Family and Divorce Lawyer Says ‘Children Must Come First’ When Deciding Parental Contact Issues
Specialist family lawyers have welcomed the debate on shared parenting during the House of Lords’ discussion on the new children and families bill.
A vote on the bill approved an amendment after a debate about how the wording regarding shared parenting could be misinterpreted to mean the bill favours an equal split of time. The Bill is currently at the amendment stage before being given Royal Ascent having now been through a series of debates in both the House of Commons and House of Lords.
Louise Halford, an expert family and divorce lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, which has offices across the country, says it is crucial that the wording of the bill is clear to avoid unnecessary worry and confusion for families in the future.
In the House of Lords yesterday (17/12/2013) peers voted by 225 to 221 to make clear that the presumption of shared parental responsibility did not mean a "particular division of a child's time". This amend was put forward by Baroness Butler-Sloss, the former president of the Family Division of the High Court, who said the Bill was in danger of sending out the wrong message to separating parents.