Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has signed Early Day Motion (EDM) 210 regarding shared parenting rights and the family courts.
EDM 210 calls on the Government to review the operations within the family court system and evaluate decision-making regarding fathers’ access to their children in the perspective of family breakdown. It is currently the case that many fathers, who have no criminal convictions after separation or divorce, have limited access to their children. Mike wants to see the system reviewed.
Commenting, Mike said: “It astonishes me that within our court system today that the fathers within these disputes are subject to limited access to their children. A family breakdown could be the responsibly of either parent, or usually both, but it is still more likely that fathers receive the smallest amount of rights over their children..”
EDM 210 ? SHARED PARENTING RIGHTS AND THE FAMILY COURTS
That this House notes that many fathers convicted of no criminal offence have very limited access to their children as a result of decisions made by the family courts following separation or divorce; further notes that the family courts operate in conditions of secrecy in which there is a lack of public accountability for the decisions they make; believes that mothers, children and fathers all have rights in relation to family contact and access where there has been family breakdown; further believes there should not be a presumption that family breakdown is the primary responsibility of either parent; further believes that where there is palpably no threat to children from their father in the context of family breakdown, the courts should try to maximise reasonable access in the interests of the children; and calls on the Government to review the operation of the family courts in general and their decision-making in relation to fathers’ access to children in the context of family breakdown in particular, taking into account the testimony of the many thousands of fathers who feel their rights are being ignored or abused in relation to their children and in particular the organisation Fathers4Justice and the 36,000 families it represents.