The presumption of parental involvement outlined in the Children and Families Act 2014 will come into force later this month, a senior family law judge has declared.
Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, said the provision of section 11 will become law on October 22, six months after the introduction of the main act.
The section states that, when making an order concerning a child, the courts must presume that the involvement of both parents will be further their welfare, unless there is evidence to the contrary. It will not apply to hearings begun before 22 October 2014.
In its original form, section 11 involved a presumption of shared parenting, but this was changed to avoid expectations that the children of divorced or separated parents should spend equal amounts of time with each. It now simply defines involvement of the non-resident parent as:
“… involvement of some kind, whether direct or indirect …”
The courts will remain free to declare that involvement of the other parent would not be in the best interests of a particular child.