Central Family Court

Contact us

Central Family Court:
First Avenue House
42-49 High Holborn

The Operations Manager is:  
Lincoln Pereira

The Family Administration Branch
The branch comprises of various sections which each have their designated work.

Customer Service team

Opening hours – 8.30am to 4.30pm:

We now have a dedicated counter team on the 1st floor which is open from 9.00am until 4.30pm. No ‘without notice’ applications issued after 3.15pm.  

We also have a dedicated phone team to help assist with any enquiries for the sections listed below. The phone lines are open from 9am until 5pm. Please call the phone team on 0207 421 8594.

Section Manager – Siobhan Hewitt
Delivery Manager – Emily Wickens

Divorce Section (PRFD.divorcea@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk). Processes divorce and civil partnership petitions, stop letters (arising from divorce applications), acknowledgments of service, bailiff service, deem / dispense applications, amended / re-service of petitions, filing of answers, directions for trial applications and allocating these to the district judges (and the processing the certificates thereafter), decree nisi listing , decrees absolute. Declarations of parentage, marital status and presumption of death are also processed in this section. This section checks petitions and deals with other enquiries at the public counter and telephone calls.

Section Manager – Bhavina Patel
Delivery Manager – Steve Liddiard

Decree Absolute Search Section and Section C

Email: PRFD.decreeabsolutesearches@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: 020 7421 8594 

The Principal Registry of the Family Division holds a central index of all Decree Absolute granted in England and Wales from 1858 to date. This Section also holds the central index of Final Dissolution Orders. [If applying for the decree absolute within current proceedings refer to ‘Divorce Section.]

Please use form D440 and send this to the Principal Registry or hand it in at our counter. Please note that a fee of £65 is required for every ten year search. All cheques should be payable to 'HMCTS'.   

Section C processes applications for financial orders and non-molestation injunctions, general applications filed within divorce and children proceedings and the issue of Originating applications. Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders (REMO) and enquiries relating to Attachment of Earnings are also processed in Section C. In addition the Section deals with all divorce documents lodged simply for placement on the court file.

Section Manager – David New
Delivery Manager – Steve Liddard

Public Law and Private Law (PRFD.publiclaw@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk)(PRFD.privatelaw@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk)

Public law deals with care cases involving local authorities. Appeals from the Divisional Court are processed here.

Private Law handles all residence, contact and specific issue applications between parents and / or other relatives. Wardship, Child Abduction and Inherent Jurisdiction cases for the High Court are also issued in this Section. Non-molestation injunctions are also processed in this Section provided there is an application regarding the child(ren) of the family filed (otherwise Section C would process). They maintain the register for the Parental Responsibility Agreements.

Public Law Outline (PRFD.caseprogression@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk) deals with cases under the protocol.  

Section Manager – Sue Fleet
Delivery Manager – Steve Liddard

The Adoption Section: handles all aspects of the adoption from issuing to the service of the final orders made by the Judges. (Note: it is considered inappropriate to email the court on adoption issues).

Section Manager – Lisa Warner
Delivery Manager –Steve Liddard

The Court Section’s (PRFD.familycourtorders@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk) main function is to provide administrative support to the Judges and to ensure the courts run smoothly and the production of all court orders made by Judges sitting at the Registry.   

Section Managers: Martha Cullen and Enitan Olakanpo
Delivery Manager: Kim Jones  

The List Office(PRFD.listoffice@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk)

  • Lists all cases before Circuit & District Judges at First Avenue House
  • Responsible for listing of family cases at Gee Street Court House
  • Sets up in-court telephone conference calls (subject to availability)
  • Prepares the daily list. The PRFD Cause List (www.hmcts.gov.uk/cms/list_prfd.htm) for the following working day is available from 4.00pm
  • Processes all requests for transcripts of hearings and judgements that take place at the Registry
  • Enquiries regarding the video conferencing facilities that are available at First Avenue House can also be addressed here.
Circuit & District Judges Listing:
Section Manager
– Lorraine Morichelli
Delivery Manager – Mark Barford

Enquiries that are not specifically case related

If you have a general enquiry which is not related to a specific matter you can e-mail PRFD.Familygeneralenquiries@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk. Please note that this is not an advice line. Please do not make any enquires for the Probate Service to this address as they are not part of the Family Administration Branch. Enquiries will be monitored by our IT Service Manager. This is also the address to use if you have a complaint to make or any other comments you would like to make about our service.  

The Security Office: 0207 947 6983
HM Courts & Tribunals Service


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