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Domestic Abuse and the Family Courts

You may have reported domestic abuse to the police and also be going through Family Court for civil matters to do with your ex-partner and children. Family courts are concerned about what is best for children, there are no juries and only certain people can attend.

Family Courts are separate from criminal courts and information available to the police and courts won’t necessarily be shared with family courts, You may need to find this information out for yourself and share it with the courts and other named parties.

It may help you to get legal advice before any hearings - family court hearing often proceed more smoothly and quickly where the parties have legal representation.

Everyone can get 30 minutes of free legal advice.  This can be arranged through a local family law solicitor, or support service.  They can tell you about getting legal aid to assist with the costs, what to expect in court, and how you can make sure your voice is heard, with or without legal representation.  They can tell you about how to get protective court orders if you think you need help to keep safe.  You can find out whether you are eligible for legal aid through this government website https://www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid

If you have suffered domestic abuse and reported it to the police, you can ask the police to disclose information of any reports related to the abuse that you have made to them. If you have a solicitor they will get this for you.

This service is free, but can take a few weeks.  In some instances, the police may decide it’s not appropriate to give you the information.

If you do not have a solicitor and you wish to ask the police to disclose this information for the purpose of the family court hearing please send an email to [email protected] with as much of the following information as possible: Your name, date of birth, address and contact telephone number, the other party’s name, date of birth and address, the reason you want this information and a court case number if you have one. You will be contacted about your request and asked for any further information we may require.