Shared parenting legislation, aimed at strengthening relationships between parents and children after separation, could detract from children’s wellbeing, the Law Society is warning.
Responding to a Government consultation in which ministers are proposing different ways to establish the notion of “shared parenting” after separation, Law Society President John Wotton said: “Introducing a legislative presumption of shared parenting could lead to unrealistic expectations from fathers, with a huge rise in fathers asking the courts for ‘equal time’.
"This could undermine the Government’s drive towards mediation and out of court settlements. The Government should avoid any implication in the statute of any right to equal time with a child, or any prescription of appropriate amounts of time.
The primary focus should be on the rights and welfare of the children, not those of parents. The principle that the welfare of the child is the court’s paramount consideration should be maintained.”