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Domestic abuse occurs when one person harms another person with whom they have or have had some sort of relationship and can be in a variety of forms such as physical, emotional, financial or sexual harm. This type of abuse is against the law.

As well as directly affecting the parties involved it can have huge repercussions on surrounding family, friends, and children.

Both women and men can be a victim of domestic abuse and can feel as though they are helpless and taking action against a domestic abuser can seem like a huge step. Many people put up with domestic abuse, often for years as most victims are scared to seek help. If you are caught up in a distressing and frightening situation at home, contact our experienced family team who can give you help and legal advice, always in complete confidence. Every case is different, but a victim cannot be expected to stay in a harmful environment.

There are two main ways in which victims of domestic abuse can be protected by the law.

1) Non-molestation Orders : This prevents someone from being violent or threatening violence against you or your child. It also includes intimidation, harassment, or pestering. A breach of a Non-Molestation Order is an arrestable offence and now carries a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment.

2) Occupation Orders : This order relates to who can live in the family home and can also restrict access to the surrounding area as well. If the abuser breaks this order then they will only be arrested if a power of arrest document was lodged with the occupation order.

Both types of Court Orders can be made with or without the abuser being made aware of it if appropriate.

Our team can assist by discussing your options with you confidentially and informing you of your potential choices which will help you be able to take back control and decide what you wish to happen next with our paramount consideration at heart – securing your safety.

If you need legal advice or representation in respect of a family matter and want to know whether or not you are eligible for legal aid please contact our family department.

JNP Legal are leading law specialists who can assist with all your legal needs in a discreet and professional manner.

We are open Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm in our Merthyr Tydfil and Nelson offices and to ensure maximum convenience to all of you that may need our help and guidance on a Saturday morning 9am – 12pm in our Merthyr Tydfil office.

We offer home visits to those clients who are unable to attend our offices in person and we pride ourselves on offering first class client care.

If you need assistance in relation to any of the issues raised in this blog please call us on 01685 350421 or 01443 450561 or E Mail: Law@jnplegal.org and we will do our very best to provide you with the legal assistance you require.

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Contact Arrangements With Your Children Following the Breakdown of a Relationship

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The effects of a relationship breakdown can be a very painful time for the adults involved, but it’s been identified that it can be even more difficult for the children.

How the parents handle and deal with any conflict has a big impact on how children cope and their emotional well-being. Children within the family are often the innocent and confused casualties of the breakdown of a relationship and they need the love and support of both parents as they adjust to the changes.

It’s important that they feel safe and secure.

What if I can’t agree contact arrangements with my ex-partner?

Many parents are able to agree between themselves arrangements for their children which enable them to continue to enjoy a relationship with both parents.

For many other families contact arrangements cannot be agreed. Some parents choose to engage in mediation as a means of trying to negotiate a solution.

Where mediation is not suitable or has proved to be unsuccessful, an application can be made to the Family Court to resolve the issues of contact.

The Family Court’s paramount concern is the child’s best interest and will consider this in great detail upon every application. This means that the main focus will always be on the welfare of the child first, rather than the rights of either parent. It is commonly acknowledged that a child should enjoy a relationship with both parents, if this is safe for the child and is deemed appropriate.

What the Court will consider when deciding on contact arrangements ?

Each family is a unique group of individuals and in considering an application for contact, the Court will look at the particular circumstances of the child and family in question. Contact arrangements will differ depending on the circumstances of each family.

The views and the feelings of the child involved are also taken into account and a Court Children’s Officer may be asked to speak with the children individually to try to ascertain what these are.

What is a Contact Order ?

Contact Orders are Court Orders which set out the arrangements for when the non-resident parent can see their children.

Contact arrangements can vary in each case and therefore there are many different Contact Orders which a Court could make including the following:-

  •  Indirect Contact – for example, the exchange of letters, cards and e-mails between parent and child with no regular visits
  •  Direct Contact – regular weekly contact between the child and parent
  •  Overnight Contact
  •  Holiday contact – for example, additional contact at Easter, summer or Christmas.

Contact can also be supervised in cases where the Court directs that a relative or social worker must be present during visits.

How do Court proceedings conclude ?

In most cases, Orders are made by agreement between the parents with the help of their legal advisors; this is the most preferable method, as Orders which are made with the consent of both parents are much more likely to work successfully in the future and reduce antagonism between the parties.

However where agreement cannot be reached, the Court will fully hear arguments from both parents and will ultimately make a Contact Order which is deemed to be in the best interests of the child.

Separation doesn’t always mean the end of arguments, and you may need help in settling disagreements from your break up. Once you are able to put your personal disagreements aside you will be able to address more practical issues, such as your children’s routine and visits.

If you need legal advice or representation in respect of a family matter and want to know whether or not you are eligible for legal aid please contact our family department.

JNP Legal are leading law specialists who can assist with all your legal needs in a discreet and professional manner.

We are open Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm in our Merthyr Tydfil and Nelson offices and to ensure maximum convenience to all of you that may need our help and guidance on a Saturday morning 9am – 12pm in our Merthyr Tydfil office.

We offer home visits to those clients who are unable to attend our offices in person and we pride ourselves on offering first class client care.

If you need assistance in relation to any of the issues raised in this blog please call us on 01685 350421 or 01443 450561 or E Mail: Law@jnplegal.org and we will do our very best to provide you with the legal assistance you require.