6th October 2023
Families of parents killed by their partner will soon be able to avoid unnecessary processes to keep the children safe following the proposed introduction of new laws by the government.
Intended to better protect children from harm, “Jade’s Law”, an amendment to the Victims and Prisoners Bill, is named after Jade Ward who was murdered by her partner in 2021. Following her death, her family were faced with the traumatic prospect of her murderer having a say in decisions relating to their four children.
The rule will mean that parents who kill a partner or ex-partner with whom they have children will automatically have their parental responsibility suspended upon sentencing and this will apply to anyone convicted of the murder or voluntary manslaughter of a person with whom they share parental responsibility.
Presently, bereaved families are required to follow lengthy processes through the family courts to apply for restricted parental responsibility at an already traumatic time, but through the proposed introduction of Jade’s Law, this will no longer be the case. The law would exclude cases where a domestic abuser is killed by their victim.
Tara Connor-McLaren, Senior Associate in the Thrings Family team, said: “What Jade Ward’s family had to endure to keep her children safe is something no one should ever have to go through, and this proposed change to the law will hopefully make it much easier to navigate complex systems at such a challenging time.
“Engaging with the Family Court is rarely a quick affair and we would always recommend obtaining sound legal advice early in any process as it will give families a much better chance of securing a positive outcome and keeping the children involved safe.”
Thrings Family lawyers are experienced in all areas of the law that are close to home. Whether it is marriages and pre-nuptial agreements, or divorces and separations, they will put your best interests first, taking the time to get to know you so that you are supported with sound advice tailored to your needs. To find out more, get in contact.