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Parents' Rights v Children's Needs in Private Cases

Date:8 MAR 2007

Steve Adams, Acting Head of Service, CAFCASS London Region. In this article the case is put that the assumption of contact taking place post separation, in cases where the pursuance of contact creates long-term court-centred conflict, needs to be shifted in the light of research evidence. In its practice the courts have become aligned to the position of powerful parental lobbies. Research and children's needs have in effect been marginalised, long-term litigation and an increase in r 9.5s has resulted, when what is needed is appropriate services to families earlier in the process and a recognition that constructive contact in many cases is an unattainable goal. The author goes on to consider what services CAFCASS should be providing to reduce conflict and analyses where resources are currently being directed and what might be more effective ways of managing the issue as it relates to the impact on the children and families involved and their best interests. For the full discussion see March [2007] Fam Law.

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