Children: Access

House of Lords written question – answered at on 13 May 2011.

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Photo of The Earl of Shrewsbury The Earl of Shrewsbury Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to ensure that non-resident parents who are responsible for the support of their children have proper access to, and contact with, their children.

Photo of Lord Hill of Oareford Lord Hill of Oareford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Where parents cannot reach their own agreements, they may apply to court for a contact order. In reaching a decision, the court is required to prioritise the welfare of the child.

A review of the whole of the family justice system is currently under way. The review panel, which is independently chaired, issued its interim report for consultation on 31 March. The panel's final report is expected in the autumn. Once the review has concluded, the Government will consider the recommendations carefully including any recommendations about how parental disputes should be handled.

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