When considering contact applications after domestic violence, the approach should be child centred, and according to the criteria in the Act. The circumstances of the violence should be looked into, and the potentially damaging effect of contact with a violent parent should not be underestimated. The parent’s possible contribution to the child and facing up to the reality of what had happened should be allowed for. Still domestic violence was not an absolute bar to contact. The term ‘parental alienation’ is unhelpful, and is better thought of as outright hostility.
Butler-Sloss LJ, Thorpe LJ, Waller LJ
Times 21-Jun-2000, Gazette 03-Aug-2000,  Fam 260,  Fam Law 615,  EWCA Civ 194,  4 All ER 609,  2 FCR 404,  Fam Law 603,  2 WLR 339,  2 FLR 334
Children Act 1989
England and Wales
Cited – The Father v The Mother, O by Cafcass Legal; In re O (a Child) (Contact: Withdrawal of application) FD 12-Dec-2003
The father sought to withdraw his application for contact, but the court took the opportunity to explain some points relating to contact disputes.
Held: Such disputes engender very deep feelings. Courts must ensure contact with both parents . .
Cited – In re H (A Child) (Contact: Domestic Violence), Ali v Hussain (Guidelines Re Allegations of Domestic Violence Appended) CA 22-Nov-2005
The mother appealed against an order granting contact to the father. There had been allegations of domestic violence.
Held: The family courts had been subject to much criticism. It was important where there was some evidence of poor practice . .
Cited – Payne v Payne; P v P CA 13-Feb-2001
No presumption for Mother on Relocation
The mother applied for leave to return to New Zealand taking with the parties’ daughter aged four. The father opposed the move, saying that allowing the move would infringe his and the child’s right to family life. He had been refused residence.
Updated: 19 November 2021; Ref: scu.81981