A change in law could help children in separated families see more of both their parents.
Government ministers have decided that action must be taken, as evidence suggests a large number of youngsters loose contact with one parent all together.
The Children Act 1989 states that the child’s needs come first in law courts, but this is disputed by many organisations.
Fathers For Justice Campaign Director, Nadine O’Connor says that the current system is unfair: “At the point of separation one parent becomes the resident parent, the main carer, and the second is treated as if they are a second class citizen.”
On Monday 6th February, Government will be reviewing the Children’s Act and will be announcing how they are going to improve current issues.
Nadine says that going to court can be an abusive process: “The idea is that you pitch one parent against the other and they have to say why that parent is not a good parent. There’s lots of finger pointing and allegations made and the whole process is based around conflict.”
It’s also an issue that affects both Mums and Dads. “We have been campaigning to put equality back into the family courts. That means that at the point of separation we would like to see both parents treated equally in the eyes of the law,” Nadine says.
Thomas Green’s parents separated when he was a toddler. He says: “I think that kids do need both parents there for them and it’s very important to have the support. It takes the strain off one parent if both are involved.”
He also adds, “But in other cases if one of those parents is abusive then it’s probably best that they’re not part of the whole family set up.”
Listen to CityVibe’s Rachael Porter and her interviews with Nadine O’Conner, Thomas Green and Lisa Boileau, Head of Family Law at Wilkin Chapman LLP.