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Form A Application

Is the application suitable to be dealt with under the Fast Track Procedure?

What type of cases does the Fast track procedure apply to?

The types of cases to which the fast track procedure applies are set out in rule 9.9B of the Family Procedure Rules 2010. This rule came into force on 4 June 2018.

Basically, the type of cases covered relate primarily to maintenance. They include:

  • Applications where the only remedy sought is a periodical payments (maintenance) order, including child maintenance applications;

  • Applications relating to the recognition and enforcement of foreign maintenance orders; and

  • Applications to vary maintenance orders, save for cases in which the applicant seeks to substitute the order with a ‘capital’ order.


What exactly is the Fast track procedure  procedure?

The main differences from the standard track procedure are:

  • Cases allocated to the fast track will be listed 6-10 weeks in advance (as opposed to the standard 12-16 weeks)

  • Financial Statements must be exchanged by no later than 21 days after the date of issue of the application (as opposed to not less than 14 days before the first appointment hearing in the standard track)

  • Financial statements for fast track cases should be filed on Form E1 (rather than the standard Form E)

  • The process at the fast track first hearing will differ from the process at a standard track first appointment hearing


What the court should do at the first hearing

Rule 9.20 sets out what the court should do at the first hearing. Rule 9.20(1) states that if it is able to determine the application at that hearing, the court must do so, unless it considers that there are good reasons not to do so. If it does not determine the application, the court may use the hearing, or part of it, as a Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) appointment. Otherwise, rule 9.20 gives the court the usual powers to make appropriate directions for the disposal of the case, including referring the application to a FDR appointment. If the court decides that a referral to a FDR appointment is not appropriate it must fix another hearing, whether for further directions, for the making of an interim order, or for a final hearing.


Court may order that a fast track application must proceed under the standard procedure

At any stage in the proceedings the court may order that an application proceeding under the fast-track procedure must proceed under the standard procedure. Either party may request the standard procedure be used even if it is a fast-track procedure case,.

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