The Ministry of Justice has this week published the long-awaited Family Procedure Rules 2010, which will come into force on 6 April 2011.

The new code provides a single set of rules for proceedings in the magistrates’ court, county court and High Court, along the model of the Civil Procedure Rules.

It comprises nearly 300 pages of Statutory Instrument, which is intended to provide one set of simply expressed rules of court for family proceedings, to replace the disparate body of unconsolidated rules and guidance that have been used in different types of proceedings.

The rules are to be supplemented by practice directions that have yet to be published.

The Courts Service consulted on the policy that framed the new rules in 2006, and the Family Procedure Rule Committee drew up a draft set of rules, practice directions and forms for consultation in 2008/09.

To rules can be found here .