S (A Child), Re: CA 28 Jan 2004

‘The courts recognise the critical importance of the role of both parents in the lives of their children. The courts are not anti-father and pro-mother or vice versa. The court’s task, imposed by Parliament in section 1 of the Children Act 1989 in every case is to treat the welfare of the child or children concerned as paramount, and to safeguard and promote the welfare of every child to the best of its ability. Unless there are cogent reasons against it, the children of separated parents are entitled to know and have the love and society of both their parents. In particular, the courts recognise the vital importance of the role of non-resident fathers in the lives of their children, and only make orders terminating contact when there is no alternative.’


[2004] EWCA Civ 18, [2004] 1 FCR 439,




Children Act 1989 1


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedF v M FD 1-Apr-2004
The court considered the ‘ongoing debate’ about the court’s role in contact disputes. ‘this case illustrates all too uncomfortably the failings of the system. There is much wrong with our system and the time has come for us to recognise that fact . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 09 June 2022; Ref: scu.192336