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Father’s Day can be a particularly distressing time for separated families. Whilst all other families seem to be enjoying the day together it can be an emotional struggle for separated parents. All too often we hear of cases where agreed arrangements fall down, often at the last minute and the father’s role is diminished. Hostility between both parents can easily affect a child’s relationships. Parental Alienation Syndrome is now all too common and the courts are becoming increasingly alive to the reasons why a child may have an adverse reaction to spending time with their non-resident parent, most often the father.

Research has shown that children with an absent father don’t flourish as well as those who have a relationship with their father. It is an often overlooked fact that it is the child’s right to have a relationship with both parents, not the parents’ right to spend time with their children. Society and the courts will support that where it is in a child’s best interest.

If you find yourself making arrangements which then unravel, what are your options? The best advice is to stay calm. No matter what you feel or think about your ex. If possible speak to your children on Father’s Day, make alternate arrangements and postpone sharing the day together. If there is a sensible dialogue then mediation may help but all too often that does not prove fruitful as there is no means to enforce any agreement if you then encounter further problems. Of course court proceedings will always be a last resort.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.