Shared Parenting Information Group (SPIG) UK
- promoting responsible shared parenting after separation and divorce -
Shared Parenting - the arguments for
(see also Shared Parenting - overcoming the arguments)
The arguments for Shared Parenting which have been successfully used in UK courts are that:
Note: Section 11(4) of the UK Children Act 1989 recognises that a child may live in more than one home and permits an order for shared residence.
- It ensures continuation of family life for the child, with the advantage of nurture from both parents rather than just one.
- It reassures the child that he has two parents, and although they live in separate places, he definitely has a home with both of them.
- It dispels the notion that only one parent is "caring" and that the other is "errant" or "absent".
- It ensures that one parent is not unfairly burdened with the responsibility of discipline whilst the other is relegated to (or marginalised as) the fun or contact parent.
- It provides the opportunity for children and parents to develop meaningful and lasting relationships - in place of the artificiality and frustrations of contact .
- It affirms the parents in their belief that they both have an ongoing role in their child's life.
- It places both parents on an equal footing with schools, doctors and the world at large - who might otherwise only want to deal with the residential parent.
- It confirms that no matter what, each parent wants to, and is able to, provide a home for their child.
- It reassures the child that in the event of one parent dying he still has a home to go to.
- Without such an order, if one parent dies, the child would not automatically go to live with the other parent, but would be left with whoever they were living with at the time or handed over to a guardian - a poor substitute for a natural parent.
- It enables both parents to claim the additional personal tax allowance (and possibly one parent benefit, family credit and additional child benefit), thus increasing the income available to the children (only applicable for two or more children). [More about Tax & Benefit advantages]
(From an item by David Cannon originally published in Access magazine No 22)
Last updated - 15 September 1999
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