Presumption of Continued Parental Involvement

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Section 11 of the Children and Families Act 2014 introduces a presumption of ‘continued parental involvement’ and will come into force on 22nd October 2014.

In line with the principle enshrined in the Children Act 1989 that a child’s welfare must be of paramount consideration in the court’s decision making process, section 11 of the 2014 Act requires the court to commence proceedings with the presumption that the involvement of both parents in a child’s life ‘will further the child’s welfare’ unless there is evidence to suggest that involvement of a particular parent would put the child at risk of harm.

Section 11 defines involvement as ‘involvement of some kind, either direct or indirect’ and does not amount to a presumption that children’s time should be equally divided between parents.

It is also important to note that when enforced section 11 will not apply to proceedings commenced but not disposed of before 22 October 2014.

The full text is available online for the Children and Families Act 2014 and for the s.11 of the Act.

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