Maintaining CAO against a history of domestic violence

Marie represented a Mother in a case where there was a background of domestic violence against her. The Father had made an application for a CAO that the child should live with him, less than a year after a final hearing where that application had previously been refused, and contact had been ordered instead. The Mother’s case was that there should be no change.

A FHDRA took place and the Court ordered there to be a fact finding hearing on incidents that had taken place at handover, as well as allegations in relation to the care of the child since the last hearing. An s.7 report was to take place after the fact-finding hearing.

At this stage, there was to be no change to the previous child arrangements order, and conditions were put in place that the parties do not communicate; along with other provisions to prevent issues that could be witnessed by the child at handover.