A shelf of books. Separating couples discouraged from court. FPR.

Separating couples discouraged from court as new FPR era begins—New Law Journal

Evie Smyth, Associate in the Russell-Cooke Solicitors, family and children team.
Evie Smyth
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Associate Evie Smyth has been quoted in article by New Law Journal, commenting on the amendments to the Family Procedure Rules (FPR) effective from on 29 April 2024.

The changes encourage the pursuit of non-court dispute resolutions (NCDR), except in cases of 'valid reasons' such as domestic abuse. Judges are authorised to either adjourn family court proceedings to allow parties to explore alternative options or penalise parties that refuse to do so. Whilst Evie acknowledges the need to keep proceedings out of court, she questions to what extent the courts will apply the new rules and whether it’ll mark a shift in the uptake of NCDR.

It remains to be seen to what extent the forthcoming changes to the FPR will herald a change in the uptake of NCDR and how readily the courts will employ the new rules where parties fail to engage in NCDR processes. What is clear is that there has never been a more pressing need for NCDR, at a time when family courts are facing a huge backlog of cases and families are waiting longer and longer for a hearing date. It is hoped that the new rules will guide many families who may have otherwise used the courts by default, to properly consider less adversarial and more efficient ways of resolving their disputes.
Evie Smyth, Associate in the Russell-Cooke Solicitors, family and children team.
Evie Smyth • Associate

The full article is available online at New Law Journal

Evie Smyth is an associate in the family and children team, advising on all areas of family law, including divorce and separation, financial settlements, child arrangements, cohabitation, domestic abuse and pre-nuptial & post-nuptial agreements.

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In the press Family and children amendments to the Family Procedure Rules (FPM) Family Procedure Rules 2024 Family Procedure Rules (FPR) non-court dispute resolutions (NCDR) NCDR family court proceedings New Law Journal Evie Smyth