What this means is that when a judge is making decisions about the future care and upbringing of your child their starting point will that your child will benefit from having both parents involved in their upbringing.
What it does not mean is that the judge will presume a child’s time will be split equally between the parents, which was the position that many people campaigned for. The section of the law bringing in the change (s1 of the Children Act 1989 which has been amended by s11 of the Children & Families Act 2014) defines involvement as
“involvement of some kind, either direct or indirect, but not any particular division of a child’s time”
So that still gives the judge a great deal of freedom. For example in certain circumstances an order for only indirect contact would be perfectly correct provided the judge has taken account of the new presumption in reaching that decision.
You should also know that:
- the presumption can be ignored if there is any if there is any evidence that involvement by one the parents could put the child at risk
- it will only apply in cases started after the 22nd of October. It will not apply to your case if it is already before a judge.
You can read the amended legislation here.
There is also a press release from the Ministry of Justice which you may find useful.