Domestic Violence And Access Arrangements For Children in Denmark & Britain

Hester, Marianne and Radford, Lorraine orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-6095-3845 (1992) Domestic Violence And Access Arrangements For Children in Denmark & Britain. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 14 (1). pp. 57-70. ISSN 0964-9069

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In Britain we are witnessing changes in family law towards a greater focus on children's needs and joint parental responsibility—as embodied in the Children Act 1989. The process of separation and decision-making with regard to children is also relying increasingly on conciliation and mediation in addition to legal procedures. In Denmark some similar changes have been underway, but for longer than in Britain. An issue which does not appear to have been taken into account in the development of either British or Danish legislation is the possible effect of domestic violence on the process of divorce or separation and negotiation of child care arrangements. In an attempt to highlight this area the paper discusses a number of important questions, regarding the detrimental effect of domestic violence on children; the continuation of violence post-separation and the effect of this on child care negotiations and arrangements; and the need to consider the safety of women and children involved in divorce and separation. The discussion is based on current research by the authors into access in circumstances of domestic violence in both Britain and Denmark

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