The time of separation and the time after separation for all family members represent an extremely challenging life experience. In this master thesis I will dedicate myself to the research of fathers’ experiences of separation. I have decided to do the research from fathers’ point of view because the number of studies dealing with the topic of fathers’ experiences of separation is small. Thus, the study will focus on the fathers facing separation and its consequences, seeking support and care for themselves, changing fathers’ identities and continuing parenting responsibilities after separation.
In the empirical part, on the basis of five interviews with separated fathers, I wrote an experimental theory which presents the separation through the experience of the fathers. In order to make the experimental theory more significant, I have enforced it with my conversations with a professional, a social pedagogue who has a large experience with separated families.
The results of the research have shown us that fathers experience the separation differently, which depends to a large extent on the problems that arise upon separation. Most of the fathers had gone through the process of separation quickly and without major complications, while some of them had experienced court proceedings, which can be long and quite exhausting. Psychological consequences often lead to some health problems that, after certain time, either disappear or remain. The most significant consequence of separation is contact with the children, which is, after the separation, restricted to certain days or hours within a week or a month, and some fathers even completely lose contact with their children. The fathers seek support from professionals to help them establish the contacts, but they do not seek so much professional help related to personal distress. They direct all their interest towards the establishing contact with their children. In Slovenia, such professional support to fathers regarding the process of separation and establishing contact with their children is very limited, with the exception of two associations. It is right the lack of the professional support that represents a big potential for the work of social pedagogues. The master thesis gives insight into the understanding of the experience of separated fathers and indicates guidelines for supporting them.