The long awaited report by the former senior civil servant David Norgrove, the Family Justice Review, has just been released and one particular issue which has made the headlines is that children should not automatically have the legal right to split their time equally between the mother and the father after their parents have separated. Some father's action groups have been disappointed with this, as they had hoped to be granted the legal guarantee that their children would have to spend an equal amount of time with them, rather than the children possibly spending the majority of time with their mother.
However, although the father's action groups are disappointed by this part of Family Justice Review, the underlying principle of Children law remains the same; the welfare of a child remains the paramount consideration.
Therefore, what the Family Justice Review has done is recognised that every case is different and that a "one rule fits all" approach is not appropriate in family cases.
"The current family law must still be considered in light of a family's unique circumstances", says specialist children law solicitor Colin Mitchell, "When a Judge has to make a decision, the law still allows the Judge to tailor that decision to fit the unique needs of the children concerned. In some cases, this may result in children spending more time with their mother, but in other cases the time the children spend with their parents can be split more equally. Sometimes, the children spend the majority of time with their father. However, it's almost always better that a family problem is resolved outside of court, perhaps using Mediation or the Collaborative Family Law process".
Coles Miller's Family Team can provide bespoke advice on how exactly the family law can apply to your particular circumstances, because we recognise that every case is different.