U.K. law gives dads equal access to kids

Feb. 3, 2012 at 7:02 PM

LONDON, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- The head of a major family justice review in England says he disputes a new law granting divorced parents equal access to their children.

Currently, family courts have deemed it proper that children stay with their mothers in the majority of divorce cases, Britain's The Telegraph reported Friday.

That will change because a group of ministers from both sides of the aisle will be announced on Monday to decide how the 1989 Children's Act needs to be rewritten to ensure fathers get better access to their children.

"We must do everything we can to improve the system so that it gives children the best chance of growing up under the guidance of two loving parents," Tim Loughton, the children's minister, said.

One person who doesn't find the new law appealing is businessman and head of a family justice review, David Norgrove.

"The independent Family Justice Review panel thoroughly considered the issue of shared parenting and concluded that the law should not be changed," Norgrove said.

Norgrove originally proposed a parental equal access right in March but dropped the issue claiming it would put too much pressure on judges when it came time to establish a precise time length for each divorced parent to spend with their children, The Telegraph said.

Minister Charlie Elphicke, a leading campaigner on fathers' rights, said he found the prospect of equal time a move ahead.

"This is a really welcome step forward. It is something that I feel passionately about. It is a positive step forward for the welfare of children in contract to the muddled and confused thinking of the Norgrove report."

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