rule contains general provisions about the method of service of an application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order, or other document, on a party out of the jurisdiction. Where service is to be effected on a party in Scotland or Northern Ireland

(2)  Where a party serves an application form or other document on a party in Scotland or Northern Ireland, it must be served by a method permitted by Chapter 2 (and references to “jurisdiction” in that Chapter are modified accordingly) or Chapter 3 of this Part and rule 6.26(5) applies. Where service is to be effected on a respondent out of the United Kingdom
(3)  Where the applicant wishes to serve an application form, or other document, on a respondent out of the United Kingdom, it may be served by any method—
(a) provided for by—
(i) rule 6.44 (service in accordance with the Service Regulation) ;
(ii) rule 6.45 (service through foreign governments, judicial authorities and British Consular authorities) ; or
(b) permitted by the law of the country in which it is to be served.
(4)  Nothing in paragraph (3) or in any court order authorises or requires any person to do anything which is contrary to the law of the country where the application form, or other document, is to be served. Service in accordance with the Service Regulation
6.44.—(1)  This rule applies where the applicant wishes to serve the application form, or other document, in accordance with the Service Regulation.

(2)  The applicant must file—
(a) the application form or other document;
(b) any translation; and
(c) any other documents required by the Service Regulation.
(3)  When the applicant files the documents referred to in paragraph (2) , the court officer will—
(a) seal(GL) , or otherwise authenticate with the stamp of the court, the copy of the application form; and
(b) forward the documents to the Senior Master of the Queen’s Bench Division. (The Service Regulation is annexed to Practice Direction 6B.) (Article 20(1) of the Service Regulation provides that the Regulation prevails over other provisions contained in any other agreement or arrangement concluded by Member States.) Service through foreign governments, judicial authorities and British Consular authorities
6.45.—(1)  Where the applicant wishes to serve an application form, or other document, on a respondent in any country which is a party to the Hague Convention, it may be served—

(a) through the authority designated under the Hague Convention in respect of that country; or
(b) if the law of that country permits—
(i) through the judicial authorities of that country; or
(ii) through a British Consular authority in that country.
(2)  Where the applicant wishes to serve an application form, or other document, on a respondent in any country which is not a party to the Hague Convention, it may be served, if the law of that country so permits—
(a) through the government of that country, where that government is willing to serve it; or
(b) through a British Consular authority in that country.
(3)  Where the applicant wishes to serve an application form, or other document, in—
(a) any Commonwealth State which is not a party to the Hague Convention;
(b) the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands; or
(c) any British Overseas Territory, the methods of service permitted by paragraphs (1) (b) and (2) are not available and the applicant or the applicant’s agent must effect service on a respondent in accordance with rule 6.43 unless Practice Direction 6B provides otherwise.
(4)  This rule does not apply where service is to be effected in accordance with the Service Regulation. (A list of British overseas territories is reproduced in Practice Direction 6B.) Procedure where service is to be through foreign governments, judicial authorities and British Consular authorities
6.46.—(1)  This rule applies where the applicant wishes to serve an application form, or other document, under rule 6.45(1) or (2).

(2)  Where this rule applies, the applicant must file—
(a) a request for service of the application form, or other document, by specifying one or more of the methods in rule 6.45(1) or (2) ;
(b) a copy of the application form or other document;
(c) any other documents or copies of documents required by Practice Direction 6B; and
(d) any translation required under rule 6.47.
(3)  When the applicant files the documents specified in paragraph (2) , the court officer will—
(a) seal(GL) , or otherwise authenticate with the stamp of the court, the copy of the application form or other document; and
(b) forward the documents to the Senior Master of the Queen’s Bench Division.
(4)  The Senior Master will send documents forwarded under this rule—
(a) where the application form, or other document, is being served through the authority designated under the Hague Convention, to that authority; or
(b) in any other case, to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with a request that it arranges for the application form or other document to be served.
(5)  An official certificate which—
(a) states that the method requested under paragraph (2) (a) has been performed and the date of such performance;
(b) states, where more than one method is requested under paragraph (2) (a) , which method was used; and
(c) is made by—
(i) a British Consular authority in the country where the method requested under paragraph (2) (a) was performed;
(ii) the government or judicial authorities in that country; or
(iii) the authority designated in respect of that country under the Hague Convention, is evidence of the facts stated in the certificate.
(6)  A document purporting to be an official certificate under paragraph (5) is to be treated as such a certificate, unless it is proved not to be. Translation of application form or other document
6.47.—(1)  Except where paragraphs (4) and (5) apply, every copy of the application form, or other document, filed under rule 6.45 (service through foreign governments, judicial authorities and British Consular authorities) must be accompanied by a translation of the application form or other document.

(2)  The translation must be—
(a) in the official language of the country in which it is to be served; or
(b) if there is more than one official language of that country, in any official language which is appropriate to the place in the country where the application form or other document is to be served.
(3)  Every translation filed under this rule must be accompanied by a statement by the person making it that it is a correct translation, and the statement must include that person’s name, address and qualifications for making the translation.
(4)  The applicant is not required to file a translation of the application form, or other document, filed under rule 6.45 where it is to be served in a country of which English is an official language.
(5)  The applicant is not required to file a translation of the application form or other document filed under rule 6.45 where—
(a) the person on whom the document is to be served is able to read and understand English; and
(b) service of the document is to be effected directly on that person. (This rule does not apply to service in accordance with the Service Regulation which contains its own provisions about the translation of documents.) Undertaking to be responsible for expenses of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
6.48.  Every request for service filed under rule 6.46 (procedure where service is to be through foreign governments, judicial authorities etc.) must contain an undertaking by the person making the request—

(a) to be responsible for all expenses incurred by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or foreign judicial authority; and
(b) to pay those expenses to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or foreign judicial authority on being informed of the amount.

PART 7
PROCEDURE FOR APPLICATIONS IN MATRIMONIAL AND CIVIL PARTNERSHIP PROCEEDINGS



CHAPTER 1
APPLICATION AND INTERPRETATION



7.1.—(1)  The rules in this Part apply to matrimonial and civil partnership proceedings.

(2)  The rules in this Part do not apply to magistrates’ courts.
(3)  In this Part— “defended case” means matrimonial proceedings or civil partnership proceedings in which— (a) an answer has been filed opposing the grant of a matrimonial or civil partnership order on the application, and has not been struck out; or (b) the respondent has filed an application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order in accordance with rule 7.14 and neither party’s application has been disposed of; or (c) rule 7.12(11) applies, notice has been given of intention to rebut and that notice has not been withdrawn, and in which no matrimonial or civil partnership order has been made; and “undefended case” means matrimonial proceedings or civil partnership proceedings other than a defended case.
(4)  In this Part—
(a) a reference to a conditional order is a reference to a civil partnership order (other than a separation order) which has not been made final; and
(b) a reference to a final order is a reference to a conditional order which has been made final. District Registries
7.2.  A reference in this Part to a registry for a place at which sittings of the High Court in matrimonial or civil partnership proceedings are authorised is a reference—

(a) to the district registry for that place;
(b) where the place has no district registry, such district registry as the Lord Chancellor may designate for the purpose; or
(c) if the place is not situated within the district of any district registry, the principal registry. Principal Registry
7.3.—(1)  A provision of this Part which refers to—

(a) proceedings being started or heard in a divorce county court or a civil partnership proceedings county court; or
(b) the transfer of proceedings to or from such a court, includes a reference to the principal registry when treated as such a court.
(2)  Proceedings to which this Part applies which were started in the principal registry or have been transferred to it as if it were a county court are treated as pending—
(a) if the proceedings are matrimonial proceedings, in a divorce county court; and
(b) if the proceedings are civil partnership proceedings, in a civil partnership proceedings county court. References to respondents
7.4.—(1)  Where a respondent makes an application for a matrimonial order or a civil partnership order, unless the context otherwise requires, the rules in this Part shall apply with necessary modifications as if the reference to a respondent is a reference to the applicant in the other party’s application for a matrimonial order or a civil partnership order.

(2)  Where a respondent makes an application for a matrimonial order, unless the context otherwise requires, the rules in this Part shall apply with necessary modifications as if the reference to a co-respondent is a reference to a party cited in the respondent’s application for a matrimonial order.

CHAPTER 2
RULES ABOUT STARTING AND RESPONDING TO PROCEEDINGS



7.5.—(1)  Matrimonial proceedings may be started in any divorce county court.

(2)  Civil partnership proceedings may be started in any civil partnership proceedings county court. Statement of reconciliation
7.6.  Where the applicant is legally represented, the legal representative must, unless the court directs otherwise, complete and file with the application a statement in the form for this purpose referred to in Practice Direction 5A, certifying whether the legal representative has discussed with the applicant the possibility of a reconciliation and given the applicant the names and addresses of persons qualified to help effect a reconciliation. Limitation on applications in respect of same marriage or civil partnership

7.7.—(1)  Subject to paragraph (2) , a person may not make more than one application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order in respect of the same marriage or civil partnership unless—

(a) the first application has been dismissed or finally determined; or
(b) the court gives permission.
(2)  Where a person—
(a) has, within one year of the date of the marriage or civil partnership, made an application for, as the case may be, a decree of judicial separation or an order for separation; and
(b) then, after that one-year period has passed, wishes to apply for a decree of divorce or a dissolution order on the same facts as those mentioned in the first application, that person does not need the court’s permission to make the application referred to in sub-paragraph (b). Service of application
7.8.—(1)  After an application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order has been issued by the court, a copy of it must be served on the respondent and on any co-respondent. (Rule 6.4 provides for who may serve an application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order.)

(2)  When the application is served on a respondent it must be accompanied by—
(a) a form for acknowledging service;
(b) a notice of proceedings; and
(c) where applicable, a copy of the statement of arrangements for children. Withdrawal of application before service
7.9.  An application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order may be withdrawn at any time before it has been served by giving notice in writing to the court where the proceedings were started. Who the parties are

7.10.—(1)  The parties to matrimonial proceedings or civil partnership proceedings are—

(a) the parties to the marriage or civil partnership concerned; and
(b) any other person who is to be a party in accordance with a provision of the rules in this Part.
(2)  Subject to paragraph (3) , where an application for a matrimonial order or an answer to such an application alleges that the other party to the marriage has committed adultery with a named person, that named person is to be the co-respondent.
(3)  The named person referred to in paragraph (2) is not to be a co-respondent where—
(a) the court so directs;
(b) that person has died; or
(c) unless the court directs otherwise—
(i) that person is under 16 years of age; or
(ii) the other party to the marriage is alleged in the application or answer to have committed rape on the named person.
(4)  Where an application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order or an answer alleges that the other party to the marriage or civil partnership has had an improper association with a named person, the court may direct that the named person is to be a party to the application, unless the named person has died.
(5)  An application for directions under paragraph (3) (a) or (c) may be made without notice if the acknowledgment of service indicates that no party intends to defend the case. Nullity: Interim and full gender recognition certificates
7.11.—(1)  Where the application is for—

(a) nullity of marriage under section 12(g) of, or paragraph 11(1) (e) of Schedule 1 to, the 1973 Act(45 ) ; or
(b) an order of nullity of civil partnership under section 50(1) (d) of the 2004 Act, the court officer must send to the Secretary of State a notice in writing that the application has been made.
(2)  Where a copy of an interim gender recognition certificate has been filed with the application, that certificate must be attached to the notice.
(3)  Where no copy of an interim gender recognition certificate has been filed the notice must also state—
(a) in matrimonial proceedings—
(i) the names of the parties to the marriage and the date and place of the marriage, and
(ii) the last address at which the parties to the marriage lived together as husband and wife;
(b) in civil partnership proceedings—
(i) the names of the parties to the civil partnership and the date on, and the place at which, the civil partnership was formed, and
(ii) the last address at which the parties to the civil partnership lived together as civil partners of each other; and
(c) in either case, such further particulars as the court officer considers appropriate.
(4)  Where—
(a) the application is for a decree of nullity of marriage under section 12(h) of the 1973 Act(46 ) or for an order of nullity of civil partnership under section 50(1) (e) of the 2004 Act; and
(b) a full gender recognition certificate has been issued to the respondent, the applicant must file a copy of that full certificate with the application unless the court, on an application made without notice, directs otherwise. What the respondent and co-respondent should do on receiving the application
7.12.—(1)  The respondent, and any co-respondent, must file an acknowledgment of service within 7 days beginning with the date on which the application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order was served.

(2)  This rule is subject to rule 6.42 (which specifies how the period for filing an acknowledgment of service is calculated where the application is served out of the jurisdiction).
(3)  The acknowledgment of service must—
(a) subject to paragraph (4) , be signed by the respondent or the respondent’s legal representative or, as the case may be, the co respondent or the co respondent’s legal representative;
(b) include the respondent’s or, as the case may be, the co respondent’s address for service; and
(c) where it is filed by the respondent, indicate whether or not the respondent intends to defend the case.
(4)  Where paragraph (5) or (6) applies, the respondent must sign the acknowledgment of service personally.
(5)  This paragraph applies where—
(a) the application for a matrimonial order alleges that the respondent has committed adultery; and
(b) the respondent admits the adultery.
(6)  This paragraph applies where—
(a) the application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order alleges that the parties to the marriage or civil partnership concerned have been separated for more than 2 years; and
(b) the respondent consents to the making of the matrimonial or civil partnership order.
(7)  Where the respondent does not agree with the proposals set out in the applicant’s statement of arrangements for children, the respondent may file a statement of arrangements for children under section 41(1) of the 1973(47 ) Act or section 63(1) of the 2004 Act.
(8)  A respondent who wishes to defend the case must file and serve an answer within 21 days beginning with the date by which the acknowledgment of service is required to be filed.
(9)  An answer is not required where the respondent does not object to the making of the matrimonial or civil partnership order but objects to paying the costs of the application or to the applicant’s statement of arrangements for children.
(10)  A respondent may file an answer even if the intention to do so was not indicated in the acknowledgment of service.
(11)  Where the application is for nullity of marriage under section 12(d) of the 1973 Act or for nullity of civil partnership under section 50(1) (b) of the 2004 Act and the respondent files an answer containing no more than a simple denial of the facts stated in the application, the respondent must, if intending to rebut the matters stated in the application, give notice to the court of that intention when filing the answer.
(12)  A respondent to an application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order alleging 2 years’ separation and the respondent’s consent may—
(a) indicate consent to the making of the matrimonial or civil partnership order in writing at any time after service of the application, whether in the acknowledgment of service or otherwise;
(b) indicate lack of consent to the making of that order, or withdraw any such consent already given, by giving notice to the court.
(13)  Where a respondent gives a notice under paragraph (12) (b) and no other relevant fact is alleged, the proceedings must be stayed(GL) , and notice of the stay(GL) given to the parties by the court officer.
(14)  In this rule, a “relevant fact” is—
(a) in matrimonial proceedings, one of the facts mentioned in section (1) (2) of the 1973 Act; and
(b) in civil partnership proceedings, one of the facts mentioned in section 44(5) of the 2004 Act. (The form of the answer is referred to in Practice Direction 5A.) Amendments to the application and the answer
7.13.—(1)  Unless paragraph (2) applies—

(a) a party making an application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order may amend the application at any time before an answer to it has been filed;
(b) a party who has filed an answer may amend the answer.
(2)  No amendment to an application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order or to an answer may be made under paragraph (1) if an application under rule 7.19(1) has been made in relation to the marriage or civil partnership concerned.
(3)  Where an amendment is made under paragraph (1) —
(a) if the document amended is the application—
(i) it must be served in accordance with rule 7.8 (service of application) ; and
(ii) rule 7.12 (what the respondent and co respondent should do) applies;
(b) rule 7.10 (parties) applies; and
(c) any person who becomes a co-respondent to the proceedings in accordance with rule 7.10 as a consequence of such an amendment must be served with the documents required to be served on a co-respondent with an application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order.
(4)  Paragraphs (1) and (2) do not apply if the amendment is made—
(a) with the written consent of all the other parties; or
(b) with the permission of the court.
(5)  Where the court gives permission for a party to amend that party’s application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order or answer it may give directions as to—
(a) the service of the amended application or answer and any accompanying documents;
(b) the joining of any additional parties in accordance with rule 7.10; and
(c) the extent to which rule 7.12 must be complied with in respect of any amended application.
(6)  The court may direct that any person cease to be a party if, in consequence of any amendment made under this rule, that person—
(a) no longer falls within rule 7.10(2) or(4) ; or
(b) falls within rule 7.10(4) but it is no longer desirable for that person to be a party to the proceedings. How the respondent can make an application
7.14.—(1)  A respondent who wishes to make an application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order must make the application for that order within 21 days beginning with the date by which the respondent’s acknowledgment of service is required to be filed, unless the court gives permission to make the application after that time has passed.

(2)  Where the respondent makes an application under this rule, that application is to be treated as an application in the same proceedings for the purposes of this Part. Further information about the contents of the application and the answer
7.15.—(1)  The court may at any time order a party—

(a) to clarify any matter which is in dispute in the proceedings; or
(b) to give additional information in relation to any such matter, whether or not the matter is contained or referred to in the application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order or in the answer.
(2)  Paragraph (1) is subject to any rule of law to the contrary.
(3)  Where the court makes an order under paragraph (1) , the party against whom it is made must—
(a) file the reply to the order made under paragraph (1) ; and
(b) serve a copy of it on each of the other parties, within the time specified by the court.
(4)  The court may direct that information provided by a party to another party (whether given voluntarily or following an order made under paragraph (1) ) must not be used for any purpose except for the proceedings in which it is given.

CHAPTER 3
HOW THE COURT DETERMINES MATRIMONIAL AND CIVIL PARTNERSHIP PROCEEDINGS



7.16.—(1)  The general rule is that a hearing to which this Part applies is to be in public.

(2)  The requirement for a hearing to be in public does not require the court to make special arrangements for accommodating members of the public.
(3)  A hearing, or any part of it, may be in private if—
(a) publicity would defeat the object of the hearing;
(b) it involves matters relating to national security;
(c) it involves confidential information (including information relating to personal financial matters ) and publicity would damage that confidentiality;
(d) a private hearing is necessary to protect the interests of any child or protected party;
(e) it is a hearing of an application made without notice and it would be unjust to any respondent for there to be a public hearing; or
(f) the court considers this to be necessary, in the interests of justice.
(4)  A hearing of an application for rescission of an order by consent under rule 7.28 is, unless the court directs otherwise, to be in private.
(5)  The court may order that the identity of any party or witness must not be disclosed if it considers non-disclosure necessary in order to protect the interests of that party or witness. Exercise of jurisdiction in cases heard at place other than the court in which the case is proceeding
7.17.  Where a defended case is to be heard at a place other than the court in which it is proceeding, a judge of that other court may exercise all the powers that would be exercisable by a judge of the court in which the case is proceeding. Notice of hearing

7.18.  The court officer will give notice to the parties—

(a) of the date, time and place of every hearing which is to take place in a case to which they are a party; and
(b) in the case of a hearing following a direction under rule7.20(2) (a) , of the fact that, unless the person wishes or the court requires, the person need not attend. Applications for a decree nisi or a conditional order
7.19.—(1)  An application may be made to the court for it to consider the making of a decree nisi, a conditional order, a decree of judicial separation or a separation order in the proceedings—

(a) at any time after the time for filing the acknowledgment of service has expired, provided that no party has filed an acknowledgment of service indicating an intention to defend the case; and
(b) in any other case, at any time after the time for filing an answer to every application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order made in the proceedings has expired.
(2)  An application under paragraph (1) may be made—
(a) in a case within paragraph (1) (a) , by the applicant; and
(b) in any other case, by either party to the marriage or civil partnership in question.
(3)  An application under this rule must, if the information which was required to be provided by the application form is no longer correct, be accompanied by a statement setting out particulars of the change.
(4)  If neither party has filed an answer opposing the making of a decree nisi, a conditional order, a decree of judicial separation or a separation order on the other’s application, then an application under this rule must be accompanied by an affidavit—
(a) stating whether there have been any changes in the information given in the application or in any statement of arrangements for children;
(b) confirming that, subject to any changes stated, the contents of the application and any statement of arrangements for children are true; and
(c) where the acknowledgment of service has been signed by the other party, confirming that party’s signature on the acknowledgment of service. What the court will do on an application for a decree nisi, a conditional order, a decree of judicial separation or a separation order
7.20.—(1)  This rule applies where an application is made under rule 7.19.

(2)  If at the relevant time the case is an undefended case, the court must—
(a) if satisfied that the applicant is entitled to—
(i) in matrimonial proceedings, a decree nisi or a decree of judicial separation (as the case may be) ; or
(ii) in civil partnership proceedings, a conditional order or a separation order (as the case may be) , so certify and direct that the application be listed before a district judge for the making of the decree or order at the next available date;
(b) if not so satisfied, direct—
(i) that any party to the proceedings provide such further information, or take such other steps, as the court may specify; or
(ii) that the case be listed for a case management hearing.
(3)  If the applicant has applied for costs, the court may, on making a direction under paragraph (2) (a) —
(a) if satisfied that the applicant is entitled to an order for costs, so certify; or
(b) if not so satisfied, make no direction about costs.
(4)  If at the relevant time the case is a defended case, the court must direct that the case be listed for a case management hearing.
(5)  The court may, when giving a direction under paragraph (2) (b) , direct that the further information provided be verified by an affidavit.
(6)  The court must not give directions under this rule unless at the relevant time it is satisfied—
(a) that a copy of each application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order or answer (including any amended application or answer) has been properly served on each party on whom it is required to be served; and
(b) that —
(i) in matrimonial proceedings, the application for a decree nisi or a decree of judicial separation; or
(ii) in civil partnership proceedings, the application for a conditional order or separation order,
was made at a time permitted by rule 7.19(1).
(7)  In this rule, “the relevant time” means the time at which the court is considering an application made under rule 7.19(1). Further provisions about costs
7.21.—(1)  Subject to paragraph (2) , any party to matrimonial or civil partnership proceedings may be heard on any question as to costs at the hearing of the proceedings.

(2)  In the case of a hearing following a direction under rule 7.20(2) (a) , a party will not be heard unless that party has, not less than 2 days before the hearing, served on every other party written notice of that party’s intention to attend the hearing and apply for, or oppose the making of, an order for costs. What the court must do for the case management hearing
7.22.—(1)  This rule applies to a case in which the court has directed a case management hearing under rule 7.20.

(2)  Where a hearing has been directed under rule 7.20(4) the court must—
(a) decide where the hearing in the case should take place;
(b) set a timetable for the filing and service of evidence;
(c) make such order for the disclosure and inspection of documents as it considers appropriate; and
(d) give directions as to the conduct of the final hearing and the attendance of witnesses. (Rule 21.1 explains what is meant by disclosure and inspection.)
(3)  Where a hearing has been directed under rule 7.20(2) (b) (ii) , the court must—
(a) consider what further evidence is required properly to dispose of the proceedings and give directions about the filing and service of such evidence;
(b) consider whether any further information is required about the arrangements for the children of the family and give directions about the filing and service of such information;
(c) give directions for the further conduct of the proceedings, including—
(i) giving a direction that on compliance with any directions under sub-paragraph (a) or (b) a further application may be made under rule 7.19(1) for the proceedings to be dealt with under rule 7.20(2) (a) ; or
(ii) giving a direction that the case is not suitable for determination under that rule.
(4)  Where the court gives a direction under paragraph (3) (c) (ii) , it may also give directions under paragraph (2) or direct that the case be listed for a further hearing at which such directions will be given.
(5)  Any party to proceedings which are not being dealt with under rule 7.20(2) (a) may apply to the court for further directions at any time. (Part 3 sets out the court’s powers to encourage the parties to use alternative dispute resolution and Part 4 sets out the court’s general case management powers.) Where proceedings under this Part may be heard
7.23.  A case, other than one dealt with under rule 7.20(2) (a) , may be heard, where it is proceeding in the court set out in column 1 of the following table—

(a) in matrimonial proceedings, at the place referred to in column 2;
(b) in civil partnership proceedings, at the place referred to in column 3.
Matrimonial ProceedingsCivil Partnership Proceedings
A county court.Any divorce county court designated as a court of trial.Any civil partnership proceedings county court designated as a court of trial.
The principal registry when proceedings are treated as pending in a county court.The Royal Courts of Justice.The Royal Courts of Justice.
The High Court (including the principal registry other than when proceedings are treated as pending in a county court.).a) The Royal Courts of Justice. b) Any court at which sittings of the High Court in matrimonial proceedings are authorised. a) The Royal Courts of Justice. b) Any court at which sittings of the High Court in civil partnership proceedings are authorised.
The circumstances in which proceedings may be transferred between courts

7.24.—(1)  A court may transfer the hearing of a case which is due to be heard in one court to another court of the same type at which hearings of those proceedings are permitted under rule7.23.

(2)  A court in which matrimonial or civil partnership proceedings are pending may order them, or an application made in the course of them—
(a) if the proceedings are pending in the High Court, to be transferred from the registry in which they are pending to another district registry;
(b) if the proceedings are matrimonial proceedings pending in a divorce county court, to be transferred from that county court to another divorce county court; and
(c) if the proceedings are civil partnership proceedings pending in a civil partnership proceedings county court, to be transferred from that county court to another civil partnership proceedings county court.
(3)  An order transferring the hearing of an application must not be made under paragraph (2) unless it would be more convenient than transferring the proceedings themselves.
(4)  No transfer may be made under this rule or under section 38 or 39 of the 1984 Act(48 ) (transfers between High Court and a county court) unless—
(a) the parties consent to the transfer;
(b) the court has held a hearing to determine whether a transfer should be ordered; or
(c) the court has transferred a case without a hearing where neither party has, within 14 days of being notified in writing of the court’s intention to make such an order, requested a hearing to determine whether a transfer should be ordered.
(5)  Proceedings—
(a) which are transferred from the High Court to a divorce county court or a civil partnership proceedings county court and are to continue after the transfer in the principal registry are to be treated as pending in a divorce or civil partnership proceedings county court (as the case may be) ; and
(b) which are transferred from a divorce county court or a civil partnership proceedings county court to the High Court and are to continue after the transfer in the principal registry are no longer to be treated as pending in a divorce or civil partnership proceedings county court (as the case may be).
(6)  Proceedings transferred from a divorce county court or a civil partnership proceedings county court to the High Court are to proceed in the registry nearest to the court from which they were transferred unless—
(a) the order transferring the proceedings directs otherwise; or
(b) the court subsequently orders. The procedure for complying with section 41 of 1973 Act or section 63 of 2004 Act
7.25.—(1)  Before the court—

(a) gives a direction under rule 7.20(2) (a) ; or
(b) makes—
(i) in matrimonial proceedings, a decree nisi or decree of judicial separation; or
(ii) in civil partnership proceedings, a conditional order or a separation order, it must consider the matters set out in paragraph (2).
(2)  The matters referred to in paragraph (1) are—
(a) whether there are any children of the family to whom section 41(1) of the 1973 Act or section 63(1) of the 2004 Act (as the case may be) applies; and
(b) if there are such children, and no application is pending in relation to them under Part 1 or 2 of the 1989 Act, the matters set out in section 41(1) (b) of the 1973 Act or in section 63(1) (b) of the 2004 Act (as the case may be).
(3)  Where the court is satisfied that—
(a) there are no children of the family to whom—
(i) in matrimonial proceedings, section 41 of the 1973 Act applies; and
(ii) in civil partnership proceedings, section 63 of the 2004 Act applies; or
(b) there are such children but the court need not exercise its powers under the 1989 Act or its power to give a relevant direction with respect to any of them, it must give a certificate to that effect.
(4)  Where the court does not issue a certificate under paragraph (3) it may direct that—
(a) the parties, or any of them, must file further evidence relating to the arrangements for the children and may direct what specific matters must be dealt with in that evidence;
(b) a welfare report on the children, or any of them, be prepared;
(c) the parties, or any of them, attend a hearing for the court to consider the matter.
(5)  Where the court makes a direction under paragraph (4) or a relevant direction, it must state in writing—
(a) its reasons for doing so; and
(b) in the case of a relevant direction, the exceptional circumstances which make it desirable in the interests of the child that the court should make such a direction.
(6)  Nothing in this rule affects the court’s power to make an order under the 1989 Act or a relevant direction.
(7)  The court officer must send the parties—
(a) a copy of any certificate given under paragraph (3) ;
(b) a copy of any direction made under paragraph (4) ;
(c) a copy of any relevant direction; and
(d) a copy of any statement under paragraph (5).
(8)  In this rule— “parties” means a party to the marriage or civil partnership concerned and any person who appears to the court to have the care of any child of the family; and “relevant direction” means— (a) in matrimonial proceedings, a direction under section 41(2) of the 1973 Act; (b) in civil partnership proceedings, a direction under section 63(2) of the 2004 Act. Medical examinations in proceedings for nullity of marriage
7.26.—(1)  Where the application is for a decree of nullity of marriage on the ground of incapacity to consummate or wilful refusal to do so, the court must determine whether medical examiners should be appointed to examine the parties or either of them.

(2)  The court must only appoint medical examiners under paragraph (1) where it considers that it is necessary for the proper disposal of the case.
(3)  The person to be examined must, in the presence of the medical examiner, sign a statement identifying that person as the party to whom the order for examination applies.
(4)  The medical examiner must certify on the same statement that it was signed in his or her presence by the person who has been examined.
(5)  The person who carries out the examination must prepare a report and file it with the court by the date directed by the court.
(6)  Either party is entitled to see a copy of a report filed under paragraph (5). Stay of proceedings
7.27.—(1)  Where—

(a) the court is considering an application in accordance with rule 7.20 or gives directions under rule7.22;
(b) it appears to the court that there are proceedings continuing in any country outside England and Wales which are in respect of the marriage or civil partnership in question or which are capable of affecting its validity or subsistence; and
(c) the court considers that the question whether the proceedings should be stayed(GL) under paragraph 9 of Schedule 1 to the Domicile and Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1973(49 ) or, for civil partnership proceedings, under rules made under sections 75 and 76 of the Courts Act 2003, the court must give directions for the hearing of that question.
(2)  Where at any time after the making of an application under this Part it appears to the court in matrimonial proceedings that, under Articles 16 to 19 of the Council Regulation, the court does not have jurisdiction to hear the application and is or may be required to stay(GL) the proceedings, the court will—
(a) stay(GL) the proceedings; and
(b) fix a date for a hearing to determine the questions of jurisdiction and whether there should be a further stay(GL) or other order.
(3)  The court must give reasons for its decision under Articles 16 to 19 of the Council Regulation and, where it makes a finding of fact, state such finding of fact.
(4)  An order under Article 17 of the Council Regulation that the court has no jurisdiction over the proceedings will be recorded by the court or the court officer in writing.
(5)  The court may, if all parties agree, deal with any question about the jurisdiction of the court without a hearing.