Are Family Courts failing families?

In recent weeks there has been a lot of press suggesting the Family Court is failing families. Claims have emerged that abusive former partners are using the courts to gain unsupervised time with their children.

For those who have been victims of abuse and are involved in children proceedings the Family Court rules (the Family Procedure Rules 2010) set out the steps the court should take including whether any allegations are likely to be relevant to a child arrangements order and ensure that where domestic abuse is proven, the arrangements for the child protect their safety and well-being as well as the parent they live with.. The concern by some at the moment is whether this is working as intended. 

The Government has now announced a three month review into the issue but there are concerns that an independent enquiry is needed to properly evaluate whether and if so why, children and victims of domestic abuse are being placed at risk. 

We would welcome a review or inquiry which talks to all those involved from individuals in the cases to domestic abuse charities and professionals such as lawyers, judges, social workers and the police so that there can be public confidence in whether the courts are working as they should. Of course, we don’t know what the outcome will be but the government has previously promised to legislate to ensure that victims are not subjected to cross-examination by perpetrators of abuse. 

Our experienced team of specialist children solicitors often deal with complex allegations of abuse in children proceedings. To speak to one of the team contact us on 03448802666

As a firm we do not offer legal aid. Some victims of domestic abuse may be eligible for legal aid and we recommend you check if you are eligible at https://www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid

 

Kris Arpon