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Separated fathers: how often do they see their children?



We’ve all heard statistics knowingly thrown out about how many separated or divorced dads see their children. What’s the truth? Adrienne Burgess of the Fatherhood Institute gives us the headline stats we do know

  • 9 out of 10 lone parents
  • 1 out of 10 separated couples share the care of their children equally
  • 1 in 3 children sees their non-resident dad at least weekly
  • 1 in 2 sees him at least monthly
  • 1 in 4 children rarely, or never, sees their non-resident fathers
  • 1 in 4 non-resident dads say their child’s mother has made contact difficult
  • 1 in 4 mothers whose child has contact with their dad, say his lack of commitment, unreliability or inflexibility has got in the way
  • fathers are likely to spend less time with their child if they are:
    • poor
    • not well educated
    • have never (or only briefly) lived with their child
    • don’t get on well with their child’s mother
    • re-partnered or have more children
  • fathers are likely to spend more time with their child if:
    • fathers pay child maintenance
    • began seeing their children regularly right after the breakup
    • have written agreements about contact with their child’s mother
    • feel they have influence over their children
    • competent as a father
    • feel satisfied with parenting




About the author

Clare Kirby qualified as a lawyer in 1983 and worked for several years in industry. She founded Kirby & Co in 1997. As a member of Resolution and an advanced member of the Law Society’s Family Law Panel she is experienced and respected in the field of family law. Trained as a collaborative lawyer, Clare offers clients a range of options – traditional, and collaborative law – to best meet the needs of the individual clients.


Updated: February 2018

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