Family Justice

The Bill would make changes to family justice, including the law relating to care proceedings, and arrangements for children after divorce or separation

Key provisions include, but are not limited to:

  • Clause 10 sets out the circumstances in which a mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM) must be attended before family proceedings can be brought.
  • Clause 11 introduces a presumption that the involvement of both parents in a child’s life will further that child’s welfare, unless the contrary is shown.
  • Clause 13 sets out the circumstances in which expert evidence may be used in court for children proceedings.
  • Clause 14 introduces a 26 week time limit to proceedings for care & supervision orders, with provision for extensions in certain circumstances.

MPs are particularly interested in your comments on the practical implications of specific clauses of the Bill. Please make clear whether your comment relates to a specific clause or schedule.

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Related information

What is Public Reading?

Public Reading is an initiative to give members of the public the opportunity to provide their views on Bills before they are made into law. This is the first Public Reading to be run by the House of Commons and is a pilot of the process. Comments on the Bill will be made available to the Committee of MPs responsible for examining the Bill in detail so that they can take them into account when deciding whether to make changes to the Bill.

About the Children and Families Bill

The Children and Families Bill contains provisions to change the law in several areas relating to children and families.

Explanatory Notes

The Government publishes explanatory notes alongside a Bill to assist readers in understanding the proposed legislation

Additional Comments?

Comments on areas not covered by the listed Bill topics, or broader comments on the Bill as a whole (including anything that you think should have been included in the Bill but is not) should be posted as an additional comment. As this Public Reading is a pilot, we are also keen to hear your views on the public reading process itself.

Public Bill Committees

A Bill Committee is appointed for each Bill that goes through Parliament and is named after the Bill it considers. Public Bill Committees have the power to take written and oral evidence. The Committee examines the Bill line by line and reports its conclusions and any amendments to the Commons, where MPs debate the Bill further.

Pre-legislative Scrutiny

Some provisions in the Children and Families Bill were published in draft form last year so that MPs could scrutinise them and recommend changes to be made before the Bill itself was introduced to Parliament. Four different Committees from the House of Commons and the House of Lords examined draft clauses.