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Family law news – Family Justice Review gets official response

14th February 2012

The FJR panel had advised against such a move, citing evidence from Australia, where a similar measure was enacted in 2006, which revealed that children were at greater risk following the change in legislation after it appeared to stress the importance of parental involvement to the detriment of protecting the safety of vulnerable family members.

Family lawyers also reported that the law was problematic in its application and ongoing debate surrounding what constituted a “meaningful relationship” has caused unresolved issues.

David Norgrove, chair of the FJR panel, said, “The family justice review panel thoroughly considered the issue of shared parenting and concluded the law should not be changed.

“If the government has decided to legislate, I regret that and it will be vital to find words that avoid the difficulties encountered in Australia.”

However, groups which have championed the rights of both parents to have active relationships with children after divorce and separation have welcomed the move.

Ken Sanderson, CEO of Families Need Fathers said, “This is not a question of fathers’ or mothers’ rights; it is about protecting the rights of children to have two loving parents fully involved in their lives wherever possible, to the benefit of the children, their families, and wider society.”

The full Government response to the Family Justice Review can be accessed here.

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