Both men and women can suffer domestic abuse. Domestic abuse can be physical, mental, economic and emotional.

The Designated Family Judges of London and the South East ( The Designated Family Judges for Essex and Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Sussex, Kent, East London and Central) have agreed on a Domestic Abuse protocol regarding the issuing of applications for Family Law Act orders where the Applicant seeking the courts assistance wishes to issue the application in a different area.

What is the new protocol?

The 5 main points are set out below.

1. An Applicant applying for an urgent order under the Family Law Act 1996 is entitled to go to any court and to the first available Judge.
2. An Applicant applying for an order under either the Family Law Act 1996 or the Children Act 1989 may be living in an area unknown to the respondent and may wish to apply in a court in a different area to maintain that confidentiality.
3. The courts in the South East (of England) and London will assist any applicant with good reason to apply in their court of choice and will not encourage or direct that the applications should be issued in or transferred to the local court.
4. Where confidentiality is claimed by the applicant, before the application is issued, the court shall confirm with the applicant the applicant’s choice of court and note the file to avoid any unnecessary transfers to any other courts.
5. Where confidentiality is claimed by any party, the court will not transfer the case to another court without first receiving a formal application for transfer (C2) which has been served on all of the relevant parties.

Hopefully this guidance will give Applicants the confidence to make the necessary application and assist with applications being dealt with as expediently as possible to give the relief sought by many.

Do not suffer in silence. You do not need to. Help is available.