As spouses go through a divorce, children often get caught in the crossfire, especially if child custody battles become emotional, drawn-out fights. When child custody is finally agreed upon, often kids still suffer. The Durango Herald reports that 35 percent of children whose parents are no longer living together have no contact with their non-custodial parent, citing a U.S. Census Bureau report.

As children grow up, these parents end up missing out on a number of life’s milestones as well as smaller achievements and struggles.

According to Fathers and Families, an organization that fights for children’s rights to love and care from both parents after separation or divorce, many non-custodial parents want to be in their children’s lives. However, sociologist Susan Stewart told the agency that “someone or something is stopping them” in many cases. In most cases, that road block is the custodial parent who interferes with visitation, the organization explained.

Often times, the non-custodial parent is assumed to be the father, and this is usually the case, states Fathers and Families. In fact, the agency explained that approximately 84 percent of non-custodial parents are fathers.

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