Child custody: Why are people campaigning for change?

It’s a harsh reality that, these days, married couples don’t always live happily ever after. Last year’s records show that there were over 101,669 divorces between heterosexual couples in England and Wales. This staggering number is made even more shocking when you consider how many children are caught in between the mess of a divorce. So, what is currently happening that is causing people to speak out and call for changes to the present divorce process?

The Current Law

The truth is that a barrier has been set up by the way the law currently works. It’s no secret that divorces are expensive and child custody battles aren’t any different. The living nightmare that many face is when their ex-partner walks out the door, taking their child with them. Bringing them to court and fighting for custody isn’t always possible when you just don’t have the funds to do so. You could have been the best parent in the world to your child but since your partner has walked out, you are reduced to painful supervised visits and posting a Christmas card in the post. All because your partner took the assumed full-time parental role.

Proposed Changes

What campaigners are now fighting for is called a ‘shared parenting presumption’. If this is introduced into the law, those couples who are going through a fairly normal separation (where there’s no abuse or risk) can avoid a custody battle. Custody will be split equally between the two parents. In a recent survey where 2,000 people were questioned on the subject in question, eight in 10 people agreed with the proposed changes.

The changes will not only ease the process of a normal separation, but it will also reduce the stress that is caused to all parties involved – even the children. A poll which supports the change stated that the change to the law would highlight what a normal separation should look like. That is, no fights and animosity – things which a child should not be exposed to and wouldn’t be if the change takes place.

It’s been suggested that the way courts currently assess the non-residential parent is outdated and whilst the law reforms are looking to update dated processes, this issue should still be considered under the current divorce law.

With the majority of the public agreeing with the proposed changes, it looks as though it won’t be long until the current law has amends made to bring it into the 21st century. Every child has the absolute right to a relationship with a parent who is willing to love and care for them. Taking away this right from both the parent and the child is damaging and it’s about time that society looks to give children the opportunity to grow up with both parents equally in their lives, whether that be together or apart.

If you or a family member are in need to representation or advice regarding Family Law, Personal Injuries or Serious Injuries. Contact our team at Lysander Law.