Family and children

Domestic abuse protocol on applications being made outside the applicant’s area

The designated family judges of London and the South East (SE) have published a protocol on issuing applications for Family Law Act (FLA) orders. The protocol has been published to support domestic abuse applications.


Protocol for London and the South East on domestic abuse applications being made outside the applicant’s area

1. Pursuant to paragraph 16 of the Family Court (Composition and Distribution of Business) Rules 2014 an applicant for an urgent FLA order is entitled to go to any court (“the first available judge of the family court”)

2. In addition, an applicant for an FLA order (and Children Act order) may be living in an area unknown to the respondent and may wish to apply in a court in a different area to maintain that confidentiality

3. The courts in the SE and London will assist any applicant with good reason to apply in their court of choice and will not encourage or direct that the applications should be issued in or transferred to the local court

4. Where confidentiality is claimed by an applicant, before the application is issued, the court team shall confirm with the applicant his/her choice of court and note the file to avoid any unnecessary transfers to any other courts

5. Where confidentiality is claimed by any party, the court will not transfer the case to another court without first receiving a formal application for transfer (form C2) which has been served on all of the relevant parties

The protocol has been produced by the designated family judges for:

  • Essex and Suffolk
  • Norfolk
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Bedfordshire
  • Hertfordshire
  • Surrey
  • Sussex
  • Kent
  • east and central London

Download the protocol (PDF 97 KB) 

Maximise your Law Society membership with My LS