One in eight fathers have no contact with their children

Children|Family|News|November 20th 2013

One in eight UK fathers who are divorced or who have separated from their partners have no contact with their children, according to new research.

Nearly one million fathers do not live with their children, according to a newly published analysis by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), and almost 130,000 of these fathers have no contact with their children. Fathers who have married again or begun a new relationship are twice as likely to lose contact with their children.

The research also indicates that the vast majority (97 per cent) of ‘resident’ parents who continue to live with their children following divorce or separation remain women.

The study is based on an analysis of data from the British Social Attitudes Survey, which has been conducted by NatCen every year since 1983.

According to NatCen’s Eloise Poole, economic pressure contributes to the alienation of fathers. “Some fathers simply don’t have the financial resources, or spare bedrooms, to be able to maintain regular contact with their children.”

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  1. Luke says:

    I am not surprised by most of this but the 97 per cent figure did surprise me – that indicates that the mother has to basically be a conspicuously unfit parent with clear evidence to show as much in order for her to not get residency.

    I should declare that although it may not be in my future interest I agree with the mother getting residency – but then I am not attempting to call myself a feminist (although most feminists I know are hypocrites on this matter !) and fully accept that my opinion is sexist. My own experience and those I have observed suggests simply that mothers usually have an affinity with small children that men do not. I KNOW there are plenty of exceptions, and I would consider myself to be capable of being one of them, but there is almost no way for a court to accurately evaluate that.

    What I am more concerned about is CONTACT for the father, frankly it is too difficult, too easy for the mother to avoid if she so wishes and way too low down the priority of Family Court.

  2. Stitchedup says:

    “According to NatCen’s Eloise Poole, economic pressure contributes to the alienation of fathers. “Some fathers simply don’t have the financial resources, or spare bedrooms, to be able to maintain regular contact with their children”

    Not sure how much this report cost but I could have told you that for the price of a pint and a packet of peanuts. The question is what are the politicians and judiciary going to do about it???

    This seems to be a common occurrence with many of these reports and inquiries, they end up reporting what everybody already knows; unless of course they come from an organisation or individual that have their own political agenda.

  3. Andrew says:

    If the father’s need for a home such that contact was possible was treated as as much a need as any need of the mother’s it would be a start. In principle both parties should be entitled to the same standard of living after the divorce as each other – not to what they had before. Equality of blame, equality of sacrifice.

  4. Yvie says:

    Yet another report which highlights the lack of contact between many children and their fathers post-separation. I am not surprised by this as many fathers face a monumental struggle to retain meaningful contact with their children. Many refuse to give up, even when they have bankrupted themselves, as remaining in the centre of the lives of their children is their main priority.

    Governments seem incapable or unwilling to make it fairer and easier for fathers to maintain contact with their children. They have seen the evidence on numerous occasions, yet still put too high a high value on input from one-sided feminist organisations, many of which have agendas of their own.

    Within the last few days, a government minister has called for ‘feckless fathers to be put in chains’. What a ridiculous suggestion – it would make more sense for Government to actively promote shared parenting as the default on separation, without the need to go through the Family Courts.

  5. Stitchedup says:

    “Equality of blame, equality of sacrifice.” I like that Andrew, and if equality of sacrifice was the case I believe there would be far less divorces and separations. People would work at their relationships more, and sometimes, perhaps more often than not, it would be better for the children if parents could ride the rough patch and come out the other end of it as an intact family who love each other more.

  6. Paul says:

    Plus ça change. The Daily Telegraph was reporting much the same in 2009. Nero is still fiddling as Cameron didn’t execute the things he said he would, or certainly not on the scale promised before the election. I think it fair to say the much vaunted shared parenting laws promised for fathers have turned out to be a damp squib.

    To cap it all, there’s now new child safety clauses going into the Children Act, supposedly as a counter-balance to the government’s wonderful “shared parenting” clause (which is anything but). Any mother in litigation who doesn’t take advantage of the opportunities afforded by these explicit references to child safety is missing an open goal.

  7. JamesB says:

    Yeah, I remember the Tories attempting to butter up NRP Dad’s before the last general election promising a change in the law, more contact, better deal, more transparency better divorce and family law, scrapping of CSA in favour of fairer system, more input for Fathers, etc. I am glad I did not fall for them.
    They failed on all of the above counts. It must be hard being a politician trying to get non resident fathers’ votes, and womens’ votes. No wonder most politicians seem preoccupied with women as they seem to have given up on non resident fathers. Sadly I am with Churchill in that giving women the vote seems to have just broken the status quo and destroyed the family by making the family dysfunctional with 2 leaders. I mean how many football teams work with two managers? Rhetorical question.

    The answer, well I don’t know but think Proportional Representation may help stop politicians not caring about people as long as you dont for the main or second party and thus these sort of issues would be looked at.

  8. Jlo says:

    I have my own house and a good flexible self employed job. But the Courts would rather leave my child with the mother as resident parent and let the government bring him up giving her job seekers allowance, rent allowance, child allowance, tax credits and more. I could bring my kid up without any of this.

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