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What % of NRPs are denied access to children?

(47 Posts)
joaninha Sun 03-Jul-11 14:44:38

Hi fellow LPs! I was reading an article on Yahoo about DCs recent initiative regarding making absent parents pay and scrolled down to the comments which, as usual, go along the lines of accusing mothers of denying the father access to their children (plus the whole single mothers having sex with lots of men in order to have lavish lifestyle type comments <rolls eyes to back of head>).

It seems the whole heated debate -of access, maintenance, NRP rights etc- has so many accusations, myths, generalizations flying about that I decided I needed some concrete FACTS before I formulate an opinion on the whole shebang. So where better to come except here?

So....does anyone know or have a link to any official type website that contains the following data:

- the % of NRPs that are denied access to children
- the % of NRPs that don't pay maintenance ( I've seen the figure 40% flying about but not too sure)

Much obliged!

GypsyMoth Sun 03-Jul-11 15:49:02

Denied access by whom? The resident patent or courts?

corlan Sun 03-Jul-11 15:58:02

Gingerbread has some facts and figures
here - although, according to their figures which come from a Dept. of work and pensions report, it's only 40% of single parents that receive maintenance from the child's other parent shock
Can't see any figures on % of NRP's denied contact though.

fuzzywuzzy Sun 03-Jul-11 16:12:25

Speaking as someone who is in the middle of the court system and having friends who also are right here alognside me, I can say this much, the NRI not getting contact is practically unheard of, I know three women who's exs are violent convicted for their violence two of whom are also drug users who have never passed a single drugs test ordered by the courts, all of them have contact orders in place and the RP absolutely has to hand over their chidlren to these men and hope to go they come back safely.

The old mothers dont allow their ex's access to their child is a load of bolleux in my experience, the courts are very much all about the NRP getting contact and having a relationship with the child/ren up to a point where IME they disregard the wellfare of the child/ren.

As for women getting pregnant in order to bleed the poor dear exs dry, trying to get child maintenance is no easy trip! There are far easier ways to make millions!

Latemates Sun 03-Jul-11 16:21:30

They 60%who apparently do not receive would then need to be broken down into...
* single parents but receive money from other parent without declaring it
* single parents who do not know who the father is
* single parents who do not claim because it is easier to break all ties
* single parents where the other parent has died
* single parents where the other parent refuses to pay

Do not have figures either but will try finding some. Think it's so hard to get figures due to the secrecy of the court system. And then you'd have people with different amounts of access from nil to a hour month right up to half the week etc

Latemates Sun 03-Jul-11 16:24:12

Fuzzywuzzy ... I understand that is your view but there is the other side where caring wonderful NRP are not getting much access and the children are missing out. And that do pay maintenance but can not get more than every other weekend for their children

fuzzywuzzy Sun 03-Jul-11 16:39:24

Latemates, ime every other weekend is the beginning, usually so the child can become accustomed to the arrangement then it's moved forward with shared contact over school holidays and more time during term time depending on the NRP's location, sometimes it's not feasible if the NRP isn't local as the child has to go to school.

I actually don't now anyone who has lost contact with their child, or has had fortnightly contact for any longer than about six months. It's fortnightly with over night so both Saturday & Sunday during term time with school holidays equally split. The fairest arrangement for a school aged child.

Latemates Sun 03-Jul-11 17:07:19

But there are people who are denied contact, have no contact or limited contact or contact controlled by the RP mood and RPs who ignore contact orders.etc etc

If there was no problems with access then organisations like J4F and FNF would not have so many members. The reason the issues aren't well know are due to the secrecy of the family courts. Parents cAn't talk about the case otherwise they are in contempt of court.

I think there are good and bad on both sides (mums and dads).

gillybean2 Sun 03-Jul-11 17:08:45

I do know people who's ex's have used all manner of false alligations to stop contact. Though with most contact of some kind is ordered by court... eventually. It is a long old wait for that to happen and must be incredibly hard for the parent denied contact in the mean time who then has to accept whatever scraps of contact the ex offers until they get to the proper hearing.

And I do know of one NRP whose dd was abducted abroad when her mother's attempts to stop contact (including eventually false alligations of sexual abuse by dad on dd) where yet again invesigated and, yet again, found to be false.

So there are cases of this out there.

I think if you asked NRP if they were denied contact by teh ex most would say yes as they probably had been at some point for whatever reason. Whetehr it was because the dc were ill, their requests were not considered reasonable by the RP, or just because the ex was being vexious on purpose is probably irrelevant to the questions answer in reality. Lots would say they were denied contact. Most of those would then get contact (via court) at a later date.
So the question is subjective on many levels...

gillybean2 Sun 03-Jul-11 17:10:04

Might add that I know NRP mum's as well as dad's who have had contact denied by their ex and have been through years of court to get firstly any contact and then reasonable contact...

PGTip Sun 03-Jul-11 17:10:21

My brother is denied access to his dc by his bitch of an ex wife, it's the only power she has over him, he pays maintenance and doesn't even know where they live! How us that fair?

hairylights Sun 03-Jul-11 20:49:45

Would also be interesting to know the number of nrp threatened with no contact. Or who have unreasonable conditions placed on contact.

joaninha Sun 03-Jul-11 21:57:48

sorry - didn't mean to hit and run - had a washing machine crisis!!

Thanks for all the replies. I'm so torn about the whole issue, cos I feel awful that there are NRPs who are denied access to their kids, but hate the accusatory tone of so many comments that fly over the internet making generalizations re. mothers using their children as pawns in a power game, especially when I don't personally know any. But judging by some of your replies it certainly does happen.

When I split up from XH it was always assumed DS would stay with me because he was so young. As DS got older I did bring up the question of 50/50 (out of egalitarian principle and guilt) but was secretly relieved when XH said no. Now he lives abroad so the issue is over, but I always felt a bit guilty that the law would have been in my favour if push came to shove.

Aaaaaggh I wish there was a law that meant each individual case was resolved fairly, but I guess that's an impossibility. The closest I can see to it is in Scandinavia but have no personal experience.

Riakin Sun 03-Jul-11 22:39:19


Some figures are general, others are completely fictitious. There could be a host of reasons...

50% of Mothers (RP) have denied contact with Fathers (NRP) out of spite on at least one occasion
40% of Fathers lose all meaningful contact with their child in 2years

The NRP's who don't pay maintenance is lower than someone here suggested, currently there is 33.5% of males in arrears on CSA vs 20.X% of females. I'm waiting for last years figures and recently submitted a FOI to CMEC for this and should be hearing back by the 13th July 2011. Thread to follow.

Other issues unfortunately CAFCASS and the courts do not hold follow up checks on contact orders or their progress. Thus if a PWC wanted to deny contact even if an order is in place, research has shown that less than 1% receive any enforcement, and of that 1% less than 1% again have any solid action taken under powers given that amount to contempt of court.

WibblyBibble Sun 03-Jul-11 22:42:37

Well, can only give anecdotal evidence, but: I have lots of single-parent friends (around 10 I can think of right now, as well as being one myself- and both exes relatively amicable so no contact issues there)- of these I know only one where the mother 'denies' contact (I know another where the dad has no contact, but it's because he moved out of the coutry- he is still in touch occasionally but it was his choice to mostly remove himself from his son's life). The one I know of, even, is not that clear cut. She really dislikes the father (he was controlling and emotionally abusive to her, as she has described it to me) and she refused to take him to register the birth so he's not on the birth cert, but she did go to mediation with him and they arranged contact at a contact centre, to gradually build up over time. He turned up to this I think about twice, and then stopped (actually she says he did text to say he wasn't coming- because he was in the police cells the night before ffs!). She then didn't bother trying to contact him, and he now says he's being denied contact. So tbh I don't know of any NRPs without contact who have sympathetic stories about how it happened, but that may just be that the people I know are more sensible after seperations!

WibblyBibble Sun 03-Jul-11 22:44:55

Good god, Riakin, what kind of terrible statistician would come up with something like 'out of spite' in an official statistic? Who decides what is spite in each situation? I don't know if you were just using those as examples, but they are pretty poor from an academic perspective!

Riakin Sun 03-Jul-11 23:02:32


Surveys come up with such things.

50% of contact orders are broken that is an alarming fact. Again i'm waiting on a MoJ FOI to find out the number of contact orders issued last year. 2009 has 39,000 or there abouts and i'm expecting 2010 to be around the 45,000-50,000 mark.

I'll have a gander for the 50% of spiteful mothers to see what source that was from and will try and remember to post back...

SirGinster Mon 04-Jul-11 12:22:18

There are two fathers who I work with who were denied fair access to their children. One's ex wife accused him everything under the sun and he went from seeing his kids every day, to two hours a fortnight. The court eventually granted him full residency as his ex was clearly a nutter.

Second guy is just about to start court proceedings.

In my case, when I split with my XP she suddenly started using language like ' I'll let you see dd on such and such, ' , ' I might grant you some time ' , ' I've had a busy week so you can't see dd ' etc etc.

She went to numerous solicitors to try and stop me getting an alternate w/e and an eve in the week for no reason other than her spite.

It's horrendous being denied access to your child.

Maelstrom Mon 04-Jul-11 13:08:23

I don't know how many NRP are denied access but I would say that not all NRP parents that claim not to be allowed access are really true to their words.

My ex has a contact court order that grant him access (initiated by myself as he kept changing/cancelling the dates to a point I lost my job). On top of the generous contact the court grants to him, I have told him that he is welcome to see his child in school days' afternoons if he so wishes.

It is years since he stoped direct contact with his son, and indirect contact only takes place if initiated by my son, who normally gets rebuffed by his dad when he asks him to see him.

Yet, his dad keeps playing the victim role about not being allowed to see his child, he doesn't pay maintenance, rings on birthdays/christmas, etc.

As someone wisely put it, for many NRP it is easier to blame the other parent and claim they are not allowed to see their children than accept they are not really bothered about having any contact with them. Obvioulsy, not all NRP are like that, and I know many that are wonderful parents who would sacrifice everything for the sake of keeping in touch with their children.

But IMO most parents who loose contact is because they don't want to have it or commit to certain regularity for the sake of the children.

PinkCarBlueCar Mon 04-Jul-11 20:02:17

<decides to keep breathing while Riakin checks his figures...>

Riakin Mon 04-Jul-11 23:25:23

"40% of resident parents stopped contact in order to get back at their former partner"

From: Govt Research 2007

Note: I know i got it wrong by 10% i deal with figures every day lol give a guy a break. See more up to date research below. But note also there is an unweighted base of 39% that consider bad feeling [toward the other parent] as a reason to stop contact.

"15% of NRP's have no contact whatsoever" (according to NRP's) vs "35% of RP's claiming no contact whatsoever"
"Between 9 and 17% of parents shared the care of their child equally or nearly equally"
"Two per cent of all resident mothers said that their child’s father does not know the child exists."

Interestingly "3% of RP's insist on set conditions for contact" i.e. contact centre, they themselves must be present, other person present etc."

"17% of RP's and 19% of NRP's claimed their relationship with each other was hostile"
"Even in families where there was contact, only 44 per cent of resident and 27 per cent of non-resident parents were happy with the current frequency. In these families, 37 per cent of resident and 73 per cent of non-resident parents wanted contact to take place more often."

And here it is:
"Non-resident parents who had subsequently married were more likely to report a drop in contact than those who had not." The actual figure is 56% of NRP's noted a decrease in contact following remarrying!

"one quarter of parents have no clear arrangement for contact in place"

"5% of contact was made by the decision of the Resident Parent vs 0% for the NRP"

Decisions to stop contact:
Mainly my decision 24% Resident Parent 19% NRP

Why is there no contact from highest to lowest by Resident Parent:
1) The other parent not committed to enough contact
2) Not seen child since birth/Father unaware of the child
3) Bad feeling between RP and NRP
4) RP concerns about Child Care
5) RP claimed child reluctant to go (bear in mind contact is stopped because of this)
6) Disputes about child support (7%)

Note: Following separation 13% of RP's reported they were reluctant to allow contact under "no grounds"

"Where contact was ongoing the most common problems reported by resident parents were disputes around child support (41 per cent), bad feeling (30 per cent) and the other parent’s inflexibility, unreliability or lack of commitment (42 per cent). Twenty-nine per cent had concerns about the child’s welfare or their own safety."

"For resident parents, the most common problems affecting contact were the other parent’s unreliability and lack of commitment, the child’s reluctance around contact, and bad feeling between the parents. For non-resident parents the most common problems were the resident parent’s reluctance to allow contact, inflexibility, bad feeling between the parents and marginalisation."

"17% of RP's had disclosed that in the past contact had been stopped because of bad feeling"

"59% of NRP's have expressed concern about RP's saying negative things about them to the child" similarly "56% of RP's" felt the same about negative things being said about them to the child.

"Thirty-seven per cent of non-resident parents said that the other parent had stopped them spending time with their child at some point. Just 11 per cent of resident parents said that they had ever stopped contact."

From: Problematic Contact after Separation and Divorce/Joan Hunt/University of Oxford July 2008

Knew i had it all somewhere...

elastamum Tue 05-Jul-11 00:00:58

Read the statistics, It is pretty depressing reading all round, dont see one about spiteful mothers though!

joaninha Tue 05-Jul-11 14:35:36

Thanks Riakin - the last line is really interesting:

"Thirty-seven per cent of non-resident parents said that the other parent had stopped them spending time with their child at some point. Just 11 per cent of resident parents said that they had ever stopped contact."

So I guess the truth is somewhere in between the two....

Vibrant Tue 05-Jul-11 16:24:48

That's an interesting read Riakin, but I'm not sure either where the spiteful mothers thing comes into it.

The reports also says that:

"Where there was no contact, resident parents were most likely to say this was because the other parent was not committed to contact. Non-resident parents were most likely to say it was because they lived too far from the child."

"Very few non-resident parents who did not see their child said that it was because the resident parent was reluctant to allow contact."

Link to the full document is here

PinkCarBlueCar Tue 05-Jul-11 20:28:00

"This report has detailed the findings of a national survey of 559 separated or
divorced parents with a child under the age of 16"

That's a fairly small sample next to the number of single parent families. And all be it that the figures and information is interesting, I'd be very cautious of extrapolating from them to RP's / NRP's as a whole.

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