Fathers are to be given legal rights to spend time with their children after separation or divorce. This is just one idea being proposed by the Government who have launched a consultation to amend the Children Act.
Other ideas include extending the powers to fine, jail or require parents to carry out unpaid work, if they refuse to comply with care arrangements. Parents who deny their ex partner access to their children may be banned from travelling abroad, from driving or be made to abide by a curfew.
It is clear from the Consultation that this presumption does not mean that parents have the right to spend an equal amount of time with their children or that they cannot make their main home with just one of their parents. Its purpose is to make it the norm for both parents to stay ‘involved’. If adopted, it will send out a stronger message to parents that they cannot hinder the other parent from having contact with their child just because they have separated.
Some groups have welcomed the proposal as sending a positive message to parents that children fare better and adjust most easily to life after separation if they are able to maintain meaningful relationships with both of their parents.
Other groups are worried that the proposed change may detract from the current primary focus, which is to act in the best interests of the child.
If you need advice or representation on any matters concerning contact disputes or indeed any aspect of family breakdown then the family law solicitors here at Hanne & Co can help. Please call us on 020 7228 0017 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org