FAQs on Domestic Violence for fathers

Contact arrangements for children

I am separated from my child’s mother. There was domestic violence in the past. She is willing to let me see our child but children’s services won’t allow this. I want to maintain a relationship with my child. How do I go about this?

When children’s services are aware that a child lived with domestic violence and were affected by this in the past they may well look to the child’s mother to make sure that this does not happen again. This may be because there are concerns that the child may be harmed by witnessing their mother being further abused or by being directly harmed themselves. Often mothers are advised to refuse contact or face the possibility that children’s services will seek a court order to remove the child from home.

If children’s services have given your child’s mother this advice then she will be expected to follow it if she does not want to jeopardise her care of your child.

You should contact children’s services directly to ask that they clarify to you in writing:

  • Their recommendation that you should have no contact with the children and their reasons for this recommendation.
  • Your wish to stay involved with the children and to be a good father
  • What you can do to address their concerns and have safe contact again with the children.
Depending on the seriousness of the concerns about the domestic violence you can ask for information about:
  • Support to change violent behaviour
  • How to better develop your parenting skills
  • How you can re-engage with your children safely
  • Options for supervised contact or safe handovers
  • Carrying out a risk assessment. 
It is important to understand that using domestic violence is poor parenting and to be aware of how it impacts on children.

You can seek further advice from Family Rights Group’s advice service or you can access private law advice about applying to see your child from Child Law Advice or a solicitor.



Advice Sheets