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15 APR 2014

Child Arrangements Programme and private law proceedings materials

Journals Manager + Online Editor


Family Law special issue

The final version of the CAP and its accompanying Flowchart have now been published and are available to download below.

The Private Law Working Group (PLWG) was set up by the President of the Family Division in August 2013 under the chairmanship of Mr Justice Cobb. The PLWG was tasked with designing a report to create a more accessible system with a greater emphasis on the pre-proceedings stage and alternative dispute resolution. 

In November 2013, the PWLG submitted to the President of the Family Division the draft Child Arrangements Programme, and supporting materials. These documents were widely circulated to the judiciary and family justice professionals, and were published in December [2013] Fam Law 1594 and 1608.

The Final Report to the President was published in March 2014 at [2014] Fam Law 541.

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, has also issued Practice Direction 12J - Child Arrangements and Contact Order: Domestic Violence and Harm, which incorporates and supersedes the President's Guidance in Relation to Split Hearings as it applies to proceedings for child arrangements orders.

Further Guidance includes: the President's Guidance on Allocation and Gatekeeping for Proceedings under Part II of the Children Act 1989 and its accompanying schedule. The purpose of the Guidance is to ensure that all new private law proceedings are allocated to the appropriate level of judge and, where appropriate to a named case management judge (or case manager in those cases allocated to lay justices) who shall provide continuity for the proceedings in accordance with the President's Guidance on Judicial Continuity and Deployment (Private Law).     

The purpose of the President's Guidance on Continuity and Deployment (Private Law) is to ensure that family proceedings are accorded the appropriate level of priority in their listing and that they are case managed and heard by judges (including lay justices) and legal advisers who provide continuity of the conduct of the proceedings.

Finally, as part of the President's Guidance on the use of Prescribed Documents (Private Law), the President will identify documents that are to be in prescribed form from time to time with the object of ensuring that documents filed by the parties and their lawyersc omply with the content and standards set out in any prescribed form. The identification of prescribed forms is additional to and not in place of the forms whichare referred to in Practice Direction 5A which supports FPR 5.1.

PD 12B - Child Arrangements Programme

Child Arrangements Programme Flowchart

PD 12J - Child Arrangements and Contact Order: Domestic Violence and Harm

President's Guidance on Allocation and Gatekeeping for Proceedings under Part II of the Children Act 1989 (Private Law)

Schedule to the Allocation and Gatekeeping Guidance  (Private Law)

President's Guidance on Continuity and Deployment  (Private Law)

President's Guidance on the use of Prescribed Documents  (Private Law)


For all the information regarding the forthcoming family law reforms, visit our new, fully up-to-date Family Law Reform page with all the latest news, analysis, legislation and cases.     

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