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Family Lawyers: Changes to the Family Procedure Rules – Update 1 (2021)

We have spotted the following release. The changes largely seem to to reflect the change in practice brought about by the pandemic: allowing for electronic signature, removing the need for certain things to be read aloud in open court and specifically extending the end of some Covid measures from the end of March to the end of October 2021.

The following changes came into force on 15 February 2021

Practice Direction Details:

  • 12D Reflects the decision of the Supreme Court in a case relating to proceedings under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court.
  • 17A Confirms that any document requiring a statement of truth that is not a standard form can bear an electronic signature.
  • 36Q and 36R Changes the expiry date from 31 March 2021 to 31 October 2021, in light of the continuing need for the measures enabled by these Practice Directions in response to the Covid 19 pandemic.

The following change comes into force on 1 March 2021

Practice Direction Details

  • 41B Makes provision for legal representatives of respondents to use the online system for making consent applications for a financial remedy associated with divorce proceedings.

The following change comes into effect on 31 March 2021

Practice Direction Details

  • 10A and 12K Makes permanent the recently piloted removal of requirements to make certain announcements in open court. These amendments will come into force at the point at which the PD36S provisions cease to have effect (31st March 2021).

A full copy of the Practice Direction update may be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/962218/PD_Update_1_of_2021_Feb21.pdf

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