All Change – Family Law UpdateOctober 20, 2014
The presumption of “Parental Involvement” is to come into force on Wednesday 22nd October 2014. The new law will require family courts to presume that each parent’s involvement in a child’s life will further their welfare – where it is safe.
Amanda Adeola, a solicitor in Macks’ family team, said: “in my view this will change the perception that some parents have upon separation that one party is not entitled for one reason or another to be a part of their child’s life.
This does not include a presumption that the child is to spend equal amount of time with their parents and each case will continue to be dealt with based on the facts of that particular case, with the needs of the child being the paramount consideration. The definition of involvement in accordance with Section 11 (2B) is “involvement of some kind, either direct or indirect, but not any particular division of a child’s time.”
This is not about giving parents new rights, but to reinforce to parents and everyone else that both parents should play an important role in a child’s upbringing even if the child in practice spends more time with one parent than the other.
This is the last change to several reforms introduced this year to try and encourage parents to focus on the needs of their children when their relationship breaks down rather than their own priorities and requirements.
If you would like to know more about the changes, please contact the Macks family team.