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Shared Parenting legislation

Maureen Freely writing in the, Guardian ('Children first', 27 March 2002) describes the principle of Shared Parenting in the following way,
Shared parenting as practised today is a flexible concept. It can mean that all care is shared 50-50, or that children spend 80% of the time in one house and 20% in the other. Most families do the fine print by themselves. Its only when they can't agree they end up in court. When they do, their case will be considered according to its own merits. But certain rules of thumb remain. When making their decisions, many British judges still shy away from the ideal of shared parenting as described in the Children Act and are guided by the 'tender years doctrine'. Dr Hamish Cameron, a consultant child psychiatrist who has served as an expert witness in many cases, describes this as the belief that young children are best off with the parent with the closest resemblance to the Madonna. Where judges sees their first duty as preserving the mother-child dyad, their solution in some intractable cases will be to remove the father from the picture.
Nevertheless in this country, as well as charities and feminist academics opposed to Shared Parenting legislation, there are also a number of professional bodies that supported the Family Justice Review's (Norgrove Report) opposition to the introduction of Shared Parenting legislation.

These organisations included the Bar Council and the Family Law Bar Association (FLBA) as well as the Law Society.

The Chief Executive of CAFCASS Anthony Douglas, did not speak in favour of Shared Parenting legislation and the National Family Mediation welcomed the enhanced role of mediation in the Family Justice Review.

In the end it was left to organisations like Families Need Fathers FNF to berate David

Norgrove and his colleagues for bowing to political pressure and opposing Shared Parenting legislation.
In Australia despite 'feminist elements' Shared Parenting legislation has
operated successfully since 2006 with the Attorney General's Department stating they have no intention of 'rolling back' the reform.

Notwithstanding the opposition in the UK, in the father's own proceedings Lady Justice Hale, now the Baroness Richmond Deputy President of the Supreme Court stated,
The father has a point of view which he wishes to advocate. His Honour Judge Milligan described it as a political point of view, but it is not political in a party-political sense. There are many people who might call it political in the gender political-sense for there are many ways in which that word can be used. He has the view that the courts and the law have been too respectful of the relationship between mothers and their children to the detriment of the importance of the relationship between fathers and their children. He argues that one of the purposes of the Children Act 1989 was to redress the balance: to promote a more equal sharing of responsibility for children between mothers and fathers and to promote the maintenance a good relationship as possible between children and each of their parents should, unhappily, their parents not be living together. The father is correct that that was one of the principles behind the Children Act 1989, in which I take a certain amount of pride (4 February 2003).
Shared Parenting promotes 'more equal sharing of responsibility for children between mothers and fathers' and therefore benefits all members of the family.

In 2014 the UK Coalition Government proposed to introduce a clause recognising Shared Parenting in the Children and Families Act 2014. Unfortunately despite widespread public support Baroness Butler-Sloss, a former President of the Family Division now sitting in the House of Lords, led a coalition of groups opposed to the proposal and removed the clause. The amendment also removed the child's right to 'direct' contact with his or her parents post separation which is a violation of Article 9 of the Convention of the Rights of the Child and is now the grounds for a complaint to the United Nations.