Abuse between parents and contact with children
No excuse for abuse between parents
There is no excuse for domestic abuse between parents, which can cause long-standing, serious emotional and psychological harm to children. However, the best interests of the child principle in the Constitution means that parents remain entitled to reasonable contact with their children. This contact can only be limited if the children have been abused by that parent or there is a real risk of abuse or other serious harm to the children (such as through serious negligence) whilst in that parent’s care.
Refusal of contact
The refusal to allow contact simply due to the personal animosity and/or abuse between parents is unacceptable and against the best interests of the children. Children benefit from maintaining a relationship with each parent through regular and meaningful contact, and contact can only be limited when those restrictions are in the children’s best interests.
If there has been any abuse by the other parent of the children, you are entitled to bring an application for a Protection Order on the children’s behalf, which will prohibit any such further abuse and which can restrict what contact that parent shall be entitled to. Other applications are possible to obtain a Court Order to limit contact in appropriate circumstances, or the parties can agree upon a Parenting Plan setting out what their contact is generally.
Let us assist you
We can assist you to complete a Parenting Plan or obtain a Court Order defining an appropriate contact arrangement between parents for your specific circumstances and in your children’s best interests, particularly if there are concerns about a real risk of abuse/harm to the children.
Author – Murray Taylor