Continued Parental Involvement

The Children and Families Act 2014 came into force on 22 April 2014. The provisions of the Act have been billed as one of the most fundamental changes in family law. One of the most significant changes which is receiving significant media attention, relates to “Continued parental involvement”.

The Act is not intended to introduce a presumption of shared parenting but it is intended that there should be a clear message of the importance of children having an ongoing relationship with both parents, where it is safe, and is in the child's best interests. Unless it is show to the contrary it will be presumed that the “involvement” of some kind with both parents will be in the child’s best interests – “either direct or indirect, but not any particular division of a child's time.” A meaningful relationship is not necessarily an equal division of time. It is feared that the new changes could create the impression of a parental “right” to have a particular amount of time with a child.

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