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Shared Parenting Bill presented in the House of Commons

Date:14 JUL 2010

Big BenA Private Members Bill on shared parenting was tabled yesterday in the House of Commons by Brian Binley, Conservative MP for Northampton South.

The legislation would provide for the making of Shared Parenting Orders following separation or divorce and to create a legal presumption that such Orders enhance the welfare of the child unless certain exceptions apply. It would also provide appropriate safeguards for cases where shared parenting is not the best solution.

Critics argue that the current the law too often has a divisive impact on families, treating one parent as the sole carer and the other as the sole financial provider. Shared parenting legislation is increasingly common elsewhere in the world. Australia, France, Denmark, Belgium and a number of US states are examples.

Mr Binley said: "Shared Parenting legislation is vitally important for all involved, especially the children. Very often court orders are made without the knowledge of the importance of a father's involvement and my bill will make sure that neither parent is shut out from the child's life when sadly a relationship breaks down. I don't need to underline the importance of both parents in a child's life.

"A significant proportion of the social problems in today's society are a result of when a child doesn't have the love and support of both parents where safe. I hope that this bill will go some way to help this, which will only be good for society." 

The Bill will be debated in the House of Commons next summer.