Private disputes over children
  1. What effect, if any, is the addition of the ‘parental involvement presumption’ in s 1(2A) of the CA 1989 likely to make to the way in which child arrangements orders about spending time or having contact are made? 
  2. Do you think in reality that the courts have been applying a ‘presumption’ in favour of the child’s mother in disputes about the person with whom a child should live? Could such a presumption be justified?
  3. Should the division of labour agreed between parents pre-separation determine post-separation patterns of care? Would a ‘primary carer’ presumption help promote gender equality in both pre and post-separation parenting?
  4. What factors would tend to support the making of an order for shared living arrangements?
  5. Should natural parents be privileged in a dispute about the person(s) with whom a child is to live? Can the judgment of Baroness Hale in Re G (Children) (Residence: Same-Sex Partner) [2006] UKHL 43 be reconciled with the decision of the Supreme Court in Re B (A Child) [2009] UKSC 5?
  6. Does the Court of Appeal’s judgment in Re L (A Child) (Contact: Domestic Violence) [2001] Fam 260, adequately address the concern that domestic violence is being marginalized in disputes about a child spending time or otherwise having contact with a person? What approach should the courts take to such cases with a violent or abusive parent?
  7. Would you commit a mother to prison for persistent breaches of a child arrangements order? Do you think there are effective alternatives for enforcing these orders?
  8. How do you think the court should approach relocation disputes? Should there be a ‘starting point’ or ‘presumption’ (or more than one, for different kinds of case), or is a ‘pure’ welfare approach best? What are the problems with each approach?