Anita Shepherd – head of the Family department – on Presumption of Parental Involvement.

Most people will agree that shared or co-parenting or the ongoing role of both parents in a child’s life following a family breakdown is in a child’s best interest.  However, all too often family breakdown brings mistrust and insecurity which can result in the parents getting caught up in a bitter power struggle about their roles as parents and the level of involvement in their child’s life.  A recent change in the law (Section 11 CFA 2014) provides that the court can presume that parental involvement in a child’s life will further the child’s welfare.

Involvement means involvement of some kind, either direct or indirect, but not a particular division of a child’s time.  The purpose of this change in the law is to reinforce the importance of children having an ongoing relationship with both parents after separation.  It is hoped that sending a clear and strong message to parents that both have an equal status will hopefully lesson litigation on such matters.

Myself and my team support these changes in the law which we promote and advocate when advising separated parents. Remember that the children of today are our future which is why it is vitally important that the law gives them the best chance of surviving family breakdown.

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