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Separation diminishes father's role - researcher

For most children, separation of their parents will be marked by a considerable loss of contact with their non-resident parent, often the father.

Herald Sun (Melbourne
17 July 2008

Separation diminishes role - researcher
By Susie O'Brien

Three-quarters of separated dads want to see more of their children.

Issues such as parental conflict, distance and lack of finances make things difficult for dads, a new study shows.

Nearly one in five separated dads have no contact at all with their kids, while one in four see their children just a few times a year.

Federal Government researcher Ibolya Losoncz found that if the mother saw little value in the father's involvement, she tended to limit the father's role.

"For most children, separation of their parents will be marked by a considerable loss of contact with their non-resident parent, often the father," she said.

Her survey of 700 parents* in the latest Family Matters journal shows most dads and nearly half of all mums think dads don't see their kids enough.

Only one in five kids see their non-resident parent once a week and only 5 per cent every day.

Evidence also shows that contact declines, with 25 per cent of children seeing less of their father over time.

Ms Losoncz said little was known about the reasons for such a considerable difference between how much dads see their kids and how much they say they want to see them.

"One suggestion by researchers is poor relational factors between parents," she said.

Other factors may include the cost of contact, limited housing circumstances, distance and repartnering.

The findings also show 40 per cent of non-resident parents don't pay enough child support and 25 per cent don't pay any child support.

Ms Losoncz also showed non-resident parents had little decision-making power about their children.

More than half of resident parents say they don't consult their former partner on major decisions affecting children.

The study also found that parental conflict tended to diminish over time, dropping from 40 per cent to 15 per cent over two years, but Ms Losoncz warned that reduced conflict was not always evidence of a better relationship.

"It may indicate parents have nothing to do with one another," she said.

The findings come as recent changes to the Child Support Scheme aim to increase joint parental access, decision-making and financial responsibility after family breakdown.

* Abstract - Shared parental responsibility

Shared parental responsibility: stability of arrangements among separated Australian families of young children across two years
By Ibolya Losoncz

Recent reforms to the family law and Child Support Scheme systems in Australia emphasise the importance of shared parental responsibility after separation and the best interests of the child, and stress the key themes of: joint financial responsibility; substantial child contact with each parent where possible; shared decision-making by parents; and, assistance to reduce conflict and improve communication between separated parents. This article investigates each of these key themes, comparing data from Waves 1 and 2 of Growing Up In Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC), concerning child support compliance, parent-child contact, shared decision-making, and parental conflict. The findings highlight the importance of post-separation working relationships between parents.

Source: http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/fm2008/fm79.html


Attachment
Shared Parental Responsibility AIFS Family Matters July 2008 No 79 (PDF, 800KB, 8 pages)

Separation diminishes role - researcher

Can you believe this statement:
"Ms Losoncz said little was known about the reasons for such a considerable difference between how much dads see their kids and how much they say they want to see them".
Please can everybody here write a Letter to the Editor about this.

The email address for Herald Sun Letters to the Editor is: hsletters@heraldsun.com.au

My letter follows:

The Editor

Letters to the Editor

Dear Madam/Sir,

I refer to your article that appeared in today's Herald Sun entitled "Separation diminishes role - researcher".

Incredulously "Ms Losoncz said little was known about the reasons for such a considerable difference between how much dads see their kids and how much they say they want to see them".

How can she be unaware of the multi-million dollar industry that depends on separating fathers from their children for its income, using the Family Courts, false allegations of abuse and violence, and the distress they cause children, as tools of their trade?

Simon
Mornington
03 5973 6933


NB This post has been edited to improve style, flow and legibility.
Thanks to vascopajama for bothering to write to the editor regarding the article posted by Dad4life.

I sincerely thank vascopajama :wub: for having a go at getting a post up. The fact he may not have read the previous post or understood how the forums work and may not be the most IT proficient is neither here nor there. The Moderators have edited his post to add the appropriate value (as they should). It does not matter if a poster is critical or not of the SPCA because at the end of the day I hold a view that we are all about getting changes to implement shared parenting concepts. Some posters have a view; others have a different view. Some criticisms are accepted and I defend with the fact that the Council is made up of volunteer members devoting all of their spare time and much more. At the end of the day the Council members do the best they possibly can… and just beaver away in the background regardless…  We appreciate criticisms, take those views on board and aspire to improve at every juncture.

I have been in this industry for only 8 years. My colleague Barry Williams has been 30 years. Vascopajama is a relatively new entrant but regardless of his comments, which have to be valued and read by us all, he is a staunch supporter of protecting children by getting them contact with the "Spends time with parent". He turns up at conferences with such a zest for change and a committed enthusiasm.  He should not be and must not be put down for his enthusiasm to the cause of getting children back to their parents. I think we are making a chnage for the better.

I for one take all ideas on board and attempt to impart these to the people that can make the changes in legislation to effect and implement the desired outcomes. We all have different ways of doing this. We must support , encourage and mentor all viewpoints regardless of what that view point is.

What make this site absolutely unique is the ability of posters (both mums and dads) to have a fair go, to have a a say regardless of what they say (within reason and the site rules) and a sharing of ideas and concepts no matter how "way out" they might be.

Change only comes about through such a diversified view point and partial take up of concepts.

With that in mind Vascopajama said
I refer to your article that appeared in today's Herald Sun entitled "Separation diminishes role - researcher". Incredulously "Ms Losoncz said little was known about the reasons for such a considerable difference between how much dads see their kids and how much they say they want to see them"

How can she be unaware of the multi-million dollar industry that depends on separating fathers from their children for its income, using the Family Courts, false allegations of abuse and violence, and the distress they cause children, as tools of their trade?
Hear Hear Vasco.. How can they be so naive. She should give me a call for some real truths. Who else wrote not only to the Editor but this researcher? Well done all for bringing this post to the site. :thumbs:

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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