A divorce lawyer is now legally required to present evidence about the children’s wellbeing before a judge, a new law in England and Wales has announced.
The new law was passed on Monday, but it has yet to take effect.
It will require a lawyer to present a copy of a child’s medical records and to show that the children are not in danger of abuse or neglect.
A copy of the child’s social care records will also be considered.
The bill was introduced by Conservative MP Richard Harrington.
Harrington told the BBC that the legislation was needed to stop “a lot of lawyers and others who might not have a good record of child custody cases, but who are doing very well in court, from taking on a child, even if they have custody of the children.”
The new legislation is not a perfect solution, however, and Harrington cautioned that he hoped that the new law would only be a start.
“It’s not perfect, but the way it’s put together and the way the court hears cases is the way I want it to be,” Harrington told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“I want it very straightforward.
And I want to make sure that I can do this very quickly and in a way that doesn’t involve the court.”
The law was not introduced by the Conservative Party.
Harrington is the husband of Conservative lawmaker Diana Johnson, who has also pushed for legislation to require a doctor’s note before a divorce.
Johnson told the Daily Mail in an interview that Harrington has become “a very effective divorce lawyer,” adding that “the problem is there are some lawyers who have a reputation for getting on the wrong side of the law, because they’re not doing the right thing.”
Harrington said the new legislation was designed to make the divorce process as simple as possible.
“This is not something that I think should be complicated,” Harrington said.
“But we can do it.
And it’s not as complicated as you think it is.”
The Law Reform Commission is the body that advises the government on how to reform the divorce law in the UK.