On 6 April 2011, the new Family Procedure Rules 2010 will come into force.

These new rules do not introduce a fundamental change to the way that family proceedings are dealt with. Instead they rebrand some existing rules and adopt a similar structure to the Civil Procedure Rules 1998.

These rules provide a new code of procedure for family proceedings in the High Court, county courts and magistrates' courts, and replace existing rules of court for family proceedings.

The rules arrive at a time when a full review of family proceedings is under way. The Family Justice Review is due in the autumn. Therefore, there is a possibility that major alterations may have to be made to these new rules in the coming years, particularly with regard to proceedings concerning children.