Under rules which came into force at the end of January, judges can apply a tougher test and only allow evidence if it is “necessary”. Previously, evidence from experts including psychologists, doctors and others would be heard if it was “reasonably required”.

The new Part 25 (Experts and Assessors) in the Family Procedure Rules applies to existing proceedings as well as those started after the date of implementation. Controlling the use of expert evidence has also been added to Rule 1.4 of the Family Procedure Rules governing active case management.