Earlier this year the court of appeal issued guidance on abuse domestic hearing and findings of fact.
There were four conjoined appeal cases on the issue relating to fact findings in hearings relating to child arrangements under the Child Act 1989 Proceedings.
- Re B-B—appealing a decision of HHJ Scarratt.
- Re H—appealing a decision of HHJ Tolson QC.
- Re T—appealing a decision of HHJ Evans-Gordon.
- Re H-N—appealing a decision of HHJ Tolson QC.
The guidance by the court of appeal focuses on the concept of coercive and or controlling behaviour and most importantly the harm that can be done to children who are exposed to the toxic environment.
It is important to note that the court of appeal allowed intervention from interest parties on wider issues. Cafcass, Women’s Aid Wales, Rape Crisis and Association of Lawyers for Children, were all intervenors in these proceedings.
The above cases provided the well-needed guidance for professionals in respect of whether a finding of fact hearing should take place; and if the traditional Scott schedule should be used.
The approach of the court is to enable the environment to enable an evaluation of such behaviour alongside the need not to significantly harm the children.
The guidance is welcomed by our Divorce Solicitors in Enfield because the traditional approach to domestic abuse was seen not to touch matter relating specifically to controlling and cohesive behaviour.
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