Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fact Finding on Domestic Violence in Private Law, Children Cases: Preventing Delay - A Suggestion

omestic violence is one of the most troubling issues which family lawyers have to address. This article is concerned with fact finding in private law, children cases where allegations of domestic violence are raised by one parent against the other parent.

On 9th May 2008, a new Practice Direction came into force entitled: “Residence and Contact Orders: Domestic Violence and Harm”. (The Practice Direction was amended on 14th January 2009 but the amendments do not alter the way in which fact finding hearings should be listed.)

This Practice Direction put in place a new set of guidance for courts and practitioners when faced with allegations of domestic violence made by a parent or a child against another parent. With regard to the issue of fact finding hearings in private law proceedings, the Practice Direction makes clear that courts should determine:

“as soon as possible whether it is necessary to conduct a fact-finding hearing in relation to any disputed allegation of domestic violence before it can proceed to consider any final order(s) for residence or contact”.

To read this article in its entirety, please click here.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at

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