Reasons why a fathers access to children should not be restricted

Following a divorce or separation children often end up living with one parent. Their contact with the other parent can somewhat be limited or restricted. Is it reasonable for a child to suffer by losing contact with one parent? Our family lawyers consider, in detail, as to why a fathers access to children should not be restricted where the mother is the resident parent.

Article Contents

It is a child’s right to have access to both parents

Both parents in a child’s life will consider themselves as having rights over their children. Especially where both parents hold parental responsibility over their children, either by being married at the time or being named on the birth certificate. However individual family circumstances may mean that, following a divorce a child would continue living with their mother or father, who in turn becomes the resident parent. Although it is ideal for a child to have a permanent home and live with the resident parent, some mothers tend to dictate whether the father can have any access or contact with their children.

What is important to note is that the law does not favour the mothers. When considering child matters, the family courts in England and Wales take into consideration the paramount factor which is the welfare and best interests of a child. A child has a right to have access to both parents in their lives providing it is safe and healthy for the child to do so. The child’s right to have an ongoing and meaningful relationship will be upheld and considered by the family courts providing it is safe and appropriate to do so. Children should never be deprived of the love and affection from both parent without a valid reason. 

The general rule on a fathers rights to his children

Many fathers often question whether they have any rights to see their children. The answer to this question does not rest with the father but with the child itself. It is in the child’s best interests to maintain a close and loving relationship with both of their parents which includes fathers. Furthermore, it is a father’s right to promote that his children should have access and contact with him. Mothers are also required to promote this right regardless of any personal issues they have with the father unless in exceptional circumstances which may impact the welfare and safety of the child. A mother cannot therefore decide to withhold their child from maintaining contact with the father if the father does not pay child maintenance, does not see the children regularly or is late in collecting or returning children following a contact session.

Having access to both parents provides children with stability

It is always beneficial for fathers to have some form of access and contact with their children. This will provide children with much needed stability and assurance. Nothing is better for a child with separated parents in knowing they have a second home and a second parent to turn too. Children will often feel secure knowing that both parents are able to play an active and loving role in their life. Children may often feel they have a stable family unit and if something was ever to happen to either parent, the presence and involvement of the other parent can help with stability during difficult times.

Fathers can provide financial support to their children

Following a separation, it is not uncommon for mothers to raise their children alone. Depending on individual families, some mothers may not be able to undertake employment whilst looking after and caring for children. This can often be the case where the children are young. In such a situation it is known that some families can struggle financially. By allowing a father to have contact and access with their children provides a sense of financial security.  Mothers and children can turn to the fathers for assistance, whether this is short term or long term. Having this additional financial support can help the children with their development and education. Children can continue with their favourite hobbies and extra-curricular activities without having to worry or rely on limited finances.

Having access to a father can improve a child’s emotional development

Having access to a father who is supportive, affectionate and loving can greatly assist with a child’s emotional and social development. Children can often turn to their father for emotional assistance and support. It may not always be easy to talk to one parent all the time. In such circumstances having contact with the father can be beneficial for the child. Children can often suffer psychologically and emotionally if they are not able to speak their minds out. Having another parent in their life can make it easier for children to speak openly about any issues they are facing which could potentially risk children suffering mentally or psychologically from anxiety and depression.  

Children with fathers in their life are often well behaved

It has been noted that children who have access to fathers in their life are generally well behaved. Having access to both parents following a separation can greatly benefit children. This often prevents children from going astray. It has been noted in studies that children with one parent only often end up with alcohol and drug addiction problems. Whereas if a child has contact with their father, as well as their mother, they are more likely to be disciplined and follow a routine. As both parents will continue having access to children parents are more likely to be aware of where their children are, what activities they are carrying out and will have the assurance that their children are in safe hands.

Having access to fathers can greatly assist children with their educational and employment development

As well as mothers, father possess a keen interest in their children’s education. Fathers will often help their children understand the importance of education and having a good employment which could lead them to have a successful life. Children will often look up to their father who are employed and look for motivation to ensure they can also achieve what their fathers have. By having a father in their life, a child will feel more secure knowing that their educational needs will be met by both parents.

It is therefore extremely important for parents to set their personal differences aside in order to work together for the best interests of their children. Mothers should not deprive their children from the love and affection of their fathers. A mother should promote a fathers relationship and contact with the children providing it is safe to do so and in the best interests of their child.

Arrange a free consultation today to gain child access

If you are a father who is being prevented from seeing your children, then contact us today by calling us on 0330 094 5880 to see how our family lawyers in Northampton or nationally can assist fathers in securing their rights to see their children and have meaningful contact.