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Separated fathers and their custody rights

Last December, publicity for the Fathers4Justice campaign came from an advertising campaign which included the slogan “Kate, every child deserves a father this Christmas”
The campaign was centered around Kate Winslett’s alleged comments about her children’s living arrangements; they live with her, and not with their fathers.  Kate Winslett threatened to sue the organisation for being misleading and defamatory about her.
Custody issues often arise following a particularly difficult separation or divorce between the parents involved, and the campaign does highlight the difficulties that some fathers face when seeking to remain a part of their children’s lives.
Most commonly, the mother becomes the primary carer for the children. The Family Courts will be reluctant to make Orders shifting the primary care of the children from one person to another, unless there are serious reasons to justify doing so. The Court’s paramount consideration when making any Orders to determine arrangements for children is the welfare of the child.
Fathers4Justice suggest that 200 children lose contact with their fathers each day. The government has introduced the need to consider mediation in all children cases, with the exception being in the most urgent and serious applications. It is hopeful that this will lead to increased settlements around arrangements for children outside of court.
The Children and Families Act 2014 has made changes to the law to detract away from the presumption that one parent has more rights that the other, by rephrasing custody and residence to one of child arrangements orders. So now, there is a very clear presumption in law that both parents should play a significant role in the lives of their children, unless there are serious safeguarding concerns as to why that will not be beneficial for the children.
If you are having problems with custody or issues with your access arrangements, you should speak to a family lawyer who will be able to offer you advice on what steps you can take to see your children. Call 01302 320621.

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