Children unhappy living with a single parent, lack of awareness as to why their parents stay apart and alienation from the father’s family after a divorce are issues that came up in phase-I of a survey by the Equal Equanimous Shared Parenting (EESP).
It is a nationwide organisation seeking shared parenting in divorce cases. The association shared the survey details ahead of the Father’s Day on Sunday at a news conference here on Saturday.
The team aims to complete two more phases of the survey to focus on the need for family law reforms. Phase-I of the survey looked at a target group of over 350 children and was launched in 2017 in big cities across the country.
It found that children involved in custody cases were unhappy to stay with just one parent.
Of this, 98% were unaware as to why their parents lived apart, and 85% felt alienated by their fathers.
Tejsinh Gaikwad, a member of the association, said, “Family courts and district courts do not give enough importance to fathers. The data we got through the survey was an eye opener. We want to focus on what the children want and their needs. In custody cases, the child has to face the collateral damage of the divorce.”
The survey revealed that in 98% cases, the mother gets sole custody of the child in divorce cases. Gaikwad added that giving one parent sole custody was a form of child abuse.
“We want a unified law, as there should be equal parenting opportunities for the father and the mother. There should be neutrality in custody cases. The family court system should be changed as children suffer when they are not given the chance to meet a non-custodian parent.”