The new Children and Families Bill

The Children and Families Bill awaits implementation shortly.  We used to have “custody” and “access” of children on separation of parents. Then in 1989 these terms were replaced by “Residence” and “Contact” orders.

The new Children and Families Bill awaits Royal assent and is scheduled to be introduced in April 2014.  It does away with the old labels and instead introduces new “child arrangements order” regulating how much time children spend with each parent and which parent should be their primary carer.  This will remove psychological and misleading labels about which parent a child lives with and which parent a child has contact with.  It also aims to remove the idea of winners and losers in disputes about children.

Also to be introduced is a presumption that a child’s welfare will be furthered by involvement of both parents in the child’s life unless that would put the child at risk of harm.

For more information, help or advice, contact our specialist Children’s team.

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