Research from law firm SAS Daniels¹ shows that over half of respondents living in Cheshire believe that parents should have shared custody of their children equally if they separate or divorce.
Rise in Dads applying to courts for 50/50 shared care
Having recently seen a rise in applications for shared custody of children following a separation or divorce, SAS Daniels believes that this rise and the results of the research suggest that times are changing. With many Mums now working similar hours to Dads, the time has come for children to spend an equal amount of time with both parents.
Whilst the majority of respondents agree that an equal share of care is best for the child or children in the event of a break up, almost 42% of Cheshire residents still hold the traditional view that Mums should be the primary carers with Dads receiving regular access to their children. Just one respondent believed that Dads should be the main care provider.
Shared parenting is certainly on the increase and research² from OnePlusOne, a charitable organisation that supports families having relationship problems, suggests that in the UK at least 9% of parents share care equally – which means the child spends the equivalent of at least three days and three nights per week with each parent.
SAS Daniels represented one father from Wilmslow who recently applied to court for a shared care order. He said: “When my ex-partner and I split up, I felt the best way to maintain my strong bond with my young son was to share care equally with my ex. I was delighted when the courts granted me the right to do this.
“I believe it’s the best thing for our relationship and offers him stability by sharing equal amounts of time with both of his parents. It’s been hard rearranging work and other commitments around childcare, but my son comes first and my ex and I are both committed to making it work.”
Head of the Family Law team at SAS Daniels said: “Society is changing, more Dads are involved in their children’s daily routines of school runs, helping with homework, making tea and everything else that falls under the job title of ‘parent’. The courts now recognise that men are just as capable of caring for their children as women and the two can complement one another’s parenting skills, if they are able to work together’’.
“This arrangement isn’t for everyone; separation is a difficult time for adults who are in control and this is even more the case for children who need re-assurance from their parents that they are still working together as a team. I’ve seen it work successfully for many separated families and in many cases it provides the best possible outcome for the children’’.
“The key to making it work is to put your personal differences aside and focus on the needs of your children. It’s also essential to respect your ex-partner as a parent.”
The UK’s most recent national census showed that nearly 400,000 children under the age of 16 in Britain divide their time between two households.
¹SAS Daniels surveyed almost 100 Cheshire residents to ask their views on who should be the primary carer in the event of a break up.