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Domestic Violence and Contact

By: Abigail Taylor - Updated: 18 Sep 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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[Add a Comment]
I have a 7 year old daughter that is under the care of a social worker and pastoral care due to her father emotionally and psychologically abusing her. Her father keeps accusing my husband of physically hurting my daughter then makes her lie to the police and social workers who have now become aware that her father is manipulating her to do this. She is a very confused little girl that needs help due to her father's tactics. I have a child arrangements order but have ceased contact until our next court date which I applied for. I believe I am protecting my daughter from further potential harm, even phone calls and Skype he harassed my daughter and she comes off the phone/Skype confused. I need a helping hand as I feel out of my depth.
Emsie - 18-Sep-18 @ 8:36 PM
Dontgiveup - Your Question:
I was in a relationship with the father of my 9 month old for 5 years. he became controlling and mentally abusive intimadating me using his size to overpower me. He is like it infront of his family who totally normalise his behaviour and blame his drepression and anxiety. I left him when our son was only 11 weeks old and moved in with my parents. At first I was very accommodating with him seeing our son but he got more abs more abusive so I arranged that he will see him at his parents house with me there. This didn’t really work as he was still abusive and violent in their house infront of our baby and infront of his family, being aggressive to me and also his sister and occasionally his mum and dad. After one incident I reported him to the police who took it very seriously and arrested him however he was released with no further action as there wasn’t enough evidence even with his sister making a statement. Since the arrest I have met him with both our mothers present in a public place and he tried to start an argument at the end of the meeting Which make me feel really nervous and intimidated I can’t believe he would start something in a public place aswell. Going forward I want him to have supervised contact with our son. He keeps threatening me with court. I have messages from him and his family which would be some evidence but I don’t know if it’s strong enough. I don’t know what to do now I am scared of meeting him in public and have said about contact centres which he isn’t keen on. I’m worried if he took me to court he would be really manipulative and get more access than I think he should have. Any advise would be great

Our Response:
Unfortunately, we cannot advise on individual cases, as with most cases there are two sides to every story which has to be investigated through the likes of Cafcass. In cases of domestic violence or intimidation allegations Cafcass will interview both parents in the case, as well as the children, and any others who might be needed, which could mean social workers, medical professionals, or even relatives. From the interviews they conduct, the Cafcass reporter will determine two things: whether there should be contact allowed, and, if so, how much. It’s a measure of how important the Cafcass recommendation is that the court will almost invariably adhere to it.
ChildSupportLaws - 7-Aug-18 @ 11:39 AM
Dontgiveup - Your Question:
^^^And I forgot to mention my ex also is addicted to cannabis and drinks heavily. He played it down to the police when he was questioned (obviously) and is now saying he has given it up. Also he has not given me any regular money for our son. If he pays maintenance does that give him more rights to see him?

Our Response:
Child maintenance and child benefit have no bearing upon each other. Your ex will still be expected to pay child maintenance whether he sees your son or not or whether a court allows him to see his son or not.
ChildSupportLaws - 6-Aug-18 @ 3:24 PM
Tams - Your Question:
I was with my ex for a year and a half and left him in April. We had problems during the relationship which I'm not going onto detail about. However when I found out I was pregnant the domestic abuse started. There was a few incidents which happened when no one was around and I don't believe I have any evidence but then there is some where the are witnesses and I do have evidence. He is now telling me he wants contact with my baby but I don't want him to because he has done nothing for her and I'm scared he or his family will hurt her. What can I do to help my case if he takes me to court? Any help/advice is appreciated.

Our Response:
Unless your ex has been charged, you would have to prove that domestic violence has taken place. We cannot advise on what you should do to help your case. Cafcass will get involved if you being in an accusation of domestic violence. The Cafcass staff who compile the reports are known as Children and Family Reporters. It’s their job to interview both parents in the case, as well as the children, and any others who might be needed, which could mean social workers, medical professionals, or even relatives. The reporters are social workers themselves, but their qualifications don’t go beyond that (one criticism levelled at them is that they sometimes make observations that go beyond their field of expertise, such as in the medical area). From the interviews they conduct, the reporter will determine two things: whether there should be contact allowed, and, if so, how much. It’s a measure of how important the Cafcass recommendation is that the court will almost invariably adhere to it.
ChildSupportLaws - 6-Aug-18 @ 3:08 PM
^^^And I forgot to mention my ex also is addicted to cannabis and drinks heavily. He played it down to the police when he was questioned (obviously) and is now saying he has given it up. Also he has not given me any regular money for our son. If he pays maintenance does that give him more rights to see him?
Dontgiveup - 5-Aug-18 @ 8:14 PM
I was in a relationship with the father of my 9 month old for 5 years... he became controlling and mentally abusive intimadating me using his size to overpower me. He is like it infront of his family who totally normalise his behaviour and blame his drepression and anxiety. I left him when our son was only 11 weeks old and moved in with my parents. At first I was very accommodating with him seeing our son but he got more abs more abusive so i arranged that he will see him at his parents house with me there. This didn’t really work as he was still abusive and violent in their house infront of our baby and infront of his family, being aggressive to me and also his sister and occasionally his mum and dad. After one incident I reported him to the police who took it very seriously and arrested him however he was released with no further action as there wasn’t enough evidence even with his sister making a statement. Since the arrest I have met him with both our mothers present in a public place and he tried to start an argument at the end of the meeting Which make me feel really nervous and intimidated I can’t believe he would start something in a public place aswell. Going forward I want him to have supervised contact with our son. He keeps threatening me with court. I have messages from him and his family which would be some evidence but I don’t know if it’s strong enough. I don’t know what to do now I am scared of meeting him in public and have said about contact centres which he isn’t keen on. I’m worried if he took me to court he would be really manipulative and get more access than I think he should have. Any advise would be great
Dontgiveup - 5-Aug-18 @ 8:08 PM
I was with my ex for a year and a half and left him in April. We had problems during the relationship which I'm not going onto detail about. However when I found out I was pregnant the domestic abuse started. There was a few incidents which happened when no one was around and I don't believe I have any evidence but then there is some where the are witnesses and I do have evidence. He is now telling me he wants contact with my baby but I don't want him to because he has done nothing for her and I'm scared he or his family will hurt her. What can I do to help my case if he takes me to court? Any help/advice is appreciated.
Tams - 4-Aug-18 @ 6:36 AM
Hollie- Your Question:
Hi I finally got away from my abusive ex I have video evidence of him being violent n threatening about 7 videos on one of them you can hear me saying stop it your scaring the baby I had my baby in my arms. Police have also been called out. I've left my home due to the abuse n my case has been classed as a gold marac. My ex wants access to my baby but I know he will harm my baby to hurt me. He put me on dating websites talking to men pretending to be me asking them round for sex. He's hacked my Facebook account my email account he's on cocaine too plz any help

Our Response:
All you can do is to keep this evidence you have against him and present it to Cafcass/the court if your ex decides to pursue access through the courts. If there is evidence your ex has been abusive to you in the past, then this will help your case.
ChildSupportLaws - 31-Jul-18 @ 3:18 PM
Hi I finally got away from my abusive ex I have video evidence of him being violent n threatening about 7 videos on one of them you can hear me saying stop it your scaring the baby I had my baby in my arms. Police have also been called out . I've left my home due to the abuse n my case has been classed as a gold marac.My ex wants access to my baby but I know he will harm my baby to hurt me. He put me on dating websites talking to men pretending to be me asking them round for sex.He's hacked my Facebook account my email account he's on cocaine too plz any help
Hollie - 31-Jul-18 @ 10:45 AM
My ex has been going through court in an attempt for unsupervised access. He is dead set against unsupervised and does not seem to bw giving up. He has made my life hell the 2 years we have been apart and trying to use my 2 kids as a weapon at every opportunity. The court has been ongoing for 2 years. Last month i was cross examined by the domestic abuser who i have to call my ex. And my solicitor cross examined him. The judge found me to be truthful with everything i was saying including the fact that he raped me. The way he presented in court did himself no favours. We were sent away and that was the final hearing. He was told to go on a domestic abuse perpetrators programme and complete it. He is halfway through another 5 weeks to go then i am aware from him that he will be going back to court to try and push for unsupervised. At the minute has supervised in a centre. I was also made to pay half of the contact cost which is £40 a month. Doesnt seem like much but thats 40 i could put to my children. Is there anything i can do to prevent contact going to unsupervised.
Pria - 28-Jul-18 @ 12:27 AM
Retrogirl123 - Your Question:
My ex was found guilty of assault by beating and was given a restraining of 2 years which is now up. what access, if any, would he be granted if he took me to court? Child is now 3 and don’t know who he is at all

Our Response:
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. This means we cannot possible predict what a court may decide.
ChildSupportLaws - 26-Jul-18 @ 3:10 PM
Hi,my ex,he started off as the ideal man,he begged me to have a baby,after my baby was born,he controlled my entire life,down to what I wearing not letting me have a job,not allowed to have any male friends,amongst lots of other things,I have other children and he turned against there father and wouldn't allow him to come into the house on collection or drop off,which upset my children as I always do my best to have a good relationship with there father for my children's sake.he always drank a lot and it became more and more when baby was born to the point he was even driving his other kids home after a few to many.his temper changed and the arguments became more and more,to which I was at breaking point not only was it affecting me but my children,I had to end the relationship,i recieved messages that he couldn't live with out me and didn't want to be here anymore,to which I'd have to go and check on him to make sure he was ok,to end up getting drunken abuse off him,now I'm in a situation that I don't trust him to look after my little boy and be safe in his care,I have stopped contact with him and my son,and his now threatening to take me to court,I have video evidence of what his like,and endless messages of how he controlled my life,I had made a call to police wen he was drunk and very angry but he took the phone from me,but I had voicemails from police asking if I was ok,his also drunk drove and rite off a car,I just don't trust him with my little boy,but feel like I'm doing the wrong thing,I have asked him to get help with his problems and we can go from there,but his indenial that his done anything wrong
Charri - 26-Jul-18 @ 9:02 AM
My ex was found guilty of assault by beating and was given a restraining of 2 years which is now up. what access, if any, would he be granted if he took me to court? Child is now 3 and don’t know who he is at all
Retrogirl123 - 25-Jul-18 @ 5:12 PM
Hi im at the beginning of battle over custody of my 18 months child My (ex) still husband move raised court action against me ... He was abusing mentally verbally and emotionally for over 8 years He has narcissistic personality and I will do everything I can to protect my child . I want supervised contact He always abused me in front of my child by how I can prove it ? How I can safe my child...
Fighter - 24-Jul-18 @ 11:27 PM
Hi. My ex partner was very controlling and abusive. Getting further into the relationship I found out he was a heavy drug user (and still uses drugs e.g cocaine, cannabis, acid, dmt, mdma). He took full financial control over me, taking my bank card off me, he often would take my phone away from me, and also used to remove the condom during intercourse without my knowledge (how I ended up pregnant) the abuse got worse and worse as I got really poorly with the pregnancy, with him even hitting me whilst pregnant. His ex messaged me, telling me that he had been threatening her not to tell me- but he had been in prison 5 years previously for gbh, fire arm possession and cannabis psychosis. I managed to get away from him, but have had to keep going to the police about harassment, he won't leave me and my friends alone and often says that if I don't speak to him he will lull himself (I know this is just emotional blackmail, he did this several times during the relationship when I tried to split up with him). He's told the police officer he's going to take me to court to get access to my son. He's not on the birth certificate, but I've heard he could quite likely get put on. He also has schizophrenia, he's so unstable I'm terrified off him harming my son. I'm so worried and scared. Would he be allowed access to my lovely little boy bearing all of this in mind? Please help, thank you.
Pasha - 3-Jul-18 @ 11:17 PM
Hi. My ex partner was very controlling and abusive. Getting further into the relationship I found out he was a heavy drug user (and still uses drugs e.g cocaine, cannabis, acid, dmt, mdma). He took full financial control over me, taking my bank card off me, he often would take my phone away from me, and also used to remove the condom during intercourse without my knowledge (how I ended up pregnant) the abuse got worse and worse as I got really poorly with the pregnancy, with him even hitting me whilst pregnant. His ex messaged me, telling me that he had been threatening her not to tell me- but he had been in prison 5 years previously for gbh, fire arm possession and cannabis psychosis. I managed to get away from him, but have had to keep going to the police about harassment, he won't leave me and my friends alone and often says that if I don't speak to him he will lull himself (I know this is just emotional blackmail, he did this several times during the relationship when I tried to split up with him). He's told the police officer he's going to take me to court to get access to my son. He's not on the birth certificate, but I've heard he could quite likely get put on. He also has schizophrenia, he's so unstable I'm terrified off him harming my son. I'm so worried and scared. Would he be allowed access to my lovely little boy bearing all of this in mind? Please help, thank you.
Pasha - 3-Jul-18 @ 5:18 PM
@Pasha - If your child's father has a history of violence etc and you have proof and if you have a harassment order out on him now it's unikely the court would allow him anything other than unsupervised contact.
Elliot - 3-Jul-18 @ 2:50 PM
Hi. My ex partner was very controlling and abusive. Getting further into the relationship I found out he was a heavy drug user (and still uses drugs e.g cocaine, cannabis, acid, dmt, mdma). He took full financial control over me, taking my bank card off me, he often would take my phone away from me, and also used to remove the condom during intercourse without my knowledge (how I ended up pregnant) the abuse got worse and worse as I got really poorly with the pregnancy, with him even hitting me whilst pregnant. His ex messaged me, telling me that he had been threatening her not to tell me- but he had been in prison 5 years previously for gbh, fire arm possession and cannabis psychosis. I managed to get away from him, but have had to keep going to the police about harassment, he won't leave me and my friends alone and often says that if I don't speak to him he will lull himself (I know this is just emotional blackmail, he did this several times during the relationship when I tried to split up with him). He's told the police officer he's going to take me to court to get access to my son. He's not on the birth certificate, but I've heard he could quite likely get put on. He also has schizophrenia, he's so unstable I'm terrified off him harming my son. I'm so worried and scared. Would he be allowed access to my lovely little boy bearing all of this in mind? Please help, thank you.
Pasha - 3-Jul-18 @ 2:06 PM
Hi. My ex partner was very controlling and abusive. Getting further into the relationship I found out he was a heavy drug user (and still uses drugs e.g cocaine, cannabis, acid, dmt, mdma). He took full financial control over me, taking my bank card off me, he often would take my phone away from me, and also used to remove the condom during intercourse without my knowledge (how I ended up pregnant) the abuse got worse and worse as I got really poorly with the pregnancy, with him even hitting me whilst pregnant. His ex messaged me, telling me that he had been threatening her not to tell me- but he had been in prison 5 years previously for gbh, fire arm possession and cannabis psychosis. I managed to get away from him, but have had to keep going to the police about harassment, he won't leave me and my friends alone and often says that if I don't speak to him he will lull himself (I know this is just emotional blackmail, he did this several times during the relationship when I tried to split up with him). He's told the police officer he's going to take me to court to get access to my son. He's not on the birth certificate, but I've heard he could quite likely get put on. He also has schizophrenia, he's so unstable I'm terrified off him harming my son. I'm so worried and scared. Would he be allowed access to my lovely little boy bearing all of this in mind? Please help, thank you.
Pasha - 3-Jul-18 @ 9:54 AM
Hi. My ex partner was very controlling and abusive. Getting further into the relationship I found out he was a heavy drug user (and still uses drugs e.g cocaine, cannabis, acid, dmt, mdma). He took full financial control over me, taking my bank card off me, he often would take my phone away from me, and also used to remove the condom during intercourse without my knowledge (how I ended up pregnant) the abuse got worse and worse as I got really poorly with the pregnancy, with him even hitting me whilst pregnant. His ex messaged me, telling me that he had been threatening her not to tell me- but he had been in prison 5 years previously for gbh, fire arm possession and cannabis psychosis. I managed to get away from him, but have had to keep going to the police about harassment, he won't leave me and my friends alone and often says that if I don't speak to him he will lull himself (I know this is just emotional blackmail, he did this several times during the relationship when I tried to split up with him). He's told the police officer he's going to take me to court to get access to my son. He's not on the birth certificate, but I've heard he could quite likely get put on. He also has schizophrenia, he's so unstable I'm terrified off him harming my son. I'm so worried and scared. Would he be allowed access to my lovely little boy bearing all of this in mind? Please help, thank you.
Pasha - 3-Jul-18 @ 12:37 AM
Hi. My ex partner was very controlling and abusive. Getting further into the relationship I found out he was a heavy drug user (and still uses drugs e.g cocaine, cannabis, acid, dmt, mdma). He took full financial control over me, taking my bank card off me, he often would take my phone away from me, and also used to remove the condom during intercourse without my knowledge (how I ended up pregnant) the abuse got worse and worse as I got really poorly with the pregnancy, with him even hitting me whilst pregnant. His ex messaged me, telling me that he had been threatening her not to tell me- but he had been in prison 5 years previously for gbh, fire arm possession and cannabis psychosis. I managed to get away from him, but have had to keep going to the police about harassment, he won't leave me and my friends alone and often says that if I don't speak to him he will lull himself (I know this is just emotional blackmail, he did this several times during the relationship when I tried to split up with him). He's told the police officer he's going to take me to court to get access to my son. He's not on the birth certificate, but I've heard he could quite likely get put on. He also has schizophrenia, he's so unstable I'm terrified off him harming my son. I'm so worried and scared. Would he be allowed access to my lovely little boy bearing all of this in mind? Please help, thank you.
Pasha - 3-Jul-18 @ 12:05 AM
Bubbles- Your Question:
My ex assulted me twice in home where are 10 month old was police were called on both occasions. I tried to keep the family together for sake of my son, however a few months later he beat me up breaking my jaw into bits aswel as other injuries. He was found guilty of Gbh and has served a prison sentance. Ive been through so much physically and mentally I cant take any more. And the thought of him trying for access makes me so scared for my son. I dont want them being poisoned or abused hes so unstable. Please help

Our Response:
If your ex committed that extent of domestic violence, if an application is allowed a court will order Cafcass to investigate and produce a welfare report. A welfare report should take into account: the child’s personal wishes, the safety of each party and the safety of the child during contact, any harm suffered by the child and any harm that the child might be susceptible to if contact is awarded; and domestic violence experienced by the child or either parent. As specified in the article, in DV cases, the court will always ensure that arrangements are safe for yourself and your child. This may mean that the other parent should have no contact with you or your child. Please see the link here for further information. If you have suffered domestic abuse, you can apply for Legal Aid, please see link here. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 28-Jun-18 @ 10:33 AM
My ex assulted me twice in home where are 10 month old was police were called on both occasions. I tried to keep the family together for sake of my son, however a few months later he beat me up breaking my jaw into bits aswel as other injuries. He was found guilty of Gbh and has served a prison sentance. Ive been through so much physically and mentally i cant take any more. And the thought of him trying for access makes me so scared for my son. I dont want them being poisoned or abused hes so unstable. Please help
Bubbles - 27-Jun-18 @ 4:29 PM
Mum - Your Question:
Hi I left a query could you please adviseHi I have been divorced from my ex and have a decree absolute in 2014. My son who is 6 years old lives with me with no contact with his dad for the last 5 years as we separated due to domestic violence on child and myself and the father lives in another country. My divorce application mentioned that my son will live with me and my ex didn’t contest this. I am worried that I don’t have a legal document which mentioned that I have custody. Also in case his father tracks us and takes him away from his school. Could you please advise what I should do.

Our Response:
If you are concerned that this may happen, then you can apply through the courts for a Prohibited Steps Order. A PSO is an order granted by the court in family cases which prevents either parent from carrying out certain events or making specific trips with their children without the express permission of the other parent. This is more common in cases where there is suspicion that one parent may leave the area with their children. The court would do this via a child arrangement order, please see link here .
ChildSupportLaws - 26-Jun-18 @ 2:18 PM
Hi I left a query could you please advise Hi I have been divorced from my ex and have a decree absolute in 2014. My son who is 6 years old lives with me with no contact with his dad for the last 5 years as we separated due to domestic violence on child and myself and the father lives in another country. My divorce application mentioned that my son will live with me and my ex didn’t contest this. I am worried that I don’t have a legal document which mentioned that I have custody. Also in case his father tracks us and takes him away from his school . Could you please advise what I should do.
Mum - 25-Jun-18 @ 8:43 PM
I left my husband 6 months ago due to emotional abuse and sexual abuse towards myself and my two children (his step children). Just before I left I found out I was pregnant. A pregnancy he forced upon me “for my own good”. I have had zero contact since I left, he has harassed me and has been cautioned by the police. My problem is although my children can relay all details of the abuse they suffered, the police did nothing. They had a brief chat with the boys and it didn’t go further. My boys are safe and will never have contact with him but I am fearful for my baby. His behaviour towards his own child is indecent and irresponsible so I have no reason to believe he will be any different towards this baby. I have an appointment with a solicitor booked and legal aid is being sorted out but where can I go/what can I do now to pre empt his application to the court for access? And once he has made that application is there realistically any way of limiting contact to at most supervised visits until the baby is old enough to recognise what is correct behaviour towards her? Without the police to back up what I’ve said I am doubtful I will have a case. My social worker howeverfully understands my concerns and feels I’m justified in my fears for my babies safety so I am confident of her support. I am in no way a vengeful woman just out to deny my ex access to his child for no good reason. I am genuinely fearful for my baby. Any advice would be gratefully received thank you.
Worried mum - 8-Jun-18 @ 7:40 PM
Worried mum- Your Question:
I left my husband 6 months ago due to emotional abuse and sexual abuse towards myself and my two children (his step children). Just before I left I found out I was pregnant. A pregnancy he forced upon me “for my own good”. I have had zero contact since I left, he has harassed me and has been cautioned by the police. My problem is although my children can relay all details of the abuse they suffered, the police did nothing. They had a brief chat with the boys and it didn’t go further. My boys are safe and will never have contact with him but I am fearful for my baby. His behaviour towards his own child is indecent and irresponsible so I have no reason to believe he will be any different towards this baby. I have an appointment with a solicitor booked and legal aid is being sorted out but where can I go/what can I do now to pre empt his application to the court for access? And once he has made that application is there realistically any way of limiting contact to at most supervised visits until the baby is old enough to recognise what is correct behaviour towards her? Without the police to back up what I’ve said I am doubtful I will have a case. My social worker however fully understands my concerns and feels I’m justified in my fears for my babies safety so I am confident of her support. I am in no way a vengeful woman just out to deny my ex access to his child for no good reason. I am genuinely fearful for my baby. Any advice would be gratefully received thank you.

Our Response:
If the matter goes to court, Cafcass will get involved, please see link here . If you have the backing of social workers and the police caution, then this will be taken into consideration. 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 - 8-Jun-18 @ 2:49 PM
I left my husband 6 months ago due to emotional abuse and sexual abuse towards myself and my two children (his step children). Just before I left I found out I was pregnant. A pregnancy he forced upon me “for my own good”. I have had zero contact since I left, he has harassed me and has been cautioned by the police. My problem is although my children can relay all details of the abuse they suffered, the police did nothing. They had a brief chat with the boys and it didn’t go further. My boys are safe and will never have contact with him but I am fearful for my baby. His behaviour towards his own child is indecent and irresponsible so I have no reason to believe he will be any different towards this baby. I have an appointment with a solicitor booked and legal aid is being sorted out but where can I go/what can I do now to pre empt his application to the court for access? And once he has made that application is there realistically any way of limiting contact to at most supervised visits until the baby is old enough to recognise what is correct behaviour towards her? Without the police to back up what I’ve said I am doubtful I will have a case. My social worker howeverfully understands my concerns and feels I’m justified in my fears for my babies safety so I am confident of her support. I am in no way a vengeful woman just out to deny my ex access to his child for no good reason. I am genuinely fearful for my baby. Any advice would be gratefully received thank you.
Worried mum - 6-Jun-18 @ 7:24 AM
I left my husband 6 months ago due to emotional abuse and sexual abuse towards myself and my two children (his step children). Just before I left I found out I was pregnant. A pregnancy he forced upon me “for my own good”. I have had zero contact since I left, he has harassed me and has been cautioned by the police. My problem is although my children can relay all details of the abuse they suffered, the police did nothing. They had a brief chat with the boys and it didn’t go further. My boys are safe and will never have contact with him but I am fearful for my baby. His behaviour towards his own child is indecent and irresponsible so I have no reason to believe he will be any different towards this baby. I have an appointment with a solicitor booked and legal aid is being sorted out but where can I go/what can I do now to pre empt his application to the court for access? And once he has made that application is there realistically any way of limiting contact to at most supervised visits until the baby is old enough to recognise what is correct behaviour towards her? Without the police to back up what I’ve said I am doubtful I will have a case. My social worker howeverfully understands my concerns and feels I’m justified in my fears for my babies safety so I am confident of her support. I am in no way a vengeful woman just out to deny my ex access to his child for no good reason. I am genuinely fearful for my baby. Any advice would be gratefully received thank you.
Worried mum - 5-Jun-18 @ 9:27 PM
I left my husband 6 months ago due to emotional abuse and sexual abuse towards myself and my two children (his step children). Just before I left I found out I was pregnant. A pregnancy he forced upon me “for my own good”. I have had zero contact since I left, he has harassed me and has been cautioned by the police. My problem is although my children can relay all details of the abuse they suffered, the police did nothing. They had a brief chat with the boys and it didn’t go further. My boys are safe and will never have contact with him but I am fearful for my baby. His behaviour towards his own child is indecent and irresponsible so I have no reason to believe he will be any different towards this baby. I have an appointment with a solicitor booked and legal aid is being sorted out but where can I go/what can I do now to pre empt his application to the court for access? And once he has made that application is there realistically any way of limiting contact to at most supervised visits until the baby is old enough to recognise what is correct behaviour towards her? Without the police to back up what I’ve said I am doubtful I will have a case. My social worker howeverfully understands my concerns and feels I’m justified in my fears for my babies safety so I am confident of her support. I am in no way a vengeful woman just out to deny my ex access to his child for no good reason. I am genuinely fearful for my baby. Any advice would be gratefully received thank you.
Worried mum - 5-Jun-18 @ 8:51 PM
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