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Family Proceedings Court

By: Angela Armes - Updated: 17 Jun 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Family Proceedings Courts Fpc

The Family Proceedings Court (FPC) is that part of the court service where hearings relating to family issues. This court is much like an ordinary court in that the magistrate's ruling is final and can be appealed against should any party feel there is sufficient grounds.

The Family Proceedings Court is also where the Family Panel meet to discuss how to best hear cases relating to family matters.

What does the Family Proceedings Court do?

The idea is that the FPC operates in an environment which is informal and non-threatening to children. The FPC is responsible for the hearing of cases relating to child welfare, Child Custody and also matters relating to visiting rights for parents who no longer live in the marital home. The most common hearings in an FPC are:The FPC will also rule on how best to proceed in matters of Reclaiming Maintenance and will rule on what is best for the children caught in the midst of any parental dispute.

Children and the Family Proceedings Court

The FPC will instigate investigations and assessments by their court welfare officers which are designed to provide insight into how the children are looked after, supported financially and, in some cases, make a decision as to who is the parent most likely to provide the children with a stable home life.

Children are often called upon to give evidence at these courts but this is done in a way that does not intimidate. Depending on the circumstances of such a hearing, the parent or parents will be asked to wait outside while the court welfare officer asks some questions and the children are asked to answer in their own words.

This method is used to determine how the children feel about the current situation and where they feel they would most like to stay. However, although this information is taken into consideration, it does not always have a bearing on the decision made by the magistrates.

FPCs are also where divorce hearings are heard and it is the magistrate who will determine the speed at which a divorce is issued. This also is reliant on information relating to the welfare of any children that may be involved.

Exclusion Orders

In certain circumstances, such as incidents of domestic violence, a parent may apply for an exclusion order. If an exclusion order is granted, the individual who has been ruled against may not visit or be near the family home without prior permission from the authorities.

It is worth noting that FPCs do not deal with criminal offences, although the magistrates who rule at these courts can also rule over criminal proceeding cases as well.

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I'm 36 and I want to know how to start the process of my stepfather adopting me
Clive's daughter - 17-Jun-18 @ 11:04 PM
jimmy - Your Question:
My partner went six years seeing our son a maximum of 3 days a week most of the time significantly less than that. she asked for every other weekend last september and I agreed. since then my sons behaviour has declined his appetite has decreased and most recently he reported to me that he was left in a car for an hour with a phone to play with while she went to work, I want to adress this with her but she is a child and instantly cries and screams weather my son is there or not.i dont have the finances to tae her to court for sole custody of him and ideally I wouldnt want him to never see his mother. I just need to know what is best to do

Our Response:
If you can't agree with the mother, you may have to try mediation - this does cost, but if you don't want to go to court it may be your only option.
LawAndParents - 6-Jun-18 @ 2:21 PM
my partner went six years seeing our son a maximum of 3 days a week most of the time significantly less than that. she asked for every other weekend last september and i agreed. since then my sons behaviour has declined his appetite has decreased and most recently he reported to me that he was left in a car for an hour with a phone to play with while she went to work, i want to adress this with her but she is a child and instantly cries and screams weather my son is there or not. i dont have the finances to tae her to court for sole custody of him and ideally i wouldnt want him to never see his mother. i just need to know what is best to do
jimmy - 5-Jun-18 @ 6:59 PM
Blondebunny - Your Question:
My fiancé is fighting for full custody of his son whom he didn’t have much contact with till resent years. I know his ex will play on that. His always paid matetiance. The ex and the boy live up north and we are on Essex. Atm my fiancé has no custody plans legally written up just as and when she allows it. The reason he is going for full custody is because social services have been involved and the school have been concerned she is taking the kids to school late and in dirty uniform and there has been some mild form of neglect. She has also had her car seized as she hasn’t paid car insurance and also got pulled over by the police as the kids (she has three by all different dads) weren’t seat belted it. There is no drugs involved or she is not abusing them just seems to be unorganised. My questions are; Would my partner win full custody based on what I said? Would Cafcass interview me as a step parent? I also own half our house? How long does it take to go through? (His just applied for a court order) My partner works full time, and I work two jobs! Would this effect his case if we were to have to get a nanny? He doesn’t have any family near by for childcare Do the courts seperate siblings (different dads)? It would mean moving the boy a three hours away from them Please not the Mum doesn’t have a reliable car so she would not be able to travel three hours down to ours to see the boy

Our Response:
The courts would take all the circumstances into consideration including those you've mentioned above and make a decision based on the best interests of the child.
LawAndParents - 2-May-18 @ 11:49 AM
My fiancé is fighting for full custody of his son whom he didn’t have much contact with till resent years. I know his ex will play on that. His always paid matetiance. The ex and the boy live up north and we are on Essex. Atm my fiancé has no custody plans legally written up just as and when she allows it. The reason he is going for full custody is because social services have been involved and the school have been concerned she is taking the kids to school late and in dirty uniform and there has been some mild form of neglect. She has also had her car seized as she hasn’t paid car insurance and also got pulled over by the police as the kids (she has three by all different dads) weren’t seat belted it. There is no drugs involved or she is not abusing them just seems to be unorganised. My questions are; Would my partner win full custody based on what I said? Would Cafcass interview me as a step parent? I also own half our house? How long does it take to go through? (His just applied for a court order) My partner works full time, and I work two jobs! Would this effect his case if we were to have to get a nanny? He doesn’t have any family near by for childcare Do the courts seperate siblings (different dads)? It would mean moving the boy a three hours away from them Please not the Mum doesn’t have a reliable car so she would not be able to travel three hours down to ours to see the boy
Blondebunny - 29-Apr-18 @ 11:16 AM
paulc - Your Question:
My wife is alcohol dependant and has recently had to move out of our marital home because of her behaviour. We have 3 children aged 4,15 & 21 she is living with her mum&dad with our 4 year old at the moment.What are my rights with regards to remaining in the family home with my other 2 children, I am happy to have my 4 year old with me as well if needs be ?

Our Response:
If you can agree this between you that's fine, if not, the courts will decide. You both have equal "rights" in the sense that one of you needs to be the main carer.
LawAndParents - 13-Nov-17 @ 12:10 PM
My wife is alcohol dependant and has recently had to move out of our marital home because of her behaviour. We have 3 children aged 4,15 & 21 she is living with her mum&dad with our 4 year old at the moment.What are my rights with regards to remaining in the family home with my other 2 children, I am happy to have my 4 year old with me as well if needs be ?
paulc - 10-Nov-17 @ 2:11 PM
Ollie - Your Question:
Hi, I'm looking for some advice. I was recently made aware my nephew is on child protection order due to his mother putting him in dangerous situations with her partner, my brother (nephews biological father) doesn't have contact with his son, he has been separated from my nephews mother for 7 years but still not got divorced. Since having a meeting with my nephews social worker and my brother confirming he does not wish to have contact with him, my brother has said he would like to hand over his rights to his son to myself, but I'm unsure on how this would work, can my brother hand over his rights to myself if so how do we make this happen?

Our Response:
A person with Parental Responsibility cannot transfer his responsibility to someone else but PRcan be "shared" with another person. He would need to talk to social services about this.
LawAndParents - 2-Oct-17 @ 2:47 PM
Hi, I'm looking for some advice. I was recently made aware my nephew is on child protection order due to his mother putting him in dangerous situations with her partner, my brother (nephews biological father) doesn't have contact with his son, he has been separated from my nephews mother for 7 years but still not got divorced. Since having a meeting with my nephews social worker and my brother confirming he does not wish to have contact with him, my brother has said he would like to hand over his rights to his son to myself, but I'm unsure on how this would work, can my brother hand over his rights to myself if so how do we make this happen?
Ollie - 29-Sep-17 @ 5:49 PM
My 3 youngest girls have been in foster care from July 2016,they are all separated,the social worker has said they have agreed to get permanency,contact is once a week supervised,there are no drug/alcohol issues e.t.c,I have not been to court or seen any paper work regarding this & I feel social services are just dragging this on,my girls keep asking when there coming home is there anything I can do about this situation ,yours greatfully,Nicola x
Moby - 27-Aug-17 @ 12:34 PM
Boggy - Your Question:
Hi Have a very complicated questionsI received a divorce petition in Feb 17 from my wife of 20 years with 5 children ages7 - 19 on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown. I decided to defend it myself as I had suspected this was not the real reason as my suspicions had been aroused as long ago as October when I was refused access to the marital bed following a bad cold. I have since found out that she is indeed involved in another relationship but she does not know that I know as I have decided to keep quiet for the sake of the children.Needless to say things are becoming more toxic by the day and she wants me to move out immediately but as I had a mini stroke last july loosing my driving licence my options are fairly limitedI have 2 partime jobs locally where I have to walk to which nett about £800.00per month and I pay he 650 - 700 pcmRecently she has now said that she will not cook for me or do any of my washing so I have to eat seperately from the family in front of the children which is causing great sadness to them and they have always been my / our main priorityObviously there is a lot more to this but waht are my options or where can I go for help.I have started mediation as of today she refused to come and therefore they are going to write to her with an invitation.Hope you can help for the sake of my kidsAndy

Our Response:
If she refuses to attend mediation, a court order may be necessary in order to resolve the child arrangements and finances. You cannot be forced to move out by your wife especially as she is the "guilty party" in the divorce.
LawAndParents - 16-May-17 @ 2:18 PM
Hi Have a very complicated questions I received a divorce petition in Feb 17 from my wife of 20 years with 5 children ages7 - 19 on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown. I decided to defend it myself as I had suspected this was not the real reason as my suspicions had been aroused as long ago as October when I was refused access to the marital bed following a bad cold . I have since found out that she is indeed involved in another relationship but she does not know that I know as I have decided to keep quiet for the sake of the children. Needless to say things are becoming more toxic by the day and she wants me to move out immediately but as I had a mini stroke last july loosing my driving licence my options are fairly limited I have 2 partime jobs locally where i have to walk to which nett about £800.00per month and I pay he 650 - 700 pcm Recently she has now said that she will not cook for me or do any of my washing so I have to eat seperately from the family in front of the children which is causing great sadness to them and they have always been my / our main priority Obviously there is a lot more to this but waht are my options or where can I go for help. I have started mediation as of today she refused to come and therefore they are going to write to her with an invitation. Hope you can help for the sake of my kids Andy
Boggy - 15-May-17 @ 3:16 PM
Rob - Your Question:
Hello, I have a problem where in the past I have drunk argued and punched a hole in the wall of my girlfriends home inwhich she has a 3 year old daughter, the police were called but nothing came of it, I don't normally drink and this was a huge misunderstanding, I didn't put her daughter in danger but thats not the case in my girlfriends ex partners eyes. Social services told her this could never happen again and it was her last chance and that she'd have to choose me over her daughter because her ex partner now has ammunition. The problem is it happened again, after a night out on my aunties 50th birthday, while her daughter was at her dad's house 2hours away, me and my girlfriend was out and I got in a bit of a fight at this club and so she went home. By the time I got home she wouldnt let me in and I got so frustrated where I was so drunk I kicked the door in. We had a big argument and I caused some criminal damage and we was pushing eachother out the way and I ended up pushing her and because she was so drunk she fell down the stairs and broke the bannister, (she wasn't hospitalised at all she just bruised her arm). She then phoned the last number in her call list which was her ex boyfriend and he called the police and I got arrested. Now she's saying she has to press charges for her daughters sake and everything which I understand because I totally messed up. I didn't mean for this to happen but it did. It was the first time I drank in 5/6months, as a result I've decided to quit drinking and get some help and what not because there is clearly a problem there. We still love eachother very much and I know I can sort myself out and not let this ever happen again but currently I'm on bail which means no contact. The problem I have got is that her ex boyfriend is saying if he finds out we're back together he will take her to court and gain custody of her daughter as he also have 50 50 rights, if we was to get back together I would not be visiting while his daughter was there and my girlfriend would come see me on the weekends at my house until things get better, but because of these two incidents is he able to go to court gain custody? Social services also said that we were already on our last warning, but surely if they see that I'm getting the help and never going to let this happen again then theres something we can do? I feel so powerless because I love her more than anything and feel like she shouldn't have to choose? I'm 19 years old and she's 22 and we have a really good relationship on a day to day basis, we've been together a year and it's all gone to shambles because I have just made 2 major mistakes which I'm never going to let happen again. Theres a lot more to this and it's so complicated to type it all up on here but I really need some advice because we don't want to throw our relationship away over 2 really stupid mistakes.

Our Response:
We really can't advise you on this. It might be worth seeking help with your drink problems first and proving that you can remain in control and sober before making contact again with your girlfriend.
LawAndParents - 22-Feb-17 @ 12:43 PM
Hello, I have a problem where in the past I have drunk argued and punched a hole in the wall of my girlfriends home inwhich she has a 3 year old daughter, the police were called but nothing came of it, I don't normally drink and this was a huge misunderstanding, I didn't put her daughter in danger but thats not the case in my girlfriends ex partners eyes. Social services told her this could never happen again and it was her last chance and that she'd have to choose me over her daughter because her ex partner now has ammunition. The problem is it happened again, after a night out on my aunties 50th birthday, while her daughter was at her dad's house 2hours away, me and my girlfriend was out and I got in a bit of a fight at this club and so she went home. By the time I got home she wouldnt let me in and I got so frustrated where I was so drunk I kicked the door in. We had a big argument and i caused some criminal damage and we was pushing eachother out the way and I ended up pushing her and because she was so drunk she fell down the stairs and broke the bannister, (she wasn't hospitalised at all she just bruised her arm). She then phoned the last number in her call list which was her ex boyfriend and he called the police and I got arrested. Now she's saying she has to press charges for her daughters sake and everything which I understand because I totally messed up. I didn't mean for this to happen but it did. It was the first time I drank in 5/6months, as a result I've decided to quit drinking and get some help and what not because there is clearly a problem there. We still love eachother very much and I know I can sort myself out and not let this ever happen again but currently i'm on bail which means no contact. The problem I have got is that her ex boyfriend is saying if he finds out we're back together he will take her to court and gain custody of her daughter as he also have 50 50 rights, if we was to get back together I would not be visiting while his daughter was there and my girlfriend would come see me on the weekends at my house until things get better, but because of these two incidents is he able to go to court gain custody?. Social services also said that we were already on our last warning, but surely if they see that I'm getting the help and never going to let this happen again then theres something we can do? I feel so powerless because I love her more than anything and feel like she shouldn't have to choose? I'm 19 years old and she's 22 and we have a really good relationship on a day to day basis, we've been together a year and it's all gone to shambles because I have just made 2 major mistakes which I'm never going to let happen again. Theres a lot more to this and it's so complicated to type it all up on here but I really need some advice because we don't want to throw our relationship away over 2 really stupid mistakes.
Rob - 19-Feb-17 @ 11:00 PM
My partner has split from his daughters mum we have his daughter every two weeks there is a court order in place to say he can have his little girl every two weeks and days in the holiday. When it comes to taking his little girl home she gets very upset and scared and begs us not to take her home as her step father shouts and is aggressive towards her what can be done about taking her back ?
Chome - 27-Dec-16 @ 11:12 AM
lee - Your Question:
Hi I am seeking advice, I have a son of 12 yrs old. whilst I was pregnant father claimed baby was not his. therefore we broke all ties. father has been absent since. now my son is of age and has asked me to find his father as he would like to meet him. I found his father on facebook and the father now wants to meet my son. I would like for them to have some kind of a relationship , but now I would like to know that after all these years of no contact or him trying to find his son, what rights does he have?please can anyone give me advice?thank you

Our Response:
If he is a name on the birth certificate the father will have Parental Responsibility .This means he can ask for information about his son's education, health and other important events in his son's life if he chooses. It doesn't give him automatic rights to contact or residency but your son has the right to contact with his father if he wishes it.
LawAndParents - 16-Nov-16 @ 9:49 AM
hi i am seeking advice, i have a son of 12 yrs old. whilst i was pregnant father claimed baby was not his. therefore we broke all ties. father has been absent since.now my son is of age and has asked me to find his father as he would like to meet him. i found his father on facebook and the father now wants to meet my son. i would like for them to have some kind of a relationship , but now i would like to know that after all these years of no contact or him trying to find his son, what rights does he have? please can anyone give me advice? thank you
lee - 15-Nov-16 @ 8:58 AM
My partner and i are separating. She is from Poland and i believe she will try to leave the country with my children and not tell me where she is taking them. Is there anything i can do to stop her taking the children out of the country?
Epistasis - 21-Oct-16 @ 6:02 PM
Hi,my ex is insisting on doing a C100 and CB1 even though we have come to a childcare agreement for our daughter. What will happen if I refuse to sign as we already have an arrangement in place? I understand it could be something to consider in future should one of us break the agreement. If it helps I am the mother and our daughter is living with me. My ex takes her to school 2 days and has agreed to look after her 1 weekend a month and can see her any other time inbetween should he wish to.
Dilys - 5-Oct-16 @ 8:44 PM
Joan - Your Question:
My son is currently living with me with his 1 year old son. He split with babies mum a week ago and she left to go back to her mums home with is unfit for my grandson to live in (social services decision) now she wants to see the baby and were worried she may take him if we go to meet her as she has said she has a safe place to take the baby now and we've been told she could just take him and it wouldn't be illegal. My son can't get legal aid as it does not apply to this kind of case. We're at our wits end. Any advice would help please

Our Response:
We assume you are the grandparents. Your son can make an application for shared residence or full residence (you only pay the cost of the application). It would be more useful for you to try and work out how both parents can care for their child. Is there anything you can do to work with social services etc to help the child's mother find suitable accommodation?
LawAndParents - 15-Sep-16 @ 2:06 PM
My son is currently living with me with his 1 year old son. He split with babies mum a week ago and she left to go back to her mums home with is unfit for my grandson to live in (social services decision) now she wants to see the baby and were worried she may take him if we go to meet her as she has said she has a safe place to take the baby now and we've been told she could just take him and it wouldn't be illegal. My son can't get legal aid as it does not apply to this kind of case. We're at our wits end. Any advice would help please
Joan - 14-Sep-16 @ 3:08 PM
Are applications under Part four of the family law act 1996 ie applications for non-molestation orders defined as family proceedings or civil proceedings and can the Court hearing an application for a non-mol order a section 37 report?
tricky dicky - 2-Aug-16 @ 10:03 AM
Nikki - Your Question:
OK my kids r getting older and they trying to come back home with me the age 17,14,11 so I was trying to see how do I go about getting them back what steps I need to take

Our Response:
Who has the children at the moment?
LawAndParents - 30-Jun-16 @ 10:45 AM
OK my kids r getting older and they trying to come back home with me the age 17,14,11 so I was trying to see how do I go about getting them back what steps I need to take
Nikki - 28-Jun-16 @ 6:49 PM
Min - Your Question:
I won't to get my kids back and don't know where to go

Our Response:
Have you tried the Family Rights Group Helpline?
LawAndParents - 26-Apr-16 @ 11:44 AM
I won't to get my kids back and don't know where to go
Min - 25-Apr-16 @ 12:21 PM
Kate scoot - Your Question:
My 2 boys got took from me due to drugs allegedly found in my premises by police that I allowed in to search.Esp. when I'm already terrified they start shouting, so I'm in a total state of shock. The following week social workers said to police they where to take the boys aged 3n6years old.I'm facing drug charges and that's over a month I haven't heard a word from my son's, the police or even social work. Where can I get some advise and help as I've been left to figure it all out.I have never been known for drugs in my life.

Our Response:
Call your local social services department and ask them to give you some information on what is happening. You could also try Citizen's Advice or the Family Lives Helpline
LawAndParents - 2-Dec-15 @ 2:31 PM
My 2 boys got took from me due to drugsallegedly found in my premises by police that I allowed in to search.Esp. when I'm already terrified they start shouting, so I'm in a total state of shock. The following week social workers said to police they where to take the boys aged 3n6years old.I'm facing drug charges and that's over a month I haven't heard a word from my son's, the police or even social work. Where can I get some advise and help as I've been left to figure it all out.I have never been known for drugs in my life.
Kate scoot - 1-Dec-15 @ 1:02 AM
lorrain - Your Question:
How do we start off about going for full custody of my husband child who is 13 and clearly wants to live with us

Our Response:
Start by finding a mediation service to see if you can reach a mutually acceptable agreement with the child's mother. If that doesn't succeed a court order (using form C100) should be sought.
LawAndParents - 15-Oct-15 @ 1:03 PM
How do we start off about going for full custody of my husband child who is 13 and clearly wants to live with us
lorrain - 14-Oct-15 @ 7:32 PM
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