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Judge "wrong" to allow father increased contact with daughter

The Court of Appeal has overturned a judge’s ruling which allowed a father increased contact with his daughter.

The judge granted the father extra unsupervised contact, despite also insisting that he undergo a psychological assessment to determine that the child would be safe in his care.

A report produced by CAFCASS, the agency that protects the interests of children in court proceedings, stated that there should be a psychological assessment of the father before any ruling was made.

The report raised two main areas of concern for the wellbeing of the child:

  • The father’s attitude to the child’s mother and the influence that would have on the child
  • The father’s rape conviction from 1988 that he had not told the child’s mother about.

The father had previously had weekly contact with his daughter at a contact centre which involved an hour long outing in the local area. The judge ruled that he could increase this to an unsupervised outing of two and a half hours.

The mother claimed that the judge was wrong to allow increased contact, when he agreed that a psychological assessment was required before a final ruling could be made.

The Court of Appeal overturned the ruling stating that the judge’s decision was premature and he failed to explain his reasoning. The family were instructed to return to their previous contact arrangement.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of family law.