Shared Parenting: are we one step closer?

The Shared Parenting Bill has been presented in the House of Lords and is due to be debated in the House of Commons next summer. If it becomes law, courts could make Shared Parenting Orders following separation or divorce. If the Bill becomes law, it is likely that there will be a legal presumption that such orders would be the starting point, unless there was a good reason why this would not be in a child’s best interests. Such legislation would bring us in line with many other countries where shared care is common such as Australia, Belgium, France and Denmark.

For many years shared care/residence orders have been the exception rather than the rule. Our current system, where one parent is labelled the ‘sole carer’, can have a divisive impact on families. The absent parent can feel undermined and less important in their child’s life as a result. If this Bill becomes law a presumption of shared care would help to emphasise the importance of both parents in a child’s life.

For further information please contact Senior Associate Grace Parker-White on email grace.parker-white@stevens-bolton.com
 

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