One of the worrying effects of the lockdown restrictions due to the current pandemic has been a significant increase in cases of domestic violence, with victims unable to access support during this time and being required to isolate with their abuser.
Proposed reforms include:
The reforms follow after an expert-led review into how the family courts handle domestic abuse and other serious offences raised concerns that victims and children were being put at unnecessary risk. The expert panel was made up of representatives from charities, the judiciary, family law practitioners and academia, and took the views of more than 1,200 individuals and organisations. It found that an adversarial process in the family courts often worsened conflict between parents, which could retraumatise victims and their children.
Additionally, ministers will launch a review into the presumption of 'parental involvement' (per section 1(2A) of the Children Act 1989) as to whether the right balance is being struck between the risk of harm to children and victims and the right of the child to have a relationship with both parents.
For advice please contact Madeleine Young.
Published on 26/06/2020