I've been having a quick look at the new forms that will go with the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (thanks to Nick Holmes of infolaw). Obviously, they are too numerous to go through all of them here, so I thought I would give a taste by setting out my initial observations upon one of the most important forms: Form D8, the petition for divorce, dissolution (of civil partnership) or judicial separation. Layout: Generally, the form has been made easier to complete, with a clear eye to the litigant in person (no bad thing considering the impending abolition of legal aid for divorce). It comprises exclusively boxes to fill in or tick, so presumably will spell the end for petitions typed from scratch. Nomenclature: As stated, the form is called a 'petition' (and the party completing the form is the 'petitioner'), but slightly confusingly the form refers to the process (of divorce/dissolution/JS) as an 'application'. I also note that the archaic term 'prayer' has been retained. Contents: The following items are new: the dates of birth and sex of the parties and children are required to be stated, as are whether a statement of arrangements is attached, whether special assistance will be needed at court and whether the petitioner is represented. On the other hand, it is no longer necessary to state whether the parties' names have changed since the marriage, or whether there have been child support proceedings. In summary, it may look very different on the outside, but little has actually changed underneath.
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