Major Overhaul to Family Courts
There are big plans afoot to change the Family Court's approach to contact between children and an abusive or physically violent absent parent. The proposed Domestic Abuse Bill will set out guidelines and new powers for a Judge to prevent or restrict a parent firm having contact with their child. In addition, there will be an increased use of 'Barring' Orders which prevent a parent even making an application for contact in the first place.
There will also be increased protection for victims attending court with the right to have a separate waiting room, separate entrance to the building and screens in court along with a new practice preventing a perpetrator from cross-examining the victim. There remains important questions as to if and when the Government will fund the above changes, which remains to be seen.
We at Garden House eagerly await sight of the proposed Bill and will update our readers in due course.