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Cooperative parenting following family separation

Date: August 6, 2012

From the Department for Education’s website:

“The majority of parents who separate reach their own agreements about the care arrangements for their children. However, when disputes about these arrangements arise, there is a risk that children’s needs are overlooked. In too many cases one parent is left in a position where it is very hard to retain a strong and influential relationship with their child.

The Government firmly believes that parents who are able and willing to play a positive role in their child’s care should have the opportunity to do so. The aim of the proposed legislative amendment is to ensure that this happens in court cases and to reinforce the expectation generally that both parents are jointly responsible for their children’s upbringing. The Government also believes that a tougher approach is needed in cases where court orders are breached, and it intends to explore the scope for additional enforcement sanctions for the courts.

“This consultation includes options and questions on how court orders in private family cases regarding the care of children can be more effectively enforced.

“This consultation relates to the law of England and Wales, and these proposals do not therefore extend to Scotland or Northern Ireland.”

The consultation document and the response form can be found on the Department’s website here.