The final report of the Family Justice Review previously commissioned by the Government had recommended that Dads’ roles in their children’s lives after divorce should be treated with the same importance as Mums’ role. However the author of the report, David Norgrove had rejected calls to go as far as making it law that children should have a “meaningful relationship with both parents”. Fathers’ campaign groups felt that this did not go far enough. The Government has now set out plans to ensure that the children of separated parents will have a relationship with both their parents except in cases involving violence or abuse.
A consultation on the proposed legal changes will be held over the summer. Ministers have warned that it is unlikely that fathers will get equal rights but many will feel that the consultation process is a step in the right direction.
If you are considering starting a divorce or are facing a separation from your partner you may have concerns about what will happen about the children during the legal process. Gepp & Sons Family Law Team are here to help guide you through the law relating to children on divorce and children affected by the separation of their unmarried parents. Clients are encouraged to agree as much as possible between themselves such as who will care for the children on a day to day basis and how much time the children will spend with the parent who has moved out of the family home. If children see their parents working together to find solutions to the difficulties that they face following separation the children are more likely to adjust to their new circumstances. The courts also expect parents to try to reach an agreement wherever possible, and will only step in and make orders about the children if the parents cannot agree. Whilst there has been an increase in Shared Residence Orders in recent years these orders are not typically made in every case. Nor are they necessarily the arrangements which parents choose to agree. The requirements of every family are different and practically and imaginative advice is the key to finding the right solution for you and your children.
If there is a dispute Gepp & Sons Team can help advise you on how to reach the best decisions for your child. If an agreement cannot be reached either through mediation or negotiations and a court application becomes necessary, you will be guided through the court process by our experts.
If you would like further advice on this complex area of the law please telephone the Family Team on 01245 228106 to make an appointment for an initial free consultation.