Family Court Loophole Lets Rapists Intimidate Their Victims, In Jail

Researching Reform

A woman whose husband has been sentenced to 19 years in prison for a series of rapes against two women, one of which was her, is campaigning for a change in the law to prevent offenders from being able to further abuse their victims through the Family Courts.

Now divorced from her husband, Nicola Richardson has waived her right to anonymity to speak out about her experience.

During Nicola’s divorce her ex husband tried to use the Family Courts to coerce and intimidate her by stalling the separation and filing financial claims. The judge handling the divorce branded her husband “manipulative, controlling and domineering.”

Nicola would like to see the law changed so that convicted abusers who are sent to jail are barred from filing claims against their victims in Family Court. Nicola doesn’t go on to explain how she sees this law working, however a solution could lie in creating a threshold:  if it can…

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Tell Politicians What You Think About The Family Courts

Now is your chance xx

Researching Reform

Researching Reform is very privileged to have a readership which includes families and children with experience of the Family Courts, however politicians, peers and judges also visit the site daily, and we know they read your feedback.

As politicians publish their manifestos and go about making pledges this month, they will also be reading your thoughts on the system in order to understand what’s not working, so now is a good time to let the future government know what you think about the family justice system.

We are adding our Top Ten Bug Bears below:

  1. Inefficient Monitoring Of The Impact Of Financial Incentives Across Child Welfare Organisations And Agencies
  2. Culture Of Mistrust And Disrespect Towards Families And Children
  3. Inadequate Training For Social Workers And Judges 
  4. No Efficient Mechanism For Correcting Material Errors In Judgments and Court Bundles
  5. The Race To Adoption” Process
  6. The 26 Week Rule In Care Proceedings
  7. Forced Adoption Practices

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Judge Rules Council Deliberately Obstructed Mother’s Adoption Challenge

Researching Reform

In a case which represents an important development in highlighting unethical practice inside the child welfare sector, a High Court judge has ruled that a council and its social workers as well as the legal team advising, purposefully blocked a mother from challenging an adoption order.

The council did this by failing to tell the mother about the timing of the placement plan and the process she would need to go through in order to apply for the order to be revoked.

Community Care tells us Judge Charles said, “fairness (and in my view, common sense and straightforwardness) meant the council should have explained to the mother that unless she issued an application by a certain date, it would proceed with placing the girl… I suggest that not only is a race between an under-informed parent and the adoption agency likely to be unfair, it is also likely to createsignificant…

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