Changes to family court guidelines

17/08/2017

Plans to change the law to protect children from violent parents are to be welcomed, a family lawyer at FBC Manby Bowdler has said.

The proposals by Lord Justice Cobb as part of a review of family court guidelines are a positive move according to Olivia Jones, solicitor in the Family Law team.

She discusses what the changes will mean when they come into force:

Research by the charity Women's Aid and the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) earlier this year revealed that 62 per cent of applications to the family court about where a child should live or spend time feature allegations of domestic abuse.

That’s an alarmingly high number so its only right that the Government should implement changes to the guidelines 

In the past, family courts have always worked towards the ideal that there should be contact at all costs with both parents for a child. Lord Justice Cobb’s recommendation is that shouldn’t be the case in domestic violence cases when a child would be at risk from having a violent parent in their life.

Another key recommendation is to stop the practice of victims of domestic violence being cross-examined in family courts by the alleged perpetrator. This has already been banned   in criminal courts so it’s proper that the family court should follow suit.

Family court proceedings can be, by their very nature, an emotional and distressing thing to go through. These new measures will go some way to protecting women and children at a time when they are particularly vulnerable. 

Olivia deals with all aspects of Family Law but has particular expertise in Child Law proceedings. Olivia can advise on all private children matters including disputes regarding child arrangements on separation. She also has experience in divorce and financial matters on relationship breakdown.

For more information, Olivia can be contacted on 01902 392430 or via email olivia.jones@fbcmb.co.uk

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