Shared parenting proposals unveiled14th June 2012
The Government plans to introduce new legislation that will lead to shared parenting becoming a legal presumption in English and Welsh family courts.
It is hoped the move will make it easier for children to stay in touch with both parents in cases of divorce or separation, as courts will have to work on the presumption that shared parenting is in the best interests of children unless there is evidence to the contrary.
However, children’s minister Tim Loughton said the proposals did not necessarily mean parents will be allowed to spend equal time with their children.
Under the proposals, parents could also be fined or sent to prison if they fail to adhere to 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.”
The plans are contrary to views expressed by David Norgrove, whose report on family justice last year claimed that the creation of a legal presumption in favour of shared parenting would lead to an “unacceptable risk of damage to children”.