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Family Justice Review Final Report

  • rubytuesday
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02 Nov 11 #295788 by rubytuesday
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It isnt released until tomorrow, Carrie

  • Carrie Paechter
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02 Nov 11 #295790 by Carrie Paechter
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Thanks - I should have read the news report more carefully.

Best wishes,
Carrie

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02 Nov 11 #295810 by rubytuesday
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For those who are interested, this is the "brief" for the Family Justice Review, to access it click here

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02 Nov 11 #295815 by rubytuesday
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A solicitor blogged this morning:

"The Family Justice Review, which is still to be fully published, is not to recommend that fathers’ rights to shared equal custody become a statutory enshrined right. The Government has previously acknowledged that the area of family law needs to be fundamentally reformed. However, such reform has not been a priority in the report, rather, it has highlighted the importance of not making custody disputes a too time-consuming matter for the courts.
The review was led by former pensions regulator and civil servant, David Norgrove. Interestingly, his final recommendations are completely different from those he expressed in an interim report, which was published earlier this year. Back then, in light of mothers often being the ones awarded custody, Norgrove said that there should be a “statement in legislation to reinforce the importance of the child continuing to have a meaningful relationship with both parents, alongside the need to protect the child from harm”.
Although the interim report was considered to be a step in the right direction, fathers’ groups did not consider the statement to be a sufficiently extensive acknowledgement of fathers’ rights. And now, the final report argues that, “If parents share care fully before separation they are more likely to do successfully after separation. But where the converse applies, legislation cannot change that fact.
“Achieving shared parenting in those cases where it is safe to do so is a matter of raising parental awareness at the earliest opportunity. The welfare of children must always come before the rights of both parents.”
This effectively means that plans to give parents equal rights to share custody of their children after the termination of their relationship will be scrapped. Norgrove reasoned that statutory enshrining of such a right would be too inconvenient for the courts, as they would have to spend a disproportionate amount of time attempting to define “a meaningful relationship”. As such, by only requiring the family courts handling custody disputes to keep in mind the importance of a relationship between a father and his child, the process would avoid becoming overly time consuming.
Nadine O’Connor, campaign co-ordinator for Fathers 4 Justice, said: “This whole exercise has been designed to appease women’s groups, not fathers.
“The Tories promised a fundamental review of family law and said that [the interim report by] Norgrove was not good enough. But they’ve made a complete U-turn.”
Several studies have showed that children benefit from regular contact with both of their parents. However, this consideration can sometimes be forgotten in the midst of the turmoil of a relationship breakdown. Therefore, it is important to have an independent party who can ensure that any child has continued access to both parents. The review is likely to cause much debate amongst professionals from varying fields involved in family law, as it effectively does not award equal rights to both parents."

It's not looking encouraging at all.............

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02 Nov 11 #295887 by Phoenix1963
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An utter disgrace. It seems Norgrave's recommendations are based on the concept of saving the courts time and money because with a presumption of equality, more litigation will be the end result as Fathers try to redress the inequality of residence etc. I think we should collectively voice our outrage and protest to the highest authority in the land (not Cameron).

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02 Nov 11 #295889 by stepper
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I don't get this at all. If a 50/50 shared residence was the default by law, then surely parents would then have to work out between them what would be the best arrangement for their children. There should only be the need to resort to the courts if the parents could not agree.

Perhaps I am missing something.

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02 Nov 11 #295890 by rubytuesday
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Phoenix1963 wrote:

An utter disgrace. It seems Norgrave's recommendations are based on the concept of saving the courts time and money because with a presumption of equality, more litigation will be the end result as Fathers try to redress the inequality of residence etc.


You've kinda hit the nail on the head there, Phoenix.

Despite all the alleged public consultation for this, despite promises by Norgrove earlier in the year, despite the need for a radical reform of family law, yet again we see those making the decisions that will affect so many lives disregarding all of these, and working entirely to their own agenda.

It is perhaps ironic to note that Grandparents are to have to have rights enshrined in law but fathers will have theirs removed -(Grandparents
Bill 2010-2011, which is currently due to enter the second reading stage later this month in the Commons).

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