27 March 2020

What is happening about financial remedy proceedings in the Family Court in light of Covid-19?

Covid-19 has meant that the Family Justice system in this Country has had to adapt. Physical court hearings are not going ahead at the moment. Instead, the Court is moving to telephone and video hearings.

As someone who has worked in the Family Justice system for many years, I can safely say this move to remote hearings is unprecedented.

Legal conferencing systems have understandably struggled to keep up with demand. As a consequence, in the past week, financial remedy hearings have been removed from the list of forthcoming cases so the Court can catch up with requests for telephone hearings.

If you are due to attend an FDR hearing over the coming weeks, and you are worried about the hearing being adjourned to a later date, you can read more about your options here.

How possible is it for an all-day Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) hearing to take place by telephone?

Those who have attended FDR hearings will know that it is almost impossible to predict how the hearing might unfold. This is because the hearing is entirely focused on negotiation and inter-party conferences throughout the day. It could mean that the Courts will need to publish an agenda, with breaks for parties to take instructions, so that all involved parties are aware of how the day might unfold. Whichever way the Courts intend on dealing with these hearings, it will certainly mean a great deal of careful planning.

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Carolyn Green, Partner

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