‘A Practical Guide to Practice Direction 12J and Domestic Abuse in Private Law Children Proceedings’ by Rebecca Cross & Malvika Jaganmohan


Paperback: 978-1-913715-81-6
Published: December 2021
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‘A Practical Guide to Practice Direction 12J and Domestic Abuse in Private Law Children Proceedings’ is intended to be an ‘every-day guide’ for family lawyers – particularly junior practitioners – on the appropriate treatment of allegations of domestic abuse in private law children proceedings in England and Wales. Readers will be guided through recent High Court and Court of Appeal decisions, the provisions of Practice Direction 12J and some of the measures introduced by the ground-breaking new Domestic Abuse Act 2021.

Domestic abuse is a prominent feature in most family practitioners’ private law children caseload. With the flurry of recent case law and increasing media attention on the treatment of domestic abuse in the family courts, it is imperative that practitioners know how to respond to allegations of domestic abuse robustly and sensitively.

This book will be essential reading for all practitioners when case managing, and also when advising lay and professional clients on the application of Practice Direction 12J and the relevance of any allegations of domestic abuse on welfare decisions within private law children proceedings.

Foreword by Professor Jo Delahunty QC.


Rebecca Cross is a specialist family law barrister at St Ives Chambers in Birmingham. In private law proceedings, Rebecca has particular experience in cases involving coercive and controlling behaviour and allegations of parental alienation. She appears at all stages of proceedings and at all levels of court. Rebecca is popular with solicitors and clients in difficult, complex and/or high-conflict long-running private children cases. On a recent reported case the expert psychologist described the proceedings as ‘about as acrimonious as they get’.

Rebecca is ranked as a tier 1 rising star within the Legal 500 2022 guide. She regularly speaks and writes on all aspects of family law to solicitors and other professionals. She also sits on the Young Resolution West Midlands committee.

Malvika Jaganmohan is a specialist family law barrister at St Ives Chambers in Birmingham. Malvika has a busy private law practice, and she has a particular interest in the international movement of children, forced marriage and cases which concern complex and serious allegations of domestic abuse.

Alongside her practice, Malvika is a mental health advocate; she runs a blog called ‘Stiff Upper Lip’ on mental health and wellbeing in the legal profession, and she is a Champion for LawCare. She has been named a ‘legal change-maker’ in Obelisk Support and First 100 Years’ ‘Class of 2020: Women Who Will’.

Malvika co-hosts a family law podcast, ‘Professionally Embarrassing’, which has been shortlisted for Family Law Commentator of the Year in the LexisNexis Family Law Awards 2021. She is a founding member of Women in Family Law and she is part of the core group for The Transparency Project, a charity which aims to make family justice clearer for the general public. Malvika was nominated for Young Pro Bono Barrister of the Year in the Bar Pro Bono Awards 2020.


Chapter One – What Is Domestic Abuse?
Chapter Two – The Evolution of Practice Direction 12J
Chapter Three – Making the Application
Chapter Four – The First Hearing Dispute Resolution Appointment
Chapter Five – The Fact-Finding Hearing
Chapter Six – The Dispute Resolution Appointment (DRA)