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Fenland dad's campaign for equal parenting



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A Fenland father is fighting for equal parenting rights when couples split so children can continue to have proper contact with both parents.

Simon Cobb from Long Sutton initially launched is PAPA Equal Parenting Campaign just before lockdown, and he set about putting up posters highlighting his fight in towns and cities across the country.

He is now ready to continue the fight which aims to see changes to a system, which he claims often allows children to be used for monetary gain and in some instances, he says, even extortion.

Simon Cobb with his son Arlo. (55594001)
Simon Cobb with his son Arlo. (55594001)

Simon, has an eight-year-old son Arlo, who he said he had to fight to have equal access to after he and his partner split.

He said: "The situation was really bad for six or seven months, but I was determined to have a proper relationship with my son.

"But the problem is at the moment it is almost always automatically assumed the mother should have full custody of any children.

Simon cobb is calling for equal parenting rights when couples split up. (55593922)
Simon cobb is calling for equal parenting rights when couples split up. (55593922)

"I know it is not just fathers who suffer, I know there are some mothers who face the same issues, so PAPA is an inclusive campaign and is fighting for equal rights for all parents, there should automatically be 50/50 shared custody when a family splits.

"It is widely recognised it is in the best interests of a child to have a relationship with both their parents. PAPA's main point is that the best child support is equal parenting.

"That means child support should only be considered as a last resort when a parent is unwilling to have a shared/equal arrangement with their child.

"At the moment we have a system that means the less a parent sees a child the more child support they have to pay - which means it can be used for monetary gain and in some cases extortion, as the mother can refuse access or make it difficult for a father to see his children just so she can gain extra money.

"Children should not be bargaining tools. Good and loving parents should not have to pay to see their children.

"That's why its important that 50/50 shared care is considered the default position, the family court should only be used in cases where a parent is unfit, rather than as it stands at the moment where perfectly good parents are having to fight just to be in their children’s lives."

Simon added: "I'm lucky I have managed to attain a 50/50 arrangement with my son. But just because I have a brilliant relationship with my son, it does not mean that the fire doesn't still burn inside me to keep going so that all parents have that too.

"I’d love some assistance from the community. I don’t want any donations as I am happy to finance the campaign myself but I would love some help in spreading the message.

"So I’m making all of the PAPA signage and artworks accessible so that anyone and everyone can join me in spreading the message wherever they see fit.

"I would also urge everyone to write to their MPs calling for equal parenting rights. I have tried petitions in the past, but they are not very effective. I think it is better to speak directly to MPs so they understand and can have a proper discussion about the issue.

"The brand new PAPA website will be launching on Parental Alienation Awareness Day (April 25), the website will provide a free space to access help and support as well as find out more on upcoming campaigns and news on what PAPA is working on next.

"If you need urgent assistance and cannot wait until the website is live then please don’t hesitate to join our free support group where our dedicated admin team, along with our amazing members will be happy to help in any way they can: https://www.facebook.com/groups/167881353601718/"



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