Children are often the forgotten victims of domestic violence and it is estimated that at least 750,000 children a year witness domestic violence (Department of Health, 2002).
The Children Act 1989 has been amended to recognise that simply witnessing or overhearing domestic violence causes harm to children and is therefore very relevant when considering child contact issues.
At Watson Ramsbottom we will advise in relation to the children from a domestic violence perspective. Children are often used as a means of furthering the abuse of the victim and it may be necessary to obtain specific Orders with regard to the children such as:
Prohibited Steps Order
A Prohibited Steps Order is a type of Family Arrangement Order which prevents another person including a parent from removing a child from the care and control of the person with the benefit of the Order. This would prevent the other parent from removing the children from school without consent. Without such an Order the school and nursery are powerless to prevent removal if the other person has parental responsibility so these Orders are often vital to protect the children.
Many perpetrators are able to continue their abuse of the victim through Child Contact Arrangements which can put not only the victim at risk but also the children. It is therefore vital that you obtain expert advice in relation to this issue if you have been a victim of domestic violence.
If you have suffered domestic violence it may be possible to obtain legal aid in relation to disputes around children (– see can I get legal aid.)
The domestic violence department will ensure that you are seen straight away without the need to wait for an appointment if your situation is urgent. In urgent cases we will also endeavour to get you into Court within 24 hours to obtain the necessary protective Orders for yourself and your children.
Financial maintenance is very rarely dealt with by the court. You can use the Child Maintenance Calculator on the www.gov.uk website at this link to calculate a maintenance estimate. Please contact us if you require further advice.
For more information regarding domestic violence related issues – see the Domestic Abuse Lawyer Blog written by Rachel Horman
Please fill in the form on the right of the page or to arrange an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss matters, please contact the head of our team Rachel Horman on 01254 67 22 22.
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Rachel is able to make people feel at ease, helps them understand the proceedings, gives them appropriate information to make informed decisions and always treats people with respect and dignity.
Kalya made an extraordinary impression upon me during the time she was working on my case. I really appreciated how available Kalya made herself to me. Words cannot describe how supportive, knowledgeable, conscientious and brilliant with communication Kalya was. This cannot have been easy given the emotional situation I had. She is a credit to Watson Ramsbottom and the service they provide.
I became a client Watson Ramsbottom after coming across them at refuge in Blackburn. I corresponded with Rachel briefly when you switched my lawyer from Helen to Sophia. I can't thank you enough for that decision. As a mother of four young children, my candle's burning on both ends. By the time I spoke to you, I was exhausted by everything in my life, including my legal proceedings. I had lost all faith in the legal process and, to be honest, still have qualms about how well the justice system understands coercive control. In any event, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to address my concerns, especially regarding my experience with Helen. It is unfortunate that she was my first experience with a lawyer, but your recommendation of Sophia more than made up for that. Sophia is a credit to your company and an amazing solicitor. She was knowledgeable, respectful and attentive -- all qualities that any client would look for. Thank you again, not only for your help, but also for your work on coercive control. People really don't get what it is and that's sad for the many women in the same situation as me.
Rachel’s work as a solicitor in Domestic Violence arena can only be described as exceptional
Debbie on reception was excellent, always very friendly, helpful and efficient. Diane, my legal advisor, was brilliant. I cannot thank her, nor, recommend her highly enough. She conversed by phone, letter and email, always in a timely manner, often quicker than I expected. Diane explained everything very clearly and was always willing to explain in detail again when I needed further clarification. I have used Watson Ramsbottom for Divorce, Wills, Financial Settlements and Conveyancing, I have always been treated with the upmost courtesy and respect whilst being dealt with in a very timely manner. I would absolutely have no hesitation recommending Watson Ramsbottom to anyone, and I do, when asked regularly.
If there's one lawyer you need to get for your family law case, it's Sophia Isa. Sharp, knowledgeable, efficient and punctual, she really knows what she's doing. She represented me for an international relocation and child custody case, and won it on both counts. Her advice was always spot-on and she never lost sight of the end goal. Sophia responded to my queries quickly, met deadlines in advance, and always kept me updated about my situation.But what makes Sophia a brilliant lawyer, as opposed to just a good lawyer, is that she's invested in your case. She heard my concerns and addressed them above and beyond my expectations. Five stars all the way. I highly recommend Sophia and would not hesitate to use her again.
John Swanney is highly experienced in Care Proceedings and Matrimonial Finances. He is one of the best negotiators I have ever seen and has exceptional Advocacy skills, always able to think fast on his feet and obtain results for Clients.
Rachel Horman has been pioneering women’s leadership in legal practice for over twenty years. Often she is the first to comment on cutting edge developments in law reform such as stalking and coercive control. In addition she actively contributes to institutional reform to bring about innovative changes in law and practice, often well before these become topical or even thought of as possible. Rachel has an exceptional ability to engage clients who are at extreme risk. Through her tenacity, extensive legal knowledge and an innate sense of justice, she is genuinely able to help clients feel safer and gain enhanced legal or civil protection that reduces their risk. Having specialised in this areas of work for over 20 years, she has become a catalyst for change and earned her stripes as a respected advocate for women and children rights.
Rachel Horman is an outstanding solicitor of her generation. Her career long activism in the field of domestic abuse marks her out as a lawyer whose technical skill is matched by a sense of justice. She has helped shape the modern law relating to coercive control and stalking and in that sense has both changed the way lawyers and society view these issues, but more importantly has helped countless individuals escape from abusive and dangerous situations.