ONE in five separated dads see their children less than once a month or not at all, new research has found.
Nearly one in five dads (19 per cent) who have split from their ex see their kids less than once a month and almost one in 10 (nine per cent) have no contact at all, a new study shows.
One in five separated dads see their children less than once a month or not at all, new research has found[/caption]
The research by law firm Slater and Gordon also found that around half of mums (45 per cent) said visits had tailed off after their relationship broke down and 30 per cent claimed fathers regularly changed or cancelled plans at the last minute.
The study into shared parenting also found that despite the perceived rise, just four in 10 couples (40 per cent) who have separated or divorced spend equal or close to equal amounts of time with their children.
While almost two-thirds (62 per cent) agreed to it at the start, only 42 per cent had stuck to the arrangement with busy lives and new relationships topping the list of reasons why.
Others included losing interest, wanting a fresh start, struggling for money, moving away or abroad and starting a new family with someone else.
Lorraine Harvey, a senior family lawyer at the firm, said: “Shared parenting, if both parents are fit, is generally regarded as the best option for the child where they can divide their time equally between two stable, loving homes and don’t feel they have to choose.
“It’s certainly more popular now than it has ever been but it does require a big and long-standing commitment from both parents which can be underestimated.
“We’re starting to see more and more parents now who informally agree to share childcare equally but find further down the line that it isn’t working. That can be incredibly confusing and upsetting for the child as well as the parent left to pick up the pieces.
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“Children need security and routine and it’s important to establish that as early as possible”.
Two-thirds of children (67 per cent) lived with their mums full-time compared to 18 per cent with dads.
But despite the lack of face time, however, four in 10 (43 per cent) of those surveyed believed their relationship with their children had improved as a result of the break-up because the time they did spend together was “better quality”.
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