In court proceedings involving children, the primary consideration for the court is the wellbeing of the child.

When parents are themselves victims of domestic abuse, their wellbeing is often overlooked or ignored.

Since the 2nd October 2017 new rules provide much needed assistance for the victims of domestic abuse.

By referring to domestic abuse, instead of domestic violence, the courts can take account of emotional, financial and psychological abuse, as well as controlling behaviour.

Perpetrators of domestic abuse can no longer question their victims in court. If there are questions the judge will put them to the other parent only if they are deemed appropriate.

If there is any domestic abuse it will be addressed at the first hearing and the court will monitor the case throughout the proceedings.

If domestic abuse is either admitted or proven the Courts must now decide not only if arrangements are safe for the child but also for the parent who is the victim of the abuse.

These changes will provide much needed additional support to those parents who so desperately need it.