Following the recent case of Re H (children)  children will now be given a greater voice in the family justice system; enabling them to tell judges how they feel and what they think about the family disputes in which they are involved.
The government has made a commitment that from the age of 10, children and young people involved in all family court hearings in England and Wales will have access to judges to make their views and feelings known. The purpose of the judicial meeting is not to gather evidence but to enable the child to gain some understanding of what is going on and to be reassured that the Judge has understood them.
In previous proceedings children’s views may not have been fully heard. For too long children have been pushed and pulled through the family justice system with little or no say on what happens to them.
Now, children and young people must by law have their views heard before decisions are made about their future and where decisions are made that will impact them.
The changes to procedure will be put into place as soon as practically possible.
If you are experiencing difficulties and you wish to discuss children’s matters, please contact Karen-Lee Watts on 01404 548050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org who will be happy to advise you on your position.