"Finer details and careful consideration leads to Effective Assistance in Private Law Proceedings for Respondent Mothers"

Tuesday 16th April 2024

Patrick Sheedy, Director, Head of Waldrons Family Care Department and Member of Children’s Panel has recently been successful in assisting a respondent mother in private law proceedings.  The application concerned her daughter and the father’s wish to spend time with her. The Court considered at the outset the use of Practice Direction 12(J) and the need to consider whether allegations that Patrick’s client made were relevant to the Court’s decision making.  Patrick’s client made a number of such allegations about the conduct of the father during their relationship and wished for the Court to take these into account when deciding what the appropriate arrangements were for him to spend time with their child.  In this matter the Court directed that a number of pieces of evidence be collected to assist the Court in deciding what had happened which Patrick was able to gather and present to the Court.    

The Court confirmed, having considered the mother’s evidence, that the Court did need to investigate the matter and listed that the allegations be dealt with at a finding of fact hearing. The Court heard from the parties over two days. The onus was on Patrick’s client to show that what was disputed by the father did take place and the Court concluded that the mother’s evidence was preferable. It made a number of serious findings about the father.  The matter has now been adjourned for further consideration by the Court later this year.

It is essential that the Court has all relevant evidence before it to be able to make the best possible decisions in applications like this. Much of that evidence can be gathered from social media, messages, WhastApp and other forms of media. It is crucial that this is then collated in a way that can best be presented in Court.

Patrick Sheedy commented “We understand the profound impact that Court proceedings can have on families.  This case highlighted the need to get the evidence before the Court so that the client’s best possible case could be presented to the Judge. It was also important to treat the issues sensitively and with care given the serious issues involved. We are dedicated to assisting families who are going through these hard times and for victims of domestic violence to be heard before the Court.”

For families in need of assistance navigating child arrangements court proceedings, Waldrons Solicitors stands ready to provide the help and support needed to ensure a smoother transition for all parties involved.

For further information or if you wish to make contact should you need help with domestic violence or child arrangements, please contact our Family Law Team on 01384 811811.