If allegations have been raised about you during court proceedings with your child’s other parent, this can be extremely distressing to deal with, alongside the strain involved in taking part in family law proceedings.
How you should deal with these allegations will depend on the nature of the allegations that have been raised. If there is an allegation of historic domestic abuse, the court may want to investigate this further, by asking the parent raising those allegations to write a detailed list of each allegation. A court hearing will then take place to make a decision as to what version of events will be used by the court. These are called fact finding hearings. Once the facts have then been established, the court is able to make decisions about child arrangements.
If allegations have been raised about incidents involving the police, you can obtain your police records to provide evidence about what happened during any alleged incident. Thames Valley Police have a specific department for dealing with disclosure of evidence for use in the Family Court. The Family Court may make an order for disclosure during the process, but you can obtain information about yourself without a court order.
If allegations have been raised with social services, you are likely to be contacted by police officers or social services. Seek legal advice, and keep clear notes about who is contacting you, and what is being said, so that you can provide these notes to your legal representative.
If you have any concerns that you may be at risk of false allegations, act protectively. Think about the following
- Take a family member with you to handovers, or arrange handovers in a public place;
- Limit communications with your former partner to factual and practical child related matters only, communicate clearly and factually;
- Stick to written communications – limit telephone calls to emergencies;
- Do not take part in any arguments, even if they are in writing;
- Do not use social media as a platform to raise issues with your former partner (you can read more about the use of social media and family law here);
- Keep good notes.