Domestic Violence on Children Solicitors
Quality family law solicitors can provide family law advice on all matters relating to divorce and children, including how to protect children when you are getting divorced and there is a history of domestic violence. Even if that violence has never been shown towards the child, there are still considerations when it comes to them having contact with both parents, and it is important to take the time to look at all options to make sure their physical and emotional needs are met.
Domestic Violence and Children
A child does not have to be physically hit to be a victim of domestic violence. They can also be hurt from hearing it, witnessing the aftermath, or even knowing it exists in their home, which should be a place of safety. Growing up in a home where physical or emotional abuse exists can impair children’s emotional and cognitive growth, affecting not only their ability to develop and interact socially now but also changing relationships later in life.
Talk to your lawyer about your concerns regarding your child’s safety around their abusive parent. They can present your worries to the family court judge who hears your case, and who will certainly make your child’s welfare a top priority.
The Law and Child Victims of Domestic Violence
You may want to stop your child from ever seeing their abusive parent again, but even being imprisoned for domestic violence offences is not an automatic legal block to them having contact with their children. All facets of their crimes and how they behaved towards the children in the home will be considered when deciding if and how often the parent can see the child, with the judge considering safeguarding above the rights and wishes of both parents.
A judge can set parameters around contact with a parent who has been violent. Visits may be granted in a supervised contact centre but only after the offending parent has undergone specific counselling. Another option is an indirect form of contact which is monitored, such as letters or phone calls, and having a social worker or contact worker do the handover so the parents do not have to see each other. These arrangements will be reviewed periodically to make sure they fit the legal rights of both the child and their parent. The court will never put a child at risk if they believe their welfare may be compromised.
Domestic Violence Child Law Solicitors
In addition to acting for you in your divorce, your lawyer can help to protect your future safety by requesting a Non-Molestation order or an Occupation order. They can also ask the presiding judge to consider the request that the offending parent not live in or visit the area where you are living, alleviating any concern that your children may come into contact with the offending parent in the community.
Victims of domestic violence and parents of abused children may be entitled to Legal Aid if they can prove the abuse has occurred. They will need to provide supporting evidence such as a police report or GP letter.
If you are the victim of domestic abuse and are in the process of, or considering separation from your partner, talk to a family law solicitor in confidence about your options.
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