High Court dismisses contact application in domestic violence case
AB v BB and C, D, E and F concerned a former couple with four children aged between two and six. They had had a “volatile” relationship and the father had been convicted of domestic violence. The father applied for direct or indirect contact and an additional assessment of the risk he might pose if the court felt it did not have sufficient information. The mother opposed his application, with help from Cafcass, and also applied for permission to change the children’s surnames.
Mrs Justice Theis ruled that the welfare of the children must be the paramount consideration and they needed the security and stability provided by their mother. The evidence suggested that the mother’s fears of further violence were genuine and the father’s attitude betrayed a failure to grasp the impact of his behaviour on his wife and children.
There judge also ruled against an an additional risk assessment as the father had shown little evidence of change and the court had take into account the mother’s fear of her former partner, and the impact of her emotional state on her children.
Mrs Justice Theis granted permission for the mother to change her children’s names. Safety was a critical issue and the father had expressed a desire to discover where his former family lived.
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Marilyn Stowe is the senior partner in Stowe Family Law, which has offices in Yorkshire, Cheshire and London. With more than 30 years’ experience handling divorce cases and family law proceedings she is regarded as one of the most formidable and sought after divorce lawyers in the UK. In 2012, Marilyn became one of the first solicitors to qualify as a family law arbitrator.
All persons mentioned in the scenarios are fictitious: details have been deliberately changed in order to protect identities and other confidential circumstances of my clients. All advice and information on this blog including posts written by guest authors, is given only as a general guide to the operation of the law on the date of publication. Readers must place no reliance whatsoever on the content of this blog and must always obtain their own legal advice. Marilyn Stowe, Stowe Family Law LLP and guest authors accept no liability whatsoever arising as a result of reliance upon its content.
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