An excerpt from this article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2158490/Mothers-deny-fathers-access-couple-s-children-break-jailed.html
Separated parents who fail to allow their partners to maintain a proper relationship with their children could be stripped of driving licenses or passports, hit with curfews, ordered to do a period of unpaid work or even jailed.
Ministers will today propose a dramatic extension of punishments for breaches of court orders regarding care arrangements amid concern that millions of youngsters are losing contact with absent fathers.
The move is part of the most radical shake-up of the family courts for decades, with a new right to ‘shared parenting’ following family breakdown to be enshrined in law.
Ministers have decided reform is necessary in the light of heartbreaking evidence that one in five children from a broken home loses touch with the parent that leaves the family home within just three years and never sees them again.
Many more lose contact with a parent, most often with fathers when mothers are awarded custody, as they grow older.
Children’s minister Tim Loughton will announce that the Government is to rewrite the 1989 Children Act, which states that the child comes first in law courts in the UK.
Campaigners for fathers’ rights complain that the courts repeatedly pander to the notion that mothers are ‘more important’ than fathers.
The Government will consult on how the law should be changed, but its preferred option is for courts to be required to ‘work on the presumption that a child’s welfare is likely to be furthered through safe involvement with both parents’.
Unless their welfare is threatened by staying in touch with either their mother or father, children must have an equal right to a proper relationship with both, ministers say.
The move is designed to ensure that the parent who moves out of the family home – normally the father – cannot be cut out of their children’s lives following an acrimonious separation.
Ministers say they also want to ‘put a rocket under the courts’ to ensure that parents who flout court orders about access or care arrangements are punished.
Courts are to be told to deploy existing but rarely-used sanctions more often, including fines, unpaid work or imprisonment.
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