We should have parenting guidelines for judges based on international research, so that a child’s right to have both parents in their lives is a priority. The default parenting order of every second weekend and one night during the week, was developed in Ireland from Expert reports to the court where child welfare issues were raised, this should not be the standard order made by the court. Judges need to be aware that extensive research exists that indicates that very young children should have frequent contact with both parents, unless there is an identified reason why this should not be the case, and a predictable schedule and routine. To develop and maintain a healthy attachment to both parents young children should if possible not be away from either parent for more than two to three days.
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