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Children: Access

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 53618, tabled on 2 June 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether his Department's policy on parents access to children is based on a presumption of equal access, subject to additional risk factors.

Answered on

10 June 2020

The welfare of the child is the court’s paramount concern when making any decision about a child’s upbringing, including with whom the child is to live or spend time. The legislative framework is contained in the Children Act 1989, which is gender neutral.

While the court must presume that a parent’s involvement in the child’s life will further their welfare this can be rebutted, for example in cases of domestic abuse. If a parent can be involved in the child’s life in a way that is safe, the nature of that parental involvement will then be determined by the court based on all the facts.