The Department for Education has announced that it intends to introduce a presumption of shared parenting into section 1 of the Children Act 1989. The move has been expected following a consultation earlier this year and the proposed wording has now been released along with explanatory notes. I initially wrote about the consultation in July 2012 and again in September 2012 as a guest contributor for Chambers Women in Law. The Children’s Minister, Edward Timpson MP, in writing to the Chair of the Justice Select Committee said that “over half of the respondents [to the consultation] supported the Government's view that a presumption is the right approach.” He also maintained that “[t]he structure and wording of the clause leave no room for legal interpretation other than that the welfare of the child overrides all other considerations.” The amendment, while popular with father’s rights groups such as Families Need Fathers, has been described by the Law Society as “seriously flawed”.
As part of the July post on this blog a POLL was taken on this subject, you can view the results here.