Family Courts (Equal Treatment)

Part of Women and Equalities – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 2nd July 2015.

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Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister for Equalities (Department for Education), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice 9:30 am, 2nd July 2015

My hon. Friend speaks about an emotive subject, but the law changed last October and now requires the family court to presume that each parent’s involvement will further the child’s welfare unless there is evidence to the contrary. However, the child’s welfare remains a paramount consideration for the court. Where either parent breaches a child arrangements order without a reasonable excuse, the court has the power to deal with it, including by imposing community sentences or even by treating the breach as a contempt of court, punishable by imprisonment or a fine.