UK Family Law Reform

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False allegations of domestic violence and child abuse are used in the family courts on a daily basis right across the country by resident parents (mothers in the vast majority of cases) to dictate the outcome of contact and residence applications with impunity.

The family courts view separating couples as two legal components: the ‘resident parent’ and the ‘non-resident parent’ (who does not live with the child). Although these two legal concepts might sound similar they are treated completely differently in the family courts. The only legal right a non-resident parent has is they can apply to the courts for contact. They do not have any other significant or presumptive rights over their children.

Most people believe they have the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law if they were accused of domestic violence or child abuse given they are criminal offences. However, this principle only applies in criminal trials which have to prove a person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It does not apply in the family courts which are civil proceedings where the best interest test is applied to all decisions which are made on a balance of probability.

Family court judges do not believe it would be in a child’s best interest to question what the resident parent has said (to see if it is true or not) because they claim do so would undermind their authority as the primary care giver. You might wonder how any decision could ever be reasonably considered as safe and in a child’s best interests if they do not check.

As a result of being separated from the father, children are placed at higher risk of child abuse, academic difficulties, conduct problems, and involvement with the criminal justice system.