A Bill to provide for the making of shared parenting orders and to create a presumption that such orders enhance the welfare of the child unless certain exceptions apply; and for connected purposes.
1. Purpose of the Bill
(2) Nothing in this Act shall be construed so as to conflict with or undermine in any way the paramountcy of the welfare of the child, as established under section 1 of the Children Act.
(2) In section 8(1), after the words “In this Act—”, the following words are inserted:-
(3) After section 8(2) the following subsection is inserted:-
“(2A) When making a section 8 order, and subject to the considerations set out in sections 1(3) and 8A, the court must apply a presumption that it is in the best interests of the child for both of the child’s parents to have a full involvement in the upbringing of the child.”
(4) Before section 9(1) the following subsections are inserted:-
(5) The Schedule makes consequential amendments to the Children Act relating to shared parenting orders and hereby has effect.
(a) ensuring that children have the benefit of both of their parents having a meaningful involvement in their lives;
(b) protecting children from physical or psychological harm from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or domestic violence;
(c) ensuring that children receive adequate and proper parenting to help them achieve their full potential; and
(2) The principles underlying these objects are that (except when it is demonstrated that it is or would be contrary to a child’s best interests):-
(a) children have the right to know and be cared for by both their parents, regardless of whether their parents are married, separated, have never married or have never lived together;
(b) children have a right to spend time on a regular basis with, and communicate on a regular basis with, both their parents and other people significant to their care, welfare and development (including grandparents as well as other relatives);
(c) parents should jointly share duties and responsibilities concerning the care, welfare and development of their children;
(d) each parent should be involved in the child’s daily routine and occasions and events that are of particular significance to the child; and
(e) parents should agree about the future parenting of their children.
“11AA (1) When making a shared parenting order, the court must apply a presumption that the child should spend a substantial and significant amount of time with both parents.
(2) When applying the presumption under subsection (1) the court must consider:
(3) In determining, for the purposes of subsections (1) and (2), whether it is reasonably practicable for a child to spend a substantial and significant time with each of his parents, the court must have regard to:
(a) how far apart the parents live from each other;
(4) Where the court, in making a shared parenting order, decides not to provide for the child to spend a substantial and significant amount of time with both parents, it must:
(2) After section 105(1), there is inserted:-
A decision by a parent of a child to form a relationship with a new partner is not, of itself, a major long-term issue, within the meaning of this section, in relation to the child.”
8. Extent, short title and commencement
2. In section 9(5)(a), after the words “making a” the words “shared parenting,” are inserted.
3. In section 10:
4. In section 11(5):
5. In section 13: