President’s Guidance on use of Short Form Orders

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The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has issued new guidance on the form of orders to be used in family proceedings, to take immediate effect.

Entirely unsurprisingly, following the release of the standard form orders 12 months ago, it has transpired that the production of lengthy court orders on every occasion is taking both lawyers, judges and legal advisers an inordinate amount of time. The orders have also proved impossible for litigants in person to use. Despite agreeing with the “laudable intentions” of the previous President in introducing the standard form orders, given the extreme pressure on the Family Court system at present, the standard form orders are no longer required.

The standard form order will still be required for the first hearing only. Thereafter, the order may take the “old style” short form, to include the following information only:

  1. A record of who attended and their representation;
  2. A recital of the issues determined at the hearing;
  3. A record of any agreement or concession made during the hearing;
  4. A recital of the issues that remain outstanding; and
  5. The text of any orders that were made.

The full text of the President’s Guidance can be downloaded here.