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Government u-turn on fathers rights


Published: 3rd February 2012 - Category: Children - Author: Lynne Bastow

Well, children’s rights actually. Rather than accept that giving father’s a stronger role in law in their children’s lives post separation may be harmful, the Cabinet revolt, led by Ian Duncan Smith and Nick Clegg has stated that there will be an overhaul of the Children Act 1989.

This will overturn the family justice review, which last November concluded no change needed and that increasing father’s rights, even the right to maintain a meaningful relationship “would do more harm than good”.

Parents are to be discouraged from going to Court and further encouraged to mediate – this objective seems to run through every proposal on family law.  Cuts in legal aid – mediate.  Can’t see your children – mediate.

This news will be welcomed by lots of estranged fathers who feel that the Courts are biased against them.  It does seem odd that parental responsibility is designed to give equal rights and duties to both parents but post separation it is often the case that the mother makes unilateral decisions as to when the father can see their children.  It is also frustrating when the mother labels the father as “controlling” because he will not accept the limited contact with the children she offers.

It will be interesting to see what they actually do – anything short of an assumption of 50/50 care post separation will probably lack impact.

It is reported in  The Daily Mail.

Lynne Bastow - Divorce Solicitor

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