It is a systematic failure that many times Courts do not take note of the Para 34 of the Practise Direction, Para 34 allows contact to take place even if there are UNPROVEN allegations.
Practise Direction 12 J, Para 34 says that : "Where any domestic abuse has occurred but the court, having considered any expert risk assessment and having applied the welfare checklist, nonetheless considers that direct contact is safe and beneficial for the child, the court should consider what, if any, directions or conditions are required to enable the order to be carried into effect and in particular should consider – (a) whether or not contact should be supervised, and if so, where and by whom; (b) whether to impose any conditions to be complied with by the party in whose favour the order for contact has been made and if so, the nature of those conditions, for example by way of seeking intervention (subject to any necessary consent); (c) whether such contact sh
ould be for a specified period or should contain provisions which are to have effect for a specified period"
The courts are obliged to ensure the safety of the children, BUT, practise direction 12
J is being misused by many as an excuse not allow an honest non-resident parent not to have contact with his (mostly in our experience) or her child.
This article is to call out that if you do find yourself in a situation, where you are being told that you can not see your child because Domestic Abuse allegation has been made against you, please do consider remind the learned court of the Practise Direction 12 J, Para 34, and the Section 1 (Subsection 1) of the Children Act 1989.
The Children Act 1989 is clear that the best interest of the child supersedes other considerations, and it is rather hard to argue that contact (even if supervised) with his / her parent is not in favour of a child !!
I do think that the Courts need to take penal action against those parents whose allegations are subsequently found to be false and that it is time that the Law of our land provides for such measures, so a parent making the false allegation is taken to task.
Law and Courts must make sure that children should not suffer. Justice denied is justice delayed, and the worst delay in case of a child's life is the time gone forever without the non-resident parent.
While Nothing on this article shall be taken as Legal Advice, it is a fact that Court Help Limited, deals with such situations on a regular basis for our clients, and if you need help, feel free to call us on 07375757523 or visit www.CourtHelpLimited.co.uk