Only one parent pays in almost 40% of separations

The findings are included in Ireland’s first national shared parenting survey

Only one parent pays in almost 40% of separations

Photocall file photo

A new survey shows that 38% separated parents stated that the other parent does not contribute financially.

As part of Ireland's first national shared parenting survey, over 1,000 men and women shared their experiences of shared parenting.

62% of respondents of the One Family survey whose child lives with them most or all of the time stated that their child’s other parent contributes financially to their child’s costs, while 38% stated that the other parent does not contribute financially.

When it came to spending time with the child, 27% of respondents arranged it amicably between them. However, for almost 51% it was agreed with difficulty, through mediation or court ordered. Over 34% of respondents have attended mediation.

"It finds that parents overwhelmingly agree that their children must be their central focus, but that conflict between them often impedes this", Karen Kiernan, One Family CEO commented. 

"Maintenance, accommodation and finances are cited many times as huge obstacles to be overcome, as were domestic violence and the family law courts system."

Child Law Expert Dr Geoffrey Shannon reiterated this statement, saying: “We must ensure that we hear the voices of children appropriately in family law cases as provided for in the Children’s Referendum."


Valerie Maher, One Family Policy & Programmes Manager, said the recommendations within the survey results stress "the urgent need for cohesive and consolidated policy and practice changes across Government Departments" to see a reduction in child poverty in Ireland.

Speaking on High Noon, Louise Bayliss of Single Parents Acting for the Rights of Kids (SPARK) said the withdrawal of the single-parent tax credit two years ago affected fathers two years ago adversely.

"Because we have poor systems around it, it's very hard for parents who are genuinely trying to share parenting," she said.

The figures

1 in 4 families with children in Ireland is a one-parent family, according to the Census 2011.

Almost 1 in 5 children (18.3%) live in a one-parent family.

The full report can be read here.