Dispatches investigates the situation surrounding child custody and shared parenting following divorce or separation. Sharing Mum and Dad (14th January, Channel 4 at 8pm) is presented by Tim Lovejoy, a divorced father of two with personal experience of shared care issues.
We asked whether current legislation is up to date with the modern family. Thanks to everyone who took part, we received 1,103 submissions (as at 1pm on Monday 14 January 2013).
Question 1: If you've experienced parental separation, either as a parent or child, was the separation amicable?
Not applicable: 8%
Question 2: Do you think that family lawyers involved in parental separation put children first?
Don't know: 18%
Question 3: If you've experienced parental separation, was time divided equally between both parents after separation? (This question was open to both parents and children affected by separation)
No – more with mother: 70%
No – more with father: 5%
Not applicable: 18%
Question 4: If you answered Yes or No to the previous question, did the arrangement suit you? Which answer best describes your experience? (You can tick more than one).
I wanted to have more contact with one of my parents: 17%
I would have preferred the stability of only one home: 6%
My experiences affected my relationship with my father: 23%
My experiences affected my relationship with my mother: 8%
Not applicable: 60%
Question 5: Do you think that family law needs updating with regards to parental separation?
Don't know: 9%
Question 6: Do you think the family law system favours:
Fathers more than mothers: 3%
Mothers more than fathers: 84%
Both equally: 5%
Don't know: 8%
Question 7: Do you think children suffer when they are separated from one of their parents for significant periods of time?
Yes, but only if it's the mother: 1%
Yes, but only if it's the father: 1%
Yes, whichever parent it is: 86%
No, not necessarily: 11%
No, not at all: 0.36%