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Fathers hit hard by divorce

Fathers who divorce or separate from their partners are at a greater risk of unemployment, taking sickness absence from work or suffering from mental health issues. These are the findings of a study commissioned by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fatherhood into the impact of divorce on fathers.

The survey, which was carried out by the Fatherhood Institute and Families Need Fathers, found that just over 40% of respondents had changed their working patterns in the year before their divorce or separation, and 53% did the same in the year after the separation took place. Eleven percent became unemployed or took sick leave from work in the year before separating, and 22% did the same in the year after.

Just under half of respondents said their relationship with their children worsened in the year after they separated, and only 35% found the relationship actually improved.

Adrienne Burgess, joint chief executive of the Fatherhood Institute, said:

“These survey results offer a glimpse of the challenges separating and separated fathers face as they deal with their emotional difficulties and try to juggle their earning and caring responsibilities. The survey also reveals the massive costs of this – not only to the men and their families, but to their employers and to the State.”

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