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Focus on non-resident fathers in family law

In November 2013 a report entitled What do we know about non-resident fathers? revealed statistics regarding a number of factors and issues relating to UK dads whose children do not live with them.

The research was carried out by NatCen Social Research, Thomas Coram Research Unit, and the University of East Anglia, part of the Modern Fatherhood project funded by the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council).

Amongst the statistics published it was revealed that the majority of fathers who did not live with their children, perhaps as a result of divorce or relationship breakdown, still had contact with them (87 percent) and almost half (49 percent) had their non-resident children to stay with them regularly.

The report on non-resident fathers in the UK also revealed that:

Dr Sara Connolly, from Norwich Business School at UEA, said, “This research makes an important contribution to the debate on non-resident fathers. The results are based on a much larger and nationally representative sample of non-resident fathers than that used in previous studies, the data was also collected more recently, therefore reflecting some of the important changes in social norms and post-separation settlements.”[sic]

Professor Margaret O’Brien, TCRU, added, “Overall we are seeing a positive story about father’s maintaining relationships with their non-resident children. But it appears that some fathers may be losing contact with non-resident children when they start new families or when they are struggling financially.”

Family law and the role of non-resident fathers

In 2013 the topic of just how much sway family courts should have in ensuring divorced or separated parents participate in joint parenting was hotly-debated. It was hoped the research would aid the discussion regarding whether judges should have the power to rule on joint-parenting orders which could see enforcement in cases where one parent did not uphold the order.

If you are a non-resident father and need legal representation over child contact and residency issues, the family lawyers at George Ide can help.

For more information on your rights and how we could help you in family law matters relating to non-resident children, please call our teams in Chichester for a no-obligation discussion about your circumstances.