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The Ministry of Justice aims to build on the latest work undertaken as part of the draft Domestic Abuse Bill by convening a panel of experts for a three-month exercise to ensure the family court “works first and foremost in the explicit interests of the child.”

The panel will include senior members of the judiciary, academics and charities to examine how the court protects children during domestic abuse cases by prioritizing their safety, health and wellbeing.

This panel will consider practice directions relating to child arrangement cases where domestic abuse is highlighted.

The president of the Law Society, Christina Blacklaws said “Reinstating legal aid for early advice and updating the means test will help to ensure domestic abuse is identified at the earliest possible point and children are properly protected from parents with a history of violence.'

The panel will be gathering evidence from this review to identify the impact on the child, when the applicant seeks child contact and who has been alleged to have, or has, committed domestic abuse or other relevant offences.

Paul Maynard, the Justice Minister said: “Some of the most vulnerable in our society come before the family courts, and I am absolutely determined that we offer them every protection.

This review will help us better understand victims’ experiences of the system, and make sure the family court is never used to coerce or re-traumatise those who have been abused. Its findings will be used to inform next steps so we can build on the raft of measures we have already introduced to protect victims of domestic abuse.”

Our team at Ramsdens are here to assist anybody who has experienced Domestic Abuse and also require advice on child contact. If you would like further advice and support in relation to domestic abuse and family matters, please contact our free Family team helpline on 08000 147720 or email family@ramsdens.co.uk to arrange a free appointment in any of our fourteen offices across Yorkshire.