Q&A How can I stop kids from witnessing their dad’s abusive new relationship?

Q. I believe that my ex-partner is in an abusive relationship with his new partner. I believe this because of what our children tell me when they come back from seeing him and what his brother tells me. There is a Court Order in place granting him access to see the children every weekend, and there were no problems before he moved his new partner in, but now I am worried that they are witnessing arguments and may possibly witness even worse in the future? What can I do?

A. Domestic abuse is taken very seriously by the Family Courts in England and Wales and the Courts would not want any child to be exposed to domestic abuse or arguments between adults.

However, you cannot just stop access due to your concerns as it is likely the Court Order in place includes a warning notice setting out the consequences of failing to comply with it. Such consequences can include being fined or made to do unpaid work.

In circumstances such as those you describe you may want to consider making an application to the Court to vary the current Order. You should make the court aware of the situation and state that, given the risks involved, you do not feel it is in the children’s best interests for the Order to continue in its current form.

The Court might look at changing the Order so that your ex only sees the children when he is not with his new partner. Or they might ask social services or CAFCASS to undertake investigations into the situation. Be assured that the Court will only make an Order if it is in the interests of the child, which also means that it must be safe.

You should make an appointment with a solicitor specialising in family law to discuss your options.

This question has been answered by Deon Hayward, a Solicitor with GHP Legal.

If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter, book an appointment by visiting GHP Legal or contacting one of our offices:

Wrexham Office

Email: wrexham@ghplegal.com

Phone: 01978 291456

Llangollen Office:

Email: llangollen@ghplegal.com

Phone: 01978 860313

Oswestry Office:

Email: oswestry@ghplegal.com

Phone: 01691 659194

Deon Hayward

Deon Hayward


Deon Hayward is a Solicitor based in our Oswestry office.