Family proceedings at court are often stressful and difficult, and they can seem an even more daunting experience where domestic violence or abuse has occurred. There is court guidance which allow you to raise your concerns and for the court to focus on the risk to you and your children if applicable in such cases.
If there has been domestic violence in the relationship between you and your ex-partner, the court has to think about what happened and whether your ex-partner accepts what happened. The court should only order contact between your children and your ex-partner if they are satisfied that you or your children will not be exposed to the risk of harm.
If your ex-partner denies the allegations of domestic violence you have made, then the court will delve deeper through another hearing and decide whether or not there has been domestic violence, and to what extent and how it impacts upon any children.
If you are concerned about going to court at the same time as your ex-partner because of domestic abuse, the court can also make special arrangements to protect you when you attend any hearing. The court will make sure, as best they can, that appropriate arrangements are made such as:
- providing you with a separate waiting room to wait in before you are called in front of the judge.
- if you are afraid that your ex-partner or any other party will follow you out of the court then you can ask the judge or the Cafcass officer to help you by asking the other party to remain in the court building for a certain period of time after you have left. The court can also place a screen in between you and the other party, so that you cannot see each other but it will be up to the judge to decide whether or not to allow the screens.
These rules are in place to help make sure that the court, when deciding arrangements for the children involved, will not place a child in a risky or dangerous situation when making an order for contact and that they seriously consider the impact of domestic abuse wherever it is alleged.
If you require advice or assistance in relation to any of these issues or other family law matters at Jordans Solicitors we have a dedicated family law team who can help. Please dial 01924 387 110 and ask to speak with a member of the family law team or visit our website and request a call back.