Absent fathers are to be given a legal right to spend time with their children.
New legislation states that judges should ensure that fathers are allowed to develop a meaningful relationship with their sons or daughters – providing there is no risk to the child.
It will be for judges to determine the appropriate time and arrangements, if this cannot be agreed during meditation sessions between estranged parents.
In a letter to MPs setting out the legal changes, Edward Timpson, the Children's Minister, said: "Our starting point in drafting this legislation is based on two principles. "Firstly, that the safety and welfare of children is paramount.
"Secondly, that mothers and fathers should have the opportunity to play a positive role in their children's lives, when it is safe and in their best interests.
"We have concluded that this is best achieved by introducing a presumption in law that a child's welfare is furthered by the involvement of both parties – where that is safe and in the child's best interests."
Courts will also be required to consider the rights of grandparents after divorce or separation, although the Government has decided not to legislate to legally ensure they are offered access, according to the Telegraph.
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