Keeping Contact with Children: Assessing the Father/Child Post-separation Relationship from the Male Perspective


In December 1998, the Special Joint Committee on Child Custody and Access released its report, For the Sake of the Children, which underscored the difficult emotional and often painful issues that face separating and divorcing parents, and recommended possible legislative reforms. In responding to the report, the Government of Canada developed a Strategy for Reform to address issues relating to parenting arrangements after divorce. A key element of that strategy involves more detailed research in a number of areas, among them the collection and analysis of reliable data on the arrangements parents make when they separate or divorce regarding the care of their children and the contact they want to maintain with them.

Cycle 10 of Statistics Canada's General Social Survey (1995), which deals with the family, provides a useful tool in this regard. It is a unique source of information on fathers, their attitudes and patterns of contact with their children after separation or divorce. In the context of its work on child support, custody and access, the Department of Justice Canada commissioned an analysis of the data of this study. This is the report on that research.

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