As thousands of divorced and separated parents decide where their children will spend this Christmas, an ESRC-funded study into post divorce family life shows that fairness and equality between fathers and mothers may end up being unfair on the youngsters.
The Fathers 4 Justice movement, whose ‘Xmas Demo’ takes place on Saturday (December 18), is among those calling for family law to adopt a principle of pure equality between parents. Its members, with support from Bob Geldof, and organisations such as the Equal Parenting Council, demand that on divorce or separation, children should be shared equally.
But research by Dr. Bren Neale and Dr. Jennifer Flowerdew, of the University of Leeds, shows that children who spend an equal amount of time in two homes are not necessarily better off than those with one. Dr Neale said: “The principle of parental equality fails to take into account how young people experience these arrangements. Where shared residence is built on rivalry or, even worse, ‘war’ between the parents, then children can be considerably worse off than those living in one place.”
Becky Gammon | alfa
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