03 February, 2017
The Family court will be making changes ending the presumption that there should be "contact in all cases" when involvement of a parent would put the child or other parent at risk of suffering harm from abuse.
Mr Justice Cobb has produced a report that sets out the amendments to the current practice direction with protecting victims of domestic abuse at its heart.
A Women's Aid report which was considered by Mr Justice Cobb gives a startling statistic that 12 of the 19 children killed had had contact ordered with the perpetrator through the Family Court. The perpetrator in all these cases being the child's father.
Other recommended reforms include:
There will also be a move to prevent victims of domestic abuse having to be cross-examined by unrepresented abusers. This has been banned from the criminal courts for quite some time now and it appears the Family Courts are following suit.
These reforms putting protection of victims of domestic abuse at the forefront will be a very welcome adjustment to the Family Court procedure.
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