The increase in use of technology has been on the Family Court’s agenda for a number of years now. However, the current Covid-19 outbreaks have propelled the Courts forward into embracing new technology.
The Family Court must still be able to operate, albeit on a reduced basis. Each Judge is currently hearing a maximum of 6 hearings a day. Hearings are typically taking place via telephone conferencing, but the Courts are currently looking into various other online platforms for hearings to take place.
The Courts are keen to explore the best way to ensure that family cases can continue to take place effectively and have therefore recently launched a consultation for solicitors and barristers, with experience of remote hearings, to let them know what works and what does not. The consultation will run from 14th to 28th April 2020, with the Courts aiming to have clear guidance in place by 1st May 2020.
It is important that anyone experiencing family difficulties knows that the Courts are still open for business and able to assist with family disputes.
It is equally important to know that solicitors too are embracing new technologies if they want to survive.