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Domestic Violence and Contact

By: Abigail Taylor - Updated: 17 Jan 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Domestic Violence Abuse Abuser Children

The Government defines Domestic Violence as "Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality."

Domestic abuse is rarely a 'one-off' incident. Abusers generally demonstrate a pattern of abuse. In March 2013, the Government extended their definition of Domestic Violence to include 16 and 17 year olds as 'adults' within the definition. This was in recognition of the increasing number of teenage girls who suffer domestic abuse at the hands of (an often older) sexual partner. This change has also been marked by a TV campaign highlighting examples of emotional abuse, to raise awareness amongst younger people.

In times of economic recession, domestic abuse often increases, and this year is no exception. In 2013, the Citizens Advice Bureau reported an 11% increase in the number of people seeking help from them for domestic violence related matters.

How do you prove Domestic Violence in court?

"Hi, I am a single mother of 2 children who are both under the age of 5. They have been through too much emotional and physical damage during the past 2 years due to the separation of me and their father. He has been physically violent towards me and verbally abusive towards me in front of the kids. They're very traumatised; also their behaviour has regressed since this situation has started. The paternal family dispute all of this in front of a social worker who has now placed the children on the CPS register and are holding a conference this week Wednesday. How can I prove his abusive conduct in court?"

There are obvious problems in trying to prove domestic violence in court:

  • a) Domestic violence is often disputed by the perpetrator's family and friends. Sometimes this is a malicious attempt to derail an ex-partner's case, but more commonly, it is because it is hard to believe someone you know and love could be an abuser (particularly when the perpetrator will often act differently around others).
  • b) Domestic violence usually happens behind closed doors, when there are no witnesses. Perpetrators will act differently around others and will often only abuse their victims when there are no witnesses. Perpetrators are often very clever to hide any evidence (for example ensuring that any bruises are in areas not seen by others).

Courts will always prefer concrete evidence (written documents or photographs) for the simple reason that these are hard to refute. In the case of domestic abuse, it is not always possible to get this kind of evidence, so how can you prove abuse in court?

  • 1) Take photographs (preferably time-dated) of any injuries. If possible, also attend your local doctor's surgery as they can formerly record any injuries, and may be able to suggest a possible cause for these at a later date to the court.
  • 2) Record any abuse in a diary with dates/times/location etc all detailed.
  • 3) Where any incident is clearly against the law, report it to the police so that they can provide a report to the court.
  • 4) If any neighbours heard anything, ask to provide a witness statement. They will probably not be allowed to give evidence of what you have told them (as this is hearsay), but can give evidence as to what they saw/heard themselves.

Is Domestic Violence a barrier to contact?

"My daughter has an 11month old boy and the father is on the birth certificate. However, he physically abused her and smashed the house up, and only served a few months for this. He has history of threatening behaviour and also assaulting his own mother and brother. My daughter is worried that he may be allowed access to his son. Surely this cannot be right with his history."

Under Section 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998, everyone has the right to private and family life. Numerous researchers have also found that children are better to have contact with both their parents. Parents therefore both have a right to contact with their children, even if they have committed crimes in the past. This right does not change, even if one parent has committed domestic abuse, or any other crime, and whether they have been imprisoned or not.

Clearly in some cases (particularly those where one parent has a tendency towards violence), contact with children will cause concern. However just because a parent has a right to contact, does not mean that they have a right to simply take their children anywhere they like for a period of time; restrictions can, and will, be placed on contact between an abusive parent and their children (provided that abuse such as a tendency towards violence can be proven).

Types of contact

There are several types of contact:
  • General contact (free and unrestricted). This may also include overnight stays.
  • Contact with the assistance of a Children and Family Support Centre (usually to "hand-over" children so that parents do not have to meet)
  • Supervised contact (fully supervised contact at a Family Support Centre which neither the child nor the parent is allowed to leave during the session)
  • Indirect contact (such a letters, telephone conversations, email, Skype)
In cases of proven violence (such a physical domestic abuse to the other parent), the abusive parent is likely to only be allowed supervised contact.

This means that at a pre-arranged time (for example once a week on a Saturday morning from 10-12), you would take your child to a local Family Support Centre. You can then choose to stay in a different room, or leave your child with the centre and return to pick them back up. The abusive parent would attend the centre at the pre-arranged time and be allowed contact with their child / children in a large room, overseen by one of the Support Centre workers. Centres often have various toys etc, so contact usually takes the form of playing a game/colouring etc together.

The abusive parent would not be allowed (in cases of fully-supervised contact) to leave the centre with the child/children, and a centre worker will be present in the room with them at all times.

It is in extremely rare circumstances when contact would not be allowed.

In ordering contact, the court must consider the child's welfare. One factor considered will be the child's ascertainable wishes and feelings. However these are unlikely to be given much weight until the child has a suitable level of understanding (usually at about 14 years old). The court will also be careful to ensure that any wishes expressed by your child, are not your imposed views, but rather their own decision. Your child will usually be interviewed by a specially trained CAFCASS officer who will report back to the court in this regard.

Can I refuse to allow contact?

"Hi my husband and I split up nearly 2 years ago and we have a five year old daughter. He's never paid any child support for her but still had access to her whenever he wanted. Recently I refused him access until he accepts responsibilities as her father but he's threatening to take me to court. At the end of our relationship he was very abusive and violent and got arrested a couple of times for beating me up which my daughter witnessed so social services were involved. Every chance he gets he tries to poison my daughter against me and my partner. Where do I stand in refusing to allow him contact?"

If no court order has been made in relation to contact, and your child resides solely with you, you can refuse to allow the other parent contact with their child. If they wish to challenge this however, they can take you to court and you would have to explain your reasons to a judge, with evidence. If they are not satisfied by your reasons, they will order contact to take place. It is therefore always best to be reasonable. For example, would indirect contact resolve your concerns, or could contact take place supervised, at a relative's house?

If a court order is made, you can physically prevent contact, however, to do so would make you in contempt of court. The punishments for contempt of court range in severity from a small fine to imprisonment. However also bear in mind that the court does have the power if it considers it appropriate, to reverse a residential order, giving your former partner custody of your child, and you contact/visitation rights. Whilst this is unlikely in domestic abuse cases, it is worth bearing in mind that the courts do not take failure to comply with orders lightly.

What restrictions can be put on an abusive parent?

One worry for many parents who have been abused by a former partner is that in allowing them contact with your child/children, you retain a link with them, that will lead to them constantly pestering/harassing you. Even if you do not speak to your partner directly to arrange contact (using a Family Contact Centre so that you never see them face-to-face), young children can quite easily reveal where you live (often not understanding why you would not want their other parent to know). If you have problems as a result of allowing contact or contact being ordered, you can seek some protection from the courts:

Non-molestation Order
This order prevents your ex-partner from using or threatening violence against you (which of course is against the law anyway), and also stops them harassing or pestering you. [Note that breach of a non-molestation order is now a criminal offence, as well as an act that can be dealt with by the civil courts.]

Occupation Order
This can be used to regulate who lives in your family home (and remove an abusive partner). However it can also be used to prevent the abuser entering the area surrounding your home, in order to keep them away from your home.

Restraining Order
This order prevents someone from carrying out a particular, specified action. A non-molestation is a type of restraining order. However you may also be given other types of restraining orders if necessary (one usual example I have seen is the use of a restraining order to prevent one party giving out the other party's new phone number to third parties, after he had given their previous number to over a dozen cold-calling companies and advertised it as a "sex-chat line" on the internet.

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Hi, I was in a past abusive relationship with my ex that my children had witnessed and on several occasions was reported to the police but I chose not to press charges until the last incident 3 years ago, contact with our 2 children was stopped instantly and he hast seen them for 3 years. I had a non mol order out and following a recent incident I now have another non mol order out.Whenever my eldest sees him in town freezes on the spot and has told me they do not wish to see him, I have a new partner who has raised my children for the last 2.5 years .My ex is now looking at applying for access through the courts. What is the likelyhood of this getting accepted ?
Sare - 17-Jan-18 @ 11:20 AM
My stepson came to live with my partner and myself a year ago after his mum tried to strangle him which was preceded by her smashing his video games tv etc... and mentally abusing him. He has seen his mum 3 times in a year supervised from a distance by his dad at a McDonald’s restaurant. He is 13 and does not want contact with his mum she has moved house and won’t tell him where she lives has told him she’s driving again after being banned but not telling him what car she drives. She has indirect contact through messages and phone calls but these have recently became abusive and manipulative much like the house move and driving, when he doesn’t answer his messages she contacts his friends is there anything that we can do to stop this behaviour as it is really disturbing my stepson to the point he is scared she is going to go to his school as this is what she has told him along with telling him to “get over “ what she has done to him. Police say they can’t do anything we can’t afford to go to court as earn over the legal aid minimum but have no spare money really as we had to start everything from scratch shoes clothes coats etc .. when he came to us
Jojogr - 9-Jan-18 @ 3:31 PM
Hi it wasn't through a court order it was social work that decided of a no contact order. But his family is know seening his daughter. Can he apply for contact from prison. Will be be classed as a changed person if he completes courses and his prison time without my trouble. Thanks for the advice I really don't believe he is a threat he's great with us but j can the social works concern. But what happens if he ever met someone else and had kids or they have kids surely this cannot hang over his head for ever.
S.millar - 9-Jan-18 @ 1:08 PM
S.millar - Your Question:
Hi looking for advice. My partner had a bad relationship and was violent towards his ex which lead to a no contact order. He has recently been sentenced and his other family is allowed to see his child now. How can he get contact what we did was wrong and he is being punished but he still has a child he loves very much and wants a relationship with but his ex is making it difficult. Social services have also told me he's a risk to me and my child but he's never shown any signs of violence abuse ect to me or my child when he's realsed can they stop contact with us too. I know reading this it sounds terrible but if people could see what I do he's doing everything he can to make his life better people are just sometimes to quick to judge. I don't agree with violence but there's a huge history between them and what he did was extremely wrong.

Our Response:
Much depends upon what the court order specifies. If he has a no-contact order through the court, then this would be upheld unless a court of appeal ruled otherwise. We cannot anticipate what conclusions social services will come to with regards to your partner's connection with you and your child. Much depends upon the circumstances. However, social services will judge that if your partner has the capability of violence to his ex, then he is most definitely capable of harming others, including you and your child.
ChildSupportLaws - 8-Jan-18 @ 2:25 PM
Hi looking for advice. My partner had a bad relationship and was violent towards his ex which lead to a no contact order. He has recently been sentenced and his other family is allowed to see his child now. How can he get contact what we did was wrong and he is being punished but he still has a child he loves very much and wants a relationship with but his ex is making it difficult. Social services have also told me he's a risk to me and my child but he's never shown any signs of violence abuse ect to me or my child when he's realsed can they stop contact with us too. I know reading this it sounds terrible but if people could see what I do he's doing everything he can to make his life better people are just sometimes to quick to judge. I don't agree with violence but there's a huge history between them and what he did was extremely wrong.
S.millar - 6-Jan-18 @ 9:35 AM
If the loser abuser has never seen your child, never taken responsibility and you have the means, plus there's no court order in place, leave the country. There's nothing anyone can do to stop you. You have every right to relocate. He can't make you legally return, if there's nothing legally in place at the time. The longer you are out of the country, the more jurisdiction the other country has over your child. Just, don't tell anyone your plan. He can't claim PR unless its on a court order. If a parent were to decide to relocate with their child, and the other parent has chosen to never have contact with the child, it would be silly for a court to decide to force you back because the other parent suddenly claims PR based on a birth certificate. I speak from experience.
Takebackyourpower - 18-Dec-17 @ 1:41 PM
@teessideram - you would have to see whether you have grounds to appeal :(
IssyV - 4-Dec-17 @ 10:32 AM
This was a great read, although very confusing for me because it seems these rules/suggestions were not followed in my case.My wife was the abuser in our relationship.She pleaded guilty to domestic violence and abuse against me along with criminal damage to my property.When we separated though she denied me any contact with our daughter despite previously agreeing to a co parenting arrangement.So i take her to court, where the judge/cafcass all recommend that "although there is no concerns with you daughter being in your care we believe it would be harmful to damage the relationship between her and her mother"! Please, can anybody give me some advice on what to do now, when the court and cafcass have clearly failed to follow these recommendations...
teessideram - 3-Dec-17 @ 11:42 AM
Make your steps wisely and carefully. My abuser used mainly psychological and emotional abuse, he is very charming and manipulative. He used his public school boy background to support his "model citizen" behaviour. Behind closed doors the truth came out. However more people had seen the truth, including his own family and supported me and our child through the madness. The courts however are under great strain with so many cases and it appears the time isn't there for these type of cases. My ex uses the courts to continue the abuse, using a regular pattern of time to make yet again another application to court. A lot of the cases don't link so the behaviour is not recognised. You usually don't get to see the same judge and you are lucky if they have the court notes in front of them, often mislaid. I've asked yet again for a section 91 (14) in the hope I can move on with my life with my child. Where there is psychological and emotional abuse more attention needs to be given to the detail and the pattern of behaviour needs to be observed by the court. If you are reading this, please I cannot strongly advise you to get support around you. Get a good solicitor/barrister, my ex often self represented and out shone my first solicitor. You need a solicitor who can deal with domestic abuse, acknowledge the pathological behaviour and not fall into the traps. If you have lived with this type of abuser you know how you had to manage the behaviour living with it - it doesn't stop afterwards. You do get a peace of mind by not living in it 24/7 but your child will be living with it and will be punished. My child is made feel responsible for my ex's happiness and wellbeing, it's psychological warfare. I know she is being abused but because it is looked at as "inappropriate behaviour" there is nothing I can do but support her when she turns to me! Even when he stripped her of her clothes outside our home, first time all her clothes were removed, 2nd occasion she was left keep on her underpants as he had provided her with those ones - this was regarded as "inappropriate behaviour" rather than using our child as a tool to torcher me and in turn abuse our child. This type of abuser can manipulate a court and other professionals. The system claims to be under pressure, but this is no excuse. There is no excuse for abuse. Yes a child should have the love from both parents but healthy love. Our child has to deny herself the right to see certain family members and friends because of the consequences, she is clever and is managing in her way. However, she suffers from anxiety due to the behaviour of her father, we are working on this but it is impossible with the abuse is like a continuous dripping tap. Unless both parents agree you cannot get support for you child unless you get it ordered through the court. This is not an easy process as I've discovered. Again it depends on the judge you see, and they do vary greatly in their understanding of a
ANewLife - 29-Nov-17 @ 12:39 AM
My partnerhas one DV charge against him by a partner from a previous relationship 7yrs ago.We are currently looking into regular contact with his child from a different relationship. He has a relationship with his son and was seeing him every fortnight up to us getting together 7 months ago. At this point he's ex as started to be difficult and is only letting him see his son approximatelyonce a month. She also tries to get him to take her other child (Not my partners). If we were to go court would the DV stop him from seeing his son? What is the best way to get regular contact with his son? There is no DV in our relationship and none before or after the last case.
Lyd - 28-Nov-17 @ 1:06 AM
I have a 3 year old daughter. My ex partner and I separated before she was born. Her father has never seen her although we are currently in the middle of a court case. He always said he never wanted anything to do with his daughter even his family don’t bother and I tried to initiate access once she was born but he showed no interest. He has been both psychologically and physically abusive towards me when we were together. He kicked me in the stomach whilst I was pregnant and it was after this act of violence I ended the relationship I never reported it nor did I see anybody to check my baby was ok. I was terrified if I told officials that my baby would be taken away from me. I wasn’t thinking straight I was at a very low point. I’d had 12 months of emotional abuse from this person we had split and got back together numerous times I honestly don’t know why I kept going back into a relationship with him but he was very controlling. He also had used drugs in the past which made him paranoid he has an issue with alcohol too. I believe he is an alcoholic. He harassed me for months and the police were involved. When our daughter was a year old he applied to court for a child arrangements order. The reason he did this was because he had found out I was in a new relationship the harassment got worse and throughout the court cases he has posted numerous things on social media trying to whip up a hate campaign. I have passed screenshots onto cafcass and he has been told it’s contempt of court yet he has since posted something abusive again. I have numerous text messages from him being threatening towards myself and my new partner. He has applied previously for a child arrangements order and he dropped his application when the court ordered he had a drugs & alcohol test. They also wanted to do a fact finding hearing regarding domestic violence allegations made by myself. After the hearing where he said he would withdraw it the court ordered I send him photo updates every quarter. I advised I needed an email address as I kept no contact details for him and had changed my numbers etc following the harassment. It took him a year to provide an email address and even then it wasn’t his it was another mans whom I didn’t know so I refused to send any photographs until he sent me an email address for himself. He’s now had 3 updates and because he has a way of contacting me he has sent a couple of harassing messages which I have ignored. Next he applied for parental responsibility which cafcass advised him he wouldn’t get as he had no relationship with his child so he has now applied for a child arrangements order. I have a number of concerns, if the court grants him access will this be in a contact centre as I want no contact with him whatsoever? My daughter is 3 it will be very distressing for her to be in a room with strangers. I do not know of anybody that would want to be in a room with him either. He has previously said that he will turn her against me and I
Ipsydipsydaisydoo - 21-Nov-17 @ 6:40 PM
Sam - Your Question:
My cousin has got 5 kids the oldest being 17 and the youngest 3. My cousin and the partner are considering a divorce as they’re no longer happy. But they’re worried about custody of the kids. The father is violent and has got a minor violent past and is known to be quite patronising and the mother has had an affair about 5 years ago. the children have witnessed the violence and know about the affair. the mother has also been violent at times but they’ve realised that it’s no longer okay and are now separated but they are worried about going to court as they don’t want to loose their kids. The kids were not happy with their parents relationship but there seems to be a divide between the 4 older siblings. The siblings consist of 2 older sisters and then 3 brothers and the boys seem to be on the fathers side where as the girls are neutral (the youngest is 3 so he’s not really got a side) I just wanted to know what advice you would give to my cousin and whether or not you think they would be able to get split custody or sole custody of one of the parents?

Our Response:
Mediation is really the key here, if they cannot agree between themselves as a family. Mediation takes place in front of a neutral third party. The mediator has no pre-conceptions and will not force your cousin and her ex to make an agreement. They will assist the two parties in taking turns in the conversation, and help them to reach a decision they are ready to agree with. Mediators do not pass judgment or offer guidance; they are there, in effect, to facilitate conversation between the two sides. Mediation is an agreement made pre-court, so if an agreement cannot be reached then one parent may wish to take the matter to court. In which case the court would decide what it thinks is in the children's best interests.
ChildSupportLaws - 21-Nov-17 @ 10:02 AM
My cousin has got 5 kids the oldest being 17 and the youngest 3. My cousin and the partner are considering a divorce as they’re no longer happy. But they’re worried about custody of the kids. The father is violent and has got a minor violent past and is known to be quite patronising and the mother has had an affair about 5 years ago. the children have witnessed the violence and know about the affair. the mother has also been violent at times but they’ve realised that it’s no longer okay and are now separated but they are worried about going to court as they don’t want to loose their kids. The kids were not happy with their parents relationship but there seems to be a divide between the 4 older siblings. The siblings consist of 2 older sisters and then 3 brothers and the boys seem to be on the fathers side where as the girls are neutral (the youngest is 3 so he’s not really got a side) I just wanted to know what advice you would give to my cousin and whether or not you think they would be able to get split custody or sole custody of one of the parents?
Sam - 20-Nov-17 @ 10:34 AM
JO - Your Question:
I have 2 sons, one under 3 the other 5 years old.My partner has become progressively more verbally abusive over the last 2 years.He is now smacking the children at least twice a week for issues like dropping yogurt on the floor and putting bubble bath in the bath when he told the 5 year old not to in those 2 instances it was around the head.Recently he smacked the 2.5 year old child on the leg because he wriggled when having his nappy changed. I heard the nose of the smack in another room. It left a red mark which faded before I had an opportunity to photo it. He has become quite violent with me shaking me and threatening to punch my teeth out.He is verbally abusive to me in front of the children and be-littles me all the time.This week I moved away from him in London to my parents in Nottingham with the children for our wellbeing. I am starting a new job in Nottingham and have organised a new school for them. He is saying I should not have taken them and wants them to go back to London and denies everything telling the 5 year old that it was my entire fault for borrowing his things meaning the washing machine and household goods.We have arranged mediation for next week which he has agreed.But he is demanding to see the children whenever he wants.What should I do and can he take the children back to London.

Our Response:
If you are attending mediation, then it's aim is to attempt to resolve problems before the matter reaches court. Mediation, is a formal negotiation and courts can accept the agreement of the mediation instead of having to go through the court process, although it is subject to final court approval. The mediator has no pre-conceptions and will not force you to make an agreement. They will assist the two parties in taking turns in the conversation, and helping you reach a decision that you are ready to agree with. Mediators do not pass judgment or offer guidance; they are there, in effect, to facilitate conversation between the two sides. Therefore, you do not have to agree on anything you do not feel is in your children's best interests. If you fear your ex may try to take the children back to London without your consent, or keep them and not bring them back (if you agree to unsupervised access) then you would have to apply for a 'child arrangement order', which will determine with who the children should live on a permanent basis. You may wish to bring this up in mediation as part of the access agreement.
ChildSupportLaws - 31-Oct-17 @ 2:03 PM
ive been divorced 7 years now and still having problems with ex using the children to upset me.Always used the oldest for scheduling parenting time and refusing to talk to me about it. and it was against the parenting time order. He is 18 now but the ex has been doing this since he was 10.Now my son has behavior issues.an verbally lashes out at me all the time.all be cause he was made the boss.if the ex talked to me he would call me names.And the kids knew it.the courts just ordered all of us to seek family counsiling for all of us and if he doesnt show up he will not be able to take the kids overnite.he never did show up.and calls to see the kids when ever he feels like it. He had called cps 3 times since the divorce and managed joint custody.he tells the kids they can go to the neighbors but not moms house. when it was his parenting time. he would call me vulger names.The courts ordered parenting time be communicated through emails only not by phone.And he still doesnt abide by that either.Why doesnt the courts step it and stop the chaos.The kids were interviewed an told everything too.They witnessed father abusing the girlfriend too.Can he go to jail for this? Isnt this emotional abuse on a child? i need answers.When i was married.he said he was going to kill all of us.the courts know everything and he was convicted of domestic violence... why not attempted murder.(my shift key doesnt work great thats why sentences start with lower case letters.) sorry
froggy - 28-Oct-17 @ 2:07 AM
I have 2 sons, one under 3 the other 5 years old. My partner has become progressively more verbally abusive over the last 2 years. He is now smacking the children at least twice a week for issues like dropping yogurt on the floor and putting bubble bath in the bath when he told the 5 year old not to in those 2 instances it was around the head. Recently he smacked the 2.5 year old child on the leg because he wriggled when having his nappy changed. I heard the nose of the smack in another room. It left a red mark which faded before I had an opportunity to photo it. He has become quite violent with me shaking me and threatening to punch my teeth out. He is verbally abusive to me in front of the children and be-littles me all the time. This week I moved away from him in London to my parents in Nottingham with the children for our wellbeing. I am starting a new job in Nottingham and have organised a new school for them. He is saying I should not have taken them and wants them to go back to London and denies everything telling the 5 year old that it was my entire fault for borrowing his things meaning the washing machine and household goods. We have arranged mediation for next week which he has agreed. But he is demanding to see the children whenever he wants. What should I do and can he take the children back to London.
JO - 27-Oct-17 @ 12:30 PM
Hi, I was was wondering if you could help me, Cafcass have told me to say sorry to my children for putting myself and them in a situiaton where my ex there dad hit me infront of them, i fill like she thinks all the years of abuse i went through because of him was my fault, i did not ask for it to happen. Many thanks Emma
Emma - 21-Oct-17 @ 9:36 PM
Saturn - Your Question:
Hi, just after a little more insight. I was involved in a domestic abuse n violence relationship, I would like to stress he never physically punched me, but would often trash the house and throw objects at me. I was locked in if he went out, wasn't allowed to wear certain clothes, the most gos on and finally when my daughter was born he took her from me as he had PR I was very fortunate to get her back and from their went into a refuge. Since then there has been numerous of court hearings etc and a finding of fact. The judge did find certain findings but I was slightly disappointing as not all were found even though all were true. The social worker has always been professional and has recommended that supervised contact is to take place and he has to do a Dvp course. We have a directions hearing next and believe this will be the last hearing possibly. And I'm worried that it will be a case that if he's on this course he will be allowed un supervised contact?

Our Response:
We cannot predict what a court will decide. However, if your ex is seeing your child through a contact centre, much depends upon whether the judge at some point in the future makes an allowance for unsupervised contact. However, were supervised contact is recommended by Cafcass, then the court will generally adhere to Cafcass recommendations.
ChildSupportLaws - 17-Oct-17 @ 3:08 PM
@Sregor - The standard access is alternative weekends overnight one or two nights and contact one evening per week. The rest is debatable. Besides, he wont be able to apply directly to court, a court will want you to have gone through mediation first before it will allow you to apply.
Rob - 16-Oct-17 @ 12:49 PM
My husband and i seperated in may after several years of physical and emotional abuse. On this occassion when i rang the police he threw himself down the stairs and said i pushed him. I have obtained a non-molestation order and an occupation order and it has been proved in court that he has physical harmed me and that he threw himself down the stairs and i didnt push him. He has been unwilling to financial support his child so i applied to CSA within days of them contacting him he applied to family court proposing a silly amount of contact which i feel he is only doing to reduce CSA payments. What is realistic contact? He current has him one day a week and i have stated he can have him over night alternate weekends but he wants friday to monday and then over night contact two weeknights half of all school holidays alternate christnas' and birthdays
Sregor - 15-Oct-17 @ 7:01 AM
Hi, just after a little more insight. I was involved in a domestic abuse n violence relationship, I would like to stress he never physically punched me, but would often trash the house and throw objects at me. I was locked in if he went out, wasn't allowed to wear certain clothes, the most gos on and finally when my daughter was born he took her from me as he had PR I was very fortunate to get her back and from their went into a refuge.Since then there has been numerous of court hearings etc and a finding of fact. The judge did find certain findings but I was slightly disappointing as not all were found even though all were true. The social worker has always been professional and has recommended that supervised contact is to take place and he has to do a Dvp course. We have a directions hearing next and believe this will be the last hearing possibly. And I'm worried that it will be a case that if he's on this course he will be allowed un supervised contact?
Saturn - 13-Oct-17 @ 5:06 PM
@Stayray - if social services have been involved before then they may be again - it depends on why they were involved and whether they feel your child needs safeguarding. Do you really want a child to someone who has five different kids, to five different women and with a history of violence (I'm sure they're not all making it up)? Be careful, it won't be an easy life for you if you do. Plus, if you separate how will you get any child maintenance when he has five other kids to support? Think hard - it's not easy in this day and age to bring a child up, and it'll be more difficult if you're off to a shaky start.
LizU - 28-Sep-17 @ 12:53 PM
My boyfriend is alot older than me 13yrs. He has 5 kids to 5 different women and recently just got an injuction against him from his ex. She's not the only one that has one against him. I'm guessing this is why he's not allowed to see his kids. They have said for him to be a violent man. Anyway I've just found out I'm pregnant and just wondering if I do keep this baby what will it mean for me and the child? Will I have social services involved before its even born? ?
Stayray - 26-Sep-17 @ 4:52 PM
Jodie - Your Question:
Hi the father of my child keeps threatening to get me done in off people, it's not on anymore I can not take this any longer, he has turned up at my door with his girl cousin to smash my face in, he keeps telling me I'm getting it. I have had all I can take from him I need help and advice, my son is 1 years old and he does not need to be seeing or hearing his father threaten his mum, he has also stole money from me, he has a gambling problem and kicks off and manipulates me into giving him money for a bet, I can't take it no more, what can I do? What are my rights?

Our Response:
Please see Ask the Police link here, which should help you further.
ChildSupportLaws - 25-Sep-17 @ 11:18 AM
Hi the father of my child keeps threatening to get me done in off people, it's not on anymore I can not take this any longer, he has turned up at my door with his girl cousin to smash my face in, he keeps telling me I'm getting it. I have had all I can take from him I need help and advice, my son is 1 years old and he does not need to be seeing or hearing his father threaten his mum, he has also stole money from me, he has a gambling problem and kicks off and manipulates me into giving him money for a bet, I can't take it no more, what can I do? What are my rights?
Jodie - 24-Sep-17 @ 2:07 PM
Hi I've just found out that my ex whom I split with 12 years ago has sexually abused his step daughter during his time with her mum, they split up at Christmas last year, but his ex has only just found out about the abuse. She contacted me straight away as my 13 year old son still has contact with him. I'm am totally numb and shocked and unfortunately my son read the message that she sent to me and he is in bits. I really don't know what to do and really need advice on how to handle this situation and whether I should still let my son see his Dad or not
Panda - 23-Sep-17 @ 9:19 PM
Me and my ex have spilt up he's been violent in the past but never charged as I've been too scared to press charges he is now with another woman who has not long been released from prison for violent crimes and was arrested the other week for possession of 2 knives and threats to kill how can I stop the father of my child from having our daughter around her she's had her own 2 children taken off her for her crimes and is not allowed any contact with them. Please help!
Haylz - 23-Sep-17 @ 1:28 PM
Bb90 - Your Question:
Hi wondering if you can give me some advice. I split with my partners mother about a year ago , her new bf has beaten her up on several occasions and on one the police were notified but she got back with him and presumed her relationship, I am highly concerned for my daughters welfare , she is 3 I am we father and in the birth certificate and have no history of violence or any criminal activitys , can I do anything about this as I feel helpless lawfully ?Thank you in advance

Our Response:
If you cannot resolve this issue with your ex directly, or via mediation, 'Clare’s law’ allows parents to get information about anyone who has unsupervised access to their children under the domestic violence disclosure scheme. Parents can find out if the person has any previous convictions for DV as long as they use this information responsibly. It can be difficult when your partner starts dating again introduces a stranger into the lives of your children. It is a role that you do not want to be taken lightly and it is natural to be suspicious. You would also hope that your ex would not put your child in a potentially harmful situation. While you have to accept that she is moving and is free to make her own judgements about her boyfriend’s suitability, it is also fair to be concerned about your daughters’ safety. However, you need to be careful in the way that you approach this. You do not want to alienate your ex or cause any bad feeling between the two of you. Ideally, you should talk to your ex about your concerns, explaining that you are not judging her choice of partner but purely protecting your children. Try to discuss the possibility of doing a background check together so that she does not feel that you have gone behind her back. The best thing is to keep a close eye on your daughter to ensure there is no change in her general demeanour. Plus, keep a close eye on the situation. If an incident occurs, if you have parental responsibility you have the right to keep your child with you and out of harm's way. However, I would advise you seek legal guidance first in order to explore your options here as keeping your child against the other parent's wishes is never a good idea as it can backfire.
ChildSupportLaws - 22-Sep-17 @ 1:56 PM
Hi wondering if you can give me some advice. I split with my partners mother about a year ago , her new bf has beaten her up on several occasions and on one the police were notified but she got back with him and presumed her relationship, I am highly concerned for my daughters welfare , she is 3 I am we father and in the birth certificate and have no history of violence or any criminal activitys , can I do anything about this as I feel helpless lawfully ? Thank you in advance
Bb90 - 21-Sep-17 @ 4:16 PM
Tom - Your Question:
Hi my partner is separated from her husband and they have a child together but he was abusive and violence with her and he was also charged with child neglect. She has stopped him from seeing his child. What rights does she have as he is saying she cant do that ??

Our Response:
Your partner has the right to restrict access if she thinks it is in her child's best interests. Her ex husband would then have the option to take the matter to court. However, if he has been previously charged with child neglect and DV, then it is highly unlikely the courts would offer him any unsupervised access, if any access at all. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order.
ChildSupportLaws - 21-Sep-17 @ 2:52 PM
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