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FJR Update: Contact and other issues

  • rubytuesday
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31 May 12 #334285 by rubytuesday
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I seem to recall reading in the FJR Final Report that enforcement of COs was something that required looking at.

Currently, there is an increase in the number of SROs being made, but the issue with most of them is that they actually define maternal sole residence and paternal contact - and SROs are not enforceable. Such SROs are a contact order under another name, but without the fallback of enforcement.

Rugby, you state that you"think the entire efforts of father''s groups is misguided as they seek to change the law not the application of current law" - I would be interested to know of your personal experience with fathers groups, and how you have drawn this conclusion. As Forseti has pointed out, most fathers groups (ie campaigning ones, not support groups) do take a multi-pronged approach to these matters.

I welcome the proposal of Parenting Agreements; Scotland has had Parenting Agreements in place for some time now, and while they are not enforceable, they offer parents the opportunity to sit down and discuss together how they will raise their children post-separation.

  • Fiona
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31 May 12 #334399 by Fiona
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rubytuesday wrote:

I seem to recall reading in the FJR Final Report that enforcement of COs was something that required looking at.

Currently, there is an increase in the number of SROs being made, but the issue with most of them is that they actually define maternal sole residence and paternal contact - and SROs are not enforceable. Such SROs are a contact order under another name, but without the fallback of enforcement.


The current position is that enforcement orders apply to breaches of contact orders only. When SROs are breached the conventional contempt of court measures (penal notices, fines, committal) have to be relied upon rather than enforcement (community service and financial compensation.)

Under the FJR recommendations there will be no contact or residence orders, sole or shared, in private cases. Instead there will Child Arrangement Orders and it was said consideration needs to be given about how the new child arrangement orders will be enforced.

To coincide with changes to legislation in Australia an educational programme was introduced and it''s unclear to what extent any fall in applications there was due to the introduction of the new legislation. Since 2009 and following the introduction of CACs, CADs, PIPs and MIAMs there has already been a fall in the number of children involved in court proceedings in England & Wales. The President of the Family Division told the FJR that there is a strong need for educational rather than strictly punitive enforcement measures. Of course both need to be properly resourced.

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