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Now is the time to reassess presumption f parental involvement in cases involving domestic abuse

Date:18 APR 2024
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Lea Levine Paralegal at Stewarts and former independent domestic violence advisor

In this article paralegal and former independent domestic violence advisor (“IDVA”) Lea Levine considers the potential damage the presumption of parental involvement can have in children proceedings that involve allegations of abuse (and specifically coercive and controlling behaviour) by one parent towards the other. The article addresses the dangers of a ‘pro-contact’ culture within the English legal system and the risk of exposing children to an abusive parent. In considering the negative impact that contact with an emotionally abusive parent can have on a child’s emotional and physical wellbeing the article proposes that Practice Direction 12J should tip the scale in favour of no contact. Issues with indirect contact involving an abusive parent the permissible evidence of coercive control for use in court proceedings and counter allegations of ‘parental alienation’ are also explored. Levine concludes that the judiciary must approach cases concerning allegations of domestic abuse and parental alienation with rigor to uphold the safeguarding of children in family law proceedings. 

The full article has published in the April...

Read the full article here.