Close to two thirds of family court applications concerning living arrangements for children feature allegations of domestic abuse new research suggests.
According to a new report from Cafcass and Women’s Aid, 62 per cent of all such cases included claims that one partner had been abusive. And the great majority of those cases containing allegations of violence – no less than 89 per cent – also featured other welfare concerns, such as parents with poor mental health or drug addictions.
In nearly a quarter of the cases involving allegations, unsupervised contact with the other parent was ordered at the first hearing and some contact in 44 per cent of the cases.
The findings are based on an analysis of 216 child arrangements orders.
Cafcass chief executive Anthony Douglas CBE said:
“This research highlights the complexity for the courts faced with making a safe decision for children against a backdrop of disputed allegations and multiple safeguarding concerns.”
“We have looked into those cases where unsupervised contact was ordered… we were satisfied that in each case action had been taken to manage risk relating to domestic abuse.”