by Lisa McGarry

sharing mum and dad tim lovejoy 1

Today, one in three children in the UK grow up in a home with only one parent. But are we doing what’s best for the children of separated parents?

On tonight’s episode of Channel 4 Dispatches follows presenter Tim Lovejoy, a divorced father of two, as he investigates the current situation surrounding shared parenting following divorce or separation.

Tim speaks to a wide range of voices and explores the psychological effects of parental separation on children, hearing from teenagers about their personal experiences.

Speaking on Daybreak this morning he explained the process saying:

“I looked at all the views from all the different people. What is amazing about the documentary is everyone I went to interview, I was very gung ho but when you meet people everyone cares about the children, there is just a massive differing of opinion. But what I do think is that society has moved on hugely since the 70s when I grew up.”

sharing mum and dad tim lovejoy

Tim added:

“Dads want part of it now, my dad is really hands on with my children and my grandparents weren’t. Things are moving on and I think we need the legislation and the law need to reflect how families are.”

The programme airs at 8pm on Channel 4 tonight and investigates the roles of mums and dads in 2013, asking whether current legislation in this area is up-to-date with the way in which modern families operate, and exploring different ways of sharing parenting post-separation.

Tim continued:

“There are financial gains if you are the primary carer and so this is what the system is ste up to do. There is a bill going through at the moment for shared parenting. The system and society needs to tell parents you are equal. I think we should be looking at a 50/50 starting point.”

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The chef uses social media to generate debate, much of which will be incorporate into the film. And, in a first for Dispatches, Channel 4 will be showing behind-the-scenes clips of the production process online, to inform the debate in the run-up to the broadcast.

After doing his research for the programme, Lovejoy now believes that changes need to be made from the top down and explained:

“The system at the moment is all about bricks and mortar. It’s all about a house, a bedroom and a set of drawers. I think stability should be about if you have been in a family with the love of a father and mother, that’s the stability you need to take through with you.”

Sharing Mum and Dad airs on Channel 4, tonight, at 8pm.

Leave your comments below…

1 Comment

  1. Darren Brinn on January 14, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    I agree, the system is set up in favour of the mother. With a view to most fathers “do a runner”
    As the father of my two children I had to go through the court process to have shared parenting.
    My ex didnt agree and through everthing bar the kitchen sink to try to prevent this from happening. Through pacience and doing things the right way, The courts agreed that this was the best interests of the children to have shared reponsibilty of the children. This has given them a blance that both mum and dad are both brining them up and getting them ready for life!

    I would be more than happy to help in any way I can

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