(1) This Part is subject to any provision made by or pursuant to Part 41 (proceeding by electronic means).



(1) Subject to rule 14.10(2) and (3), the forms referred to in a practice direction, shall be used in the cases to which they apply.

(2) A form may be varied by the court or a party if the variation is required by the circumstances of a particular case.

(3) A form must not be varied so as to leave out any information or guidance which the form gives to the recipient.

(4) Where these rules require a form to be sent by the court or by a party for another party to use, it must be sent without any variation except such as is required by the circumstances of the particular case.

(5) Omitted

(6) Nothing in this rule requires a party to reveal any particulars referred to in rule 29.1(1) if notice of those particulars is given to the court in accordance with rule 29.1(2).

Documents to be attached to a form


Subject to any rule or practice direction, unless the court directs otherwise, a form must have attached to it any documents which, in the form, are –

(a) stated to be required; or

(b) referred to.

Proceedings are started by issue of application form


(1) Proceedings are started when a court officer issues an application at the request of the applicant.

(2) An application is issued on the date entered in the application form by the court officer.

(3) Where the application is made under Article 10 of the 2007 Hague Convention, the applicant is deemed to have requested the issue of the application by virtue of making the application for establishment or modification of a maintenance decision forwarded on his or her behalf by the Lord Chancellor.

[The Lord Chancellor is the Central Authority for England and Wales in relation to the 2007 Hague Convention]

(Rule 29.7 requires an application form to be authenticated with the stamp of the court when it is issued)

Where to start proceedings


(1) Where both the family court and the High Court have jurisdiction to deal with a matter, the proceedings relating to that matter must be started in the family court.

(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply where –

(a) proceedings relating to the same parties are already being heard in the High Court;

(b) any rule, other enactment or Practice Direction provides otherwise; or

(c) the court otherwise directs

Filing documents with and sending documents to the court by e-mail


(1) A practice direction may make provision for documents to be filed with or sent
to the court by e-mail.

(2) Any such practice direction may—

(a) provide that only particular categories of documents may be filed with or sent to the court by such means;

(b) provide that particular provisions only apply in specified courts or court offices; and

(c) specify the requirements that must be fulfilled for any document filed with or sent to the court by such means.

Documents in the Welsh language


(1) Any document placed before the court in family proceedings in or having a connection with Wales may be in the English or Welsh language.

(2) It is the responsibility of any party if acting in person or of that party’s legal representative to inform the court as soon as practicable if documents in the Welsh language will or may be placed before the court, so that appropriate arrangements can be made.”

Communications with the court


(1) Any communication between a party to proceedings and the court must be disclosed to, and if in writing (whether in paper or electronic format) copied to, the other party or parties or their representatives.

(2) Paragraph (1) applies to any communication in which any representation is made to the court on a matter of substance or procedure but does not apply to communications that are purely routine, uncontentious and administrative.

(3) A party is not required under paragraph (1) to disclose or copy a communication if there is a compelling reason for not doing so, and provided that any reason is clearly stated in the communication.

(4) A written communication required under paragraph (1) to be copied to the other party or parties, or their representatives, must state on its face that it is being copied to that person or those persons, stating their identity and capacity.

(5) Unless the court directs otherwise, a written communication which does not comply with paragraph (4) will be returned to the sender without being considered by the court, with a brief explanation of why it is being returned.

(6) In addition to returning a communication under paragraph (5), where a party fails to comply with paragraph (1) the court may, subject to hearing the parties, exercise its case management powers under Part 4.

(7) Paragraph (1) does not apply to communications authorised by a rule or practice direction to be sent to the court without at the same time being provided to the other party or parties or their representatives.

Provision in relation to bulk scanning of documents


(1) A practice direction may make provision for the bulk scanning of documents that are to be filed with, or otherwise sent to, the court.

(2) The practice direction may modify or disapply any provision of these rules.

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1. O.J. No L 7, 10.1.2009,p.1-79. Return to footnote 1
Ministry of Justice


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