|Marie represents a father of a young child, separated from the mother. He retained the child after a period of agreed contact. He was very concerned that he had received information that the child had been caught up in a domestic violence incident between the mother and her ex partner. The child had been injured and sustained bruising. The father had reported it to the Police and Social services and been advised to retain the child if concerned about their safety and welfare. Before he could make his application to the court, the mother made an urgent application for return.
Marie successfully argued that the child should remain with the father pending further investigations in light of the serious concerns. The court initially ordered evidence to be filed and Cafcass to carry out their safeguarding checks urgently and listed a further hearing in a few weeks. At that hearing the Cafcass checks had been completed and the mother was arguing for a return of the child. However, as Cafcass had no safeguarding concerns about either parent and did not make any recommendations in relation to a move the court was persuaded not to change where the child lived. The mother asked for the matter to be further listed for a longer hearing re interim placement on submissions.
Child to remain with father in the interim and have supervised contact with the mother pending further hearing.