Here Comes Shared Parenting!

20 Oct

Except, of course, it doesn’t.


On 13th October 2014, the government published the Children and Families Act 2014 (Commencement No 5 and Transitional Provision) Order 2014. This snappily titled piece of secondary legislation brings into effect section 11 of the Children and Families Act 2014 on 22nd October 2014.

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Except, of course, it doesn’t.


On 13th October 2014, the government published the Children and Families Act 2014 (Commencement No 5 and Transitional Provision) Order 2014. This snappily titled piece of secondary legislation brings into effect section 11 of the Children and Families Act 2014 on 22nd October 2014.


Section 11 inserts the following provisions into section 1 of the Children Act 1989:
(2A) A court, in the circumstances mentioned in subsection (4)(a) or (7), is as respects each parent within subsection (6)(a) to presume, unless the contrary is shown, that involvement of that parent in the life of the child concerned will further the child’s welfare.
(2B) In subsection (2A) “involvement” means involvement of some kind, either direct or indirect, but not any particular division of a child’s time.”
(6) In subsection (2A) “parent” means parent of the child concerned; and, for the purposes of that subsection, a parent of the child concerned—
(a) is within this paragraph if that parent can be involved in the child’s life in a way that does not put the child at risk of suffering harm; and
(b) is to be treated as being within paragraph (a) unless there is some evidence before the court in the particular proceedings to suggest that involvement of that parent in the child’s life would put the child at risk of suffering harm whatever the form of the involvement.
(7) The circumstances referred to are that the court is considering whether to make an order under section 4(1)(c) or (2A) or 4ZA(1)(c) or (5) (parental responsibility of parent other than mother).


In other words, when the court is considering whether or not to make, discharge, or vary a section 8 order and/or whether or not to make a parental responsibility order, it is to presume that a child’s welfare will be promoted if both his/her parents have some form of involvement in his/her life unless the contrary is proved.


This truly earth-shattering development will, however, only apply to cases commenced on or after 22nd October 2014.

 

Graeme Harrison

 

For more information on Family Law, click here.