Last week the President of the Family Division Sir Andrew McFarlane announced that the new Financial Remedies Courts (’FRCs’) are now ‘live’ across all areas of England and Wales.
For the benefit of those who don’t know, the term ‘financial remedies’ refers to all family court proceedings relating to financial issues. These primarily consist of proceedings relating to the financial settlement on divorce, but also include other types of proceedings, including claims for financial provision for children.
Note that financial remedies does not include child support maintenance claims, which are dealt with by the Child Maintenance Service.
Until recently, financial remedy applications were all dealt with by the local family court. However, in 2016 it was suggested that a national network of specialist courts be set up to deal with financial remedy cases. A pilot scheme was then set up in 2018, to test the idea.
The pilot has now been successfully completed, and the President says that “the FRCs should henceforth be regarded as an established and permanent part of the Family Court.”
But what does this mean for anyone involved in a financial remedies case?
Well, the big thing is that word ‘specialist’. This means both that FRCs are particularly ‘geared’ to deal with financial remedy cases and, in particular, that the judges dealing with the cases will be specialists in financial remedy work.
This in turn should mean that financial remedy cases should in future be dealt with more efficiently, and with better, more consistent, outcomes. Such consistency should also make it easier for lawyers to advise clients, thereby making it more likely that cases can be settled without having to go to court.
Lastly, it should be noted that there are still two types of family-related financial cases that are not currently dealt with by FRCs. These are trusts of land cases (usually involving property claims following the breakdown of cohabitation) and Inheritance Act cases, where a claim is made against the estate of the deceased, often by a family member.
However, the President has expressed the hope that both of these types of case will, in due course, also be dealt with by FRCs.
Whatever type of financial remedy case you are involved in, you should seek expert legal advice. We can find you an expert lawyer that works with you on our digital platform. For more information, call us on 020 3904 0506, or click here, and fill in the form.
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