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Fathers: Discrimination

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 59727, tabled on 20 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department has taken to ensure sexual discrimination does not disadvantage fathers in family courts.

Answered on

29 October 2021

The legislative framework which governs family law proceedings about children is gender neutral and is focused on the welfare of children involved and not on the sex or gender of a parent. Each case is determined on the facts and the individual welfare needs of the child as determined by the independent judiciary.

Section 1 of the Children Act states that family courts are required to presume that the involvement of a parent in the life of the child concerned will further that child’s welfare, unless it can be shown that this would not be so. The Government is currently undertaking a review of the courts’ application of this presumption and its exception, and its impact on children.