The MoJ has opened a consultation on how the family courts protect children and parents in private law children cases concerning domestic abuse and other serious offences. This will look specifically at the application of Practice Direction 12J, Practice Direction 3AA, The Family Procedure Rules Part 3A, and s.91(14) orders, and will build a more detailed understanding of any harm caused to parents and/or children during or following private law children proceedings. The overarching aim of the call for evidence is to better understand how effectively the family courts respond to allegations of domestic abuse and other serious offences in private law children cases, having regard to both the process and outcomes for the parties and the children.
The MoJ says "The panel would like to hear from people who have direct experience as parties in private law children cases, as well as from those who provide support services to parents involved in such cases, and from professionals who practise such cases. The panel are particularly keen to receive evidence of any harm caused to children and/or parents during or following private law children proceedings, where there are allegations and/or evidence of domestic abuse or of other crimes creating a risk of harm to children or parents (such as child abuse, rape, sexual assault or murder)."