• Many people followed the development of the Children and Families Act 2014 with interest, specifically in relation to the debate as to whether there would be a presumption of shared care between parents included in the Act. The final wording of the Act provides that the court is to presume, unless the contrary is shown, that involvement of both parents in the life of a child will further the child’s welfare. This provision will finally come into force on 22 October 2012.

    This wording ensures that the child’s welfare will always remain the court’s paramount consideration in deciding cases regarding where a child is to live and how much time they will spend with each parent.

    The Ministry of Justice has made it clear that this provision is not about automatically giving parents a “new right” to an equal division of a child’s time but it is intended to encourage parents to be focussed on a child’s needs post separation and presume that each parent will play a role in the future of their child which no doubt the court will enforce. This will be a welcome step in the right direction for many parents.

    This content is correct at time of publication

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