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English consultation on co-operative parenting

Tim Loughton MPDivorced or separated parents who play the system to "freeze" their ex-partner out of a "meaningful relationship" with their children should face tougher penalties, according to English Children's Minister Tim Loughton.

His comments to the Westminster Justice Committee come as a consultation on co-operative parenting following family separationis launched by the English Department nfor Education.

The consultation refers to situations in which children's needs are being overlooked in disputes about care arrangements between separated parents.

It states that: "In too many cases one parent is left in a position where it is very hard to retain a strong and influential relationship with his or her child. The Government firmly believes that parents who are able and willing to play a positive role in their child's care should have the opportunity to do so."

"The aim of the proposed legislative amendment is to ensure that this happens in court cases and to reinforce the expectation generally that both parents are jointly responsible for their children's upbringing."

"The Government also believes that a tougher approach is needed in cases where court orders are breached, and it intends to explore the scope for additional enforcement sanctions for the courts."

Families Need Fathers Scotland is bringing these developments to the attention of Scotland's politicians.

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