Family Court Reform
Domestic abuse victims and their children will receive greater protections in a major "overhaul of how the family courts deal with the horrific crime", the government has announced.
The move follows an expert-led review into how the family courts have been handling domestic abuse and other serious offences, which subsequently raised concerns at how the victims and children were being put at unnecessary risk.
Under the new plans, the proposed reforms include:
• More victims of domestic abuse being given access to separate building entrances and waiting rooms as well as protective screens to shield them from their alleged abuser in court
• Stronger powers for judges to issue barring orders which prevent abusive ex-partners from repeatedly dragging their victims back to court—which can be used as a form of continuing domestic abuse
• Fundamental reform of how courts hear cases through a new investigative court process will be trialled as part of the Integrated Domestic Abuse Courts pilot—these consider family and criminal matters in parallel in order to provide more consistent support for victims. Emphasis will be placed on getting to the root of an issue and ensuring all parties are safe and able to provide evidence on an equal footing—without the retraumatising effects of being in court with an abusive ex-partner
Justice Minister Alex Chalk said:
“Every day the family courts see some of the most vulnerable in society and we have a duty to ensure they are protected and not put in danger.
This report lays bare many hard truths about long-standing failings, but we are determined to drive the fundamental change necessary to keep victims and their children safe.
But this is not all we’re doing. Our landmark Domestic Abuse Bill will transform society’s response to this destructive crime – protecting victims and pursuing perpetrators more than ever before.”
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.
Domestic Violence Solicitors
At Rose & Rose we understand that it can be a daunting and upsetting prospect coming to talk about issues of domestic violence and abuse. If you would like to discuss a matter surrounding domestic abuse, our team of expert family lawyers will adopt a sympathetic, though robust approach and will help to make you feel as comfortable and as relaxed as possible when meeting with us to discuss this difficult issue.
We will also talk to and involve other agencies such as the police and counsellors if we believe this would help. We will fully advise you in respect of costs, discuss your options and what outcome you can expect if you decide to make an application to the court.
Our experienced and understanding team are here to help you. We will work with you to ensure the best possible outcome.
Contact us for more information on how we can help: firstname.lastname@example.org