Petition End presumption of parental involvement in relation to child arrangement orders

The welfare of the child should be the sole consideration when a contact order is being created. Simply because a person is the parent of a child courts should not presume parental involvement in a child's life is beneficial. It can have the opposite effect.

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While the child's welfare is the paramount consideration in any question regarding the upbringing of a child, the Children Act 1989 requires the courts to presume, unless the contrary is shown, that involvement of that parent in the life of the child concerned will further the child's welfare. This provision should be removed, so that parental contact is only ordered if it is clear it is in the best interests of the child.

Requiring children to have contact with people who don't have their best interests at heart can be harmful and traumatic. Protecting a child from both emotional and physical harm should be the sole consideration when creating child arrangement orders.

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