Family courts give fathers more access

Claims by fathers’ rights groups that the family justice system is biased against men are unfounded, according to a study by the family courts union Napo.

The report, published this week and based on almost 900 cases, says that proceedings more than quadrupled the number of fathers having contact with their children.

While 36 per cent of fathers did not have contact with their children before their case reached court, 8 per cent did not have contact after proceedings. The equivalent figures for mothers were 8 per cent and 5 per cent.

Domestic violence, child protection, substance misuse and sexual offences account for almost 80 per cent of refusals of contact for fathers, with the child’s wishes and fathers’ non co-operation with the courts explaining the others.

Harry Fletcher, assistant general secretary at Napo, said: “This study refutes claims by fathers’ groups that there is systematic bias in the system.”

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