FI welcomes move to give children right to see both parents

3 February 2012

The Fatherhood Institute has welcomed moves by the Government to give children the right to a relationship with both parents after separation or divorce.

Responding to today’s article in the Daily Telegraph revealing that ministers want to amend the Children Act to create a legal right for children to a relationship with both parents after divorce, FI chief executive Rob Williams said:

‘Current legislation allows over one million children in the UK to lose touch with their father by the time they reach 16. This has a profound negative impact on children’s wellbeing and outcomes and we should not simply accept it. Whatever happens to couples, we must expect a child’s relationship with both parents to endure. Our laws need to change to reflect this, and our courts, social workers, family support and benefit systems should also be working in ways that increase the likelihood of more children from separated families enjoying close relationships with both their parents.’

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  • andrew says:

    yes it’s a small step in the right direction towards some sort of equality in the family. I have seen it reported that one in three of our children do not live with their father’s. This is nothing but Barbaric. It damages both children and Fathers, (and probably Mothers too). There’s another generation growing up who think that a Father is unnecessary.
    I am fully behind your organisatiion and it’s ideals. Motivating Father’s to be more proactive as parents is an essential part of the solution. Let’s not forget that there is other work to do also, such as iradicating systemic prejudice against Fathers within our major “care institutions”. Family courts who whilst accepting both parents have “parental responsibility”, then allocate one to be “Primary Carer”. Cafcass reporters who fail to see men as equally important as carers, Social Services who change reports to support their biased point of view. Judges who refuse to see witness’s…….I could go on. Unsubstantiated evidence accepted as the truth

  • david davies says:

    I understand the difficulties for any government in devising structures and processes around divorce which meet the needs of all parties in any given circumstance. It is impossible! However there are some simple fundamentals which, from my own experience, should be enshrined within law and/or the standard processes of how the state deals with divorce:
    1. The primary carer should not be able to move herself and the children 300 mies away from the marital home without being required to consider the impact of the separation on the consequences for contact for the children with the non-resident parent
    2. The right of residency for the primary carer should carry with it a lot more responsibilities and requirements than currently. Here are a few examples, but you will be able to think of more…. they should be required to attend and cooperate with medication sessions, not ignore the request of attend but be completely uncooperative. Where requested they should be required to attend medication-driven courses such a “kids come first” which was run in York and possibly elsewhere. My ex simply refused to come. The primary carer currently is the primary (in most cases only) contact for educational, health and religious parties involved in the childrens lives. The father has a legal right to influence these matters but in reality no practical opportunity to influence outcomes for their children unless the primary carer cooperates. The legal rights of the non-resident parent are constantly compromised in this regard by the reality.
    3 Magistrates in the family courts have to make huge decisions which affect children and their relationships with their father and yet they have no apparent skills or training to do so.
    Are FI lobbying for changes in these ares?

    • Fatherhood Institute says:

      Thanks for your contribution. Keep an eye on this website and especially the Policy section, to get a sense of our lobbying work. As we are a tiny organisation, we have much more limited scope to influence than we would hope – but we do fight hard for a more father-inclusive Britain…for all families, not just those affected by separation.

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