Domestic abuse and Children Cases
11 May 2021 by Julia Brewer
The Family Courts deal with cases involving allegations of domestic abuse on a daily basis. It is reported that at least 40% of private law children proceedings involve allegations of domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse is extremely harmful to the victim and any children witnessing the same, indeed a child witnessing domestic abuse is now also considered to be a victim of that domestic abuse.
It is vital that the Court, when considering what is in a child’s best interests are aware of domestic violence allegations and able to consider what impact this has on the case if they are substantiated.
What is a Fact-Finding Hearing?
If domestic violence is raised in a case then the Court will consider at the earliest stage as to whether a fact-finding hearing is necessary. A fact-finding hearing will be necessary if the allegations if proven would be relevant in deciding what orders to make in respect of that child.
A fact-finding hearing is when the Court considers evidence from both parties and third parties if necessary and make a decision on whether the incidents alleged took place. The burden falls on the person making the allegation to prove that it is more likely than not that this behaviour did occur.
There has been growing recognition over the past few years of the impact of coercive and controlling behaviour.
This is an issue recently considered by the Court, with the Court raising concerns that there needed to be greater awareness of a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour rather than the focus being on individual incidents.
You should seek advice from a specialist lawyer. The Solicitors at Fisher Jones Greenwood have years of experience in dealing with these issues. You can contact the FJG Family Law team on 01206 700113 or email at [email protected].