The Death Of Presumption Of Custody At All Costs – But Who Will Decide ‘Risk Of Harm’?


This needs to be circulated and seen by as many people as possible.

Researching Reform

It looks like the Family Court has finally decided to drag itself out of the Dark Ages after a report recommending that the presumption of contact ‘at all costs’ be reversed so that victims of domestic violence are not exposed to more harm.

The news that families will no longer have to suffer the indignity, and ongoing damage, of prolonged abuse through child contact is a very welcome development. The recommendations are set to become revisions within Practice Direction 12J, which addresses contact issues in the context of domestic violence and harm.

A report written by Justice Cobb recommends making several changes to the way the family courts deals with child contact where there is evidence of domestic abuse which could place children and partners at risk. At the moment, the burden of proving contact would be unsafe is placed on the alleged victim.

Whilst it has been suggested that the presumption…

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