Re-establishing a Father’s contact through enforcement proceedings

Marie represented a Father who had separated from his wife when their child was a young baby. Contact progressed for nearly a year, when the Mother then refused contact and alleged that domestic abuse had occurred during the relationship. She also moved home and could not be located for many months.

At the point Marie took over the case the proceedings had been on-going over a year, and her client had not seen the child for considerably longer than that.

At a contested interim contact hearing, contact was ordered to commence. During the interim, the Father had voluntarily done a 6 month DVPP programme (having accepted there was verbal domestic abuse). Contact was to be re-introduced in a supervised setting over several months and then the court was to review it.

However, after that hearing the Mother did not comply with the order, and enforcement proceedings were commenced. The Judge made a further order for contact and attached a penal notice to it. The Judge also ordered the requisite reports and financial information, to potentially make an order on the enforcement application that the Mother do unpaid work and make a financial compensation order to the Father.

Contact has now proceeded as per the order and will be built up and reviewed (with a report from the ISW) at a DRA.