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As of 22nd October 2014 the presumption of parental involvement will come into force.

What is the Presumption of Parental Involvement?

The presumption of involvement is referred to as '... involvement of some kind, whether direct or indirect ...'.

Courts consideration

In all proceedings involving children the Courts paramount consideration is the child that is the subject of the proceedings.

The Court have regard to a number of factors and moving forward, the presumption of parental involvement will also be at the forefront of the parties minds.

In determining matters involving children the Court also have regard to what is otherwise known as the welfare checklist.

The welfare checklist:

  1. The ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in light of his/her age and understanding.
  2. The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs.
  3. The likely effect on the child of any change of circumstances.
  4. The child’s age, sex, background and any characteristics of the child which the Court considers relevant.
  5. Any harm that the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering.
  6. How capable each of the child’s parents and any other person in relation to whom the Court considers the question relevant is of meeting the child’s needs.
  7. The range of powers available to the Court under the Children Act 1989 in the proceedings in question.

The Court will also have regard to the "no order" presumption and the principle of no delay.

The “no order” presumption which requires that the Court will not intervene and make an order unless it can be shown that there is a positive need and a benefit to the child in doing so.

The principle of avoiding delay is taken into account as it is considered that any delay in the proceedings is likely to be detrimental to the child.

Clearly, the presumption of parental involvement will not prevent the Court from finding that a child shall not spend time with a parent if it is in the child's best interests.

Will this effect my current proceedings?

The presumption will not apply to proceedings commenced but not concluded before 22nd October 2014.

It will apply to all new applications in respect of children following 22nd October 2014.

How can we help?

Our specialist family solicitors are accredited members of the Law Society Children Panel, so you can be assured that your children’s best interests are at the heart of our work.

Call our Family Helpline on 08000 147720, email family@ramsdens.co.uk or text LAW to 67777 to book a free 30 minute information session at any of our ten offices in West Yorkshire.

We are also proud to be a firm that still offers Legal Aid to our clients if they are financially eligible and have the required evidence of domestic violence.