The Family Court and COVID-19

An article from Family Law has suggested that The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has published a document entitled ‘The Road Ahead’, aimed at establishing a framework for the Family Court in England and Wales by attempting to chart the road ahead over the next six months or more.

In the early weeks of the COVID crisis most contested fact-finding or final welfare hearings were adjourned (unless they could proceed, for example, with minimal oral evidence). It was no doubt hoped by many that normal working would resume relatively soon and the delay in resolving the contested issues would not be great. It now seems sensible to assume that social distancing restrictions will remain in place for many months and that it is unlikely that anything approaching a return to the normal court working environment will be achieved before the end of 2020 or even the spring of 2021.

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