Why Shared Parenting legislation is necessary

The Children Act of 1989 required the judiciary to serve the paramount interests of the child.

No one can disagree with this fundamental principle.

However, our senior judiciary has opted to interpret this Paramountcy Principle by adopting out-of-date suppositions harking back to the 1960′s and 70′s. It has done so because of its rigid adherence to the system of ‘legal precedent’.

a) Above all, a child needs the love and nurturing of its mother and the financial support of its father.
b) Women are the emotionally weaker sex: if their wishes are thwarted by the court, their ability to parent their child will be very adversely affected.
c) A child can be raised quite satisfactorily without the nurturing of its father.
d) A father may be permitted to share in the parenting of his child, but only if the mother is in agreement. If she is not in agreement, the father should not be involved in the parenting because this would upset the mother, and the resulting animosity would be harmful to the child.
e) If a mother is found to have lodged false or exaggerated accusations of physical or emotional violence against a father, she should not be punished because this would harm the child in her care.

These are the suppositions written into decades of legal precedent and indelibly ingrained in the minds of our senior judiciary, such as Baroness Butler-Sloss, Lord Justice Thorpe and Sir Nicholas Wall.

These judges interpret the Paramountcy Principle of the Children Act 1989 by adopting these very suppositions.

Lord Justice Thorpe: primary architect of Payne v Payne (2001) and responsible for the overseas removal of thousands of children

Lord Justice Thorpe: primary architect of Payne v Payne (2001) and responsible for the overseas removal of thousands of children

A prime example is Payne v Payne (2001) which governs ‘leave to remove’ relocation law.

Butler-Sloss and Thorpe decreed that the paramount interests of a child would best be served by ensuring that the child’s mother should not be upset by any refusal of her application to remove the child overseas. The unfortunate consequence – that the child would lose its meaningful relationship with its father – was not as important as ensuring the complete happiness of the mother.

In Re D (Children) [2010] EWCA Civ 50, Nicholas Wall refused to permit any challenge to the ideology of Payne v Payne, despite having being presented with a plethora of powerful scientific evidence in favour of Shared Parenting. Wall relegated the importance of that powerful evidence.

Our senior judiciary has misjudged the best interests of the child by remaining stubbornly wedded to an out-of-date ideology of parenthood.

An explicit presumption of Shared Parenting needs to be inserted into the Children Act in order to rectify that serious judicial error.

It must be made very clear to our senior judiciary that ‘paramount interests’ equates to ‘shared parenting’.

Best regards
Bruno D’Itri

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One thought on “Why Shared Parenting legislation is necessary

  1. As a father who has fought to ensure I played an important part in my son’s life with alternate weekend and holiday staying contact until he was 8, when his mother’s barrister obtained a ridiculous order in the Family Magistrates Court to remove our regular contact, I am appalled to read the above as to how our senior judiciary could get this so wrong. I am faced with having to go back to court yet again to try and reinstate our regular contact and I was hoping that ‘shared parenting’ principles would be stated in this latest Bill to help my cause. We are in the 21st Century and the views stated above simply do not reflect today’s modern society and can only be influenced by pressure from the Law Society who want ordinary people like me to spend all their spare money on trying to ensure they play a meaningful part in the life of their children.

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