K J Smith Solicitors

New survey shows a third of separated mothers think fathers shouldn't have a say

Published: 14 January 2014

The study conducted by Relate was based on statistics from a YouGov survey which asked separated parents how they viewed their separation and what impact do they think it will have on their children. 

Over 60% said that they thought the break-up of a family was a bad thing, 50% said that they believed their family break-up had a negative impact on their children and 32% of separated mothers said they would prefer to make any decisions about their child's future on their own - without any input from the father.

When asked about the survey, a spokesperson for Relate said, ‘One notable difference was in attitudes between the separated mothers and fathers we asked on who should make decisions about children’s futures.’

‘Here, 68 per cent of separated mothers said both parents should make decisions together about children’s futures, compared to 85 per cent of fathers.’

It is estimated that one in three families in Britain have experienced a breakdown in relationship between parents, so according to the study published by Relate, the number of families with a mother who wants to make the sole decisions without the input of the father equates to one in nine of all families in Britain.

There has been some notable High Court cases in the media in recent months that question why some separated mothers have been able to prevent the father of their children from having any input into the child's future, which has caused High Court judge Mrs Justice Parker to address social workers and care professionals, "Parents who obstruct the relationship with either mother or father are inflicting untold damage on their children and it is about time the professionals truly understood this.’

Following the study, Relate have encouraged parents to try and communicate with each without tension or hostility, in order to achieve an amicable solution.

 ‘The one thing everyone can be sure of is that it’s the wellbeing of children which is of paramount importance here - so finding ways to work together as parents in the best interests of our children is vital’, said Relate Chief Executive Ruth Sutherland.

We understand the pain and stress caused to families following a break down in a relationship, but we are here to help. Through family mediation, we try and resolve conflict and help both parties to come to a positive outcome. For more information on how we can help, contact our team today on 01491 630000 (Henley on Thames), 0118 418 1000 (Reading), 01753 325000 (Windsor), or 020 7070 0330 (Central London).

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