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Contact plans for separating parents are unveiled

  • rubytuesday
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13 Jun 12 #336380 by rubytuesday
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From the BBC -

Children''s rights to maintain contact with both parents following separation or divorce are to be strengthened under new government proposals.

Under the plans, family courts in England and Wales must assume the child''s welfare is best served by remaining involved with both parents.

But Children''s Minister Tim Loughton said the change would not give parents a right to equal time with children.

The campaign group Fathers 4 Justice described the plans as "vacuous".

The government has launched a consultation on amending the Children Act 1989 to enshrine shared parenting in law.

Ministers believe this will encourage more separated parents to resolve disputes out of court and agree care arrangements that fully involve them both.

The consultation paper also proposes extending the powers to fine or jail parents, or require them to carry out unpaid work, for wilful refusal to comply with care arrangements.



Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "Both parents have a responsibility and a role to play in their children''s upbringing and we want to make sure that, when parents separate, the law recognises that.

"Children should have the benefit of contact with both of their parents through an ongoing relationship with them.

"This is why we are publishing proposals today setting out that, where it is safe and in the child''s best interest, the law is clear that both parents share responsibility in their upbringing."

''Shallow''
The group Fathers 4 Justice said the proposals did not address the problem, and fathers had been insulted by the government''s failure to ensure they had the same rights as mothers to see their children.

Nadine O''Connor from the group said: "There have been 10 years of consultations and the only thing that has been changed in that time is the courtroom furniture.

"These shallow, vacuous proposals are the cruellest type of political deceit, as they are deliberately designed to kick this issue into the long grass for another generation.

"The last decade has seen the single biggest act of social engineering ever seen in this country which has seen the systematic removal of children from their fathers.

"This is a catastrophic failure in the government''s duty of care to children and families and will produce the worst economic and social outcomes for our children this country as a result."

Joint responsibility
Launching a consultation on the proposals, Mr Loughton said: "We need to clarify and restore public confidence that the courts fully recognise the joint nature of parenting.

"We want the law to be far more explicit about the importance of children having an ongoing relationship with both their parents after separation, where that is safe and in the child''s best interests.

"Where parents are able and willing to play a positive role in their child''s care, they should have the chance to do so.

"This is categorically not about giving parents equal right to time with their children - it is about reinforcing society''s expectation that mothers and fathers should be jointly responsible for their children''s upbringing."

SINGLE PARENT FAMILIES

1.9 million lone parents with dependent children in the UK
In 2011, women accounted for 92% of lone parents
A million lone parents have one child
621,000 single parents have two children
238,000 lone parents have more than two children



Article in the Independent - parents rights to see children after divorce will be enshrined in law

and the Guardian - access rights after divorce

TIm Loughton , the Children''s'' Minister has said ""We want the law to be far more explicit about the importance of children having an ongoing relationship with both their parents after separation, where that is safe and in the child''s best interests."

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13 Jun 12 #336383 by hawaythelads
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Tim Loughton also said
What are all you blokes moaning and whingeing about anyway.
We let you give the ex misus a free house to live in with the kids......Cor what''s your bloody problem eh?
Your gonna be too busy working anyway to pay the ex misus the cm and to make the extortionate rent on the bedsit you live in to have a couple of sprogs wrapped around you any more than one night a week and every other weekend.
The government in private partnership have also supplied a contact centre in every high street in the land for divorced fathers.They''re easily recognisable by the Golden Arches what''s your bloody problem eh???:blink:
We must always remember that the family law in the UK is not sexist at all :blink:
All the best
His Royal Hawayness xx

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13 Jun 12 #336385 by fairylandtime
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Hway

You are so right - like the contact centre reference :laugh:

At the same time as alienating fathers IMO the government also cast the "single parent" family as the scurge of society - almost parasiting off the rest of society (as if we had a choice in all his & didn''t even give it enough of a try to stay together in the process)

Don''t get me going on education & other policies seems policy agendas depend on what they have on their cornflakes that morning!!! :S

JJx

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13 Jun 12 #336415 by rubytuesday
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The Government proposals sets out four options to amend Section 1 of the Children Act 1989 to enshrine shared parenting in law, with provisions that will be included in the Children and Families Bill.

The government’s preferred option is to require the court to work on the presumption that a child’s welfare is likely to be furthered through safe involvement with both parents, unless the evidence shows this is unsafe or not in the child’s best interests.

The second option is to require the courts to have regard to the principle that a child’s welfare is likely to be furthered through involvement with both parents.

A third option would have the same effect as a presumption, by providing that the court’s starting point in making decisions about children’s care is that a child’s welfare is likely to be furthered through involvement with both parents.

In the fourth option the government suggests adding an additional factor to the welfare checklist so that regard is given to the child’s interest in retaining a relationship with both parents.




The proposals confirm plans set out in February in response to the Family Justice Review Panel’s report.

Ministers say that the change will encourage more parents to resolve disputes out of court and agree care arrangements that fully involve them both.




Is it just me, or is it somewhat odd that the Govt has set out four proposals, but stated which one it prefers? A done deal, methinks.

The proposals to penalise PWC who block contact or fail to adhere to the terms of a CO are nothing new - penalties such as a custodial sentence are already available but not acted upon. When penalties where introduced for parents of persistent school truants, a very small number (single figures) of parents were imprisoned for a few days and held up as an example of what other parents who fail to ensure their children attend school could face. Perhaps examples need to be made of those PWC who fail to stick to the terms of a contact order. There is little point in having such penalties if they are ignored and the breaching of COs is allowed to continue time and time again.

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