THE heartbreak of family separation is sending absent parents to an early grave, figures show.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) data shows that parents who leave their children are almost three times more likely to die early.
It was unearthed by Sunday Express staff who compared the number of Child Support Agency (CSA) cases closed after “nonresident” parents died with cases closed due to the death of the “parent with care”.
The figures show that since June 2003, 8,515 non-resident parents have died compared to 3,090 residents.
According to the information released under the Freedom of Information Act, 94.8 per cent of CSA cases involved a male nonresident parent.Despite a specific request, no causes of death were given.
Information on mental illness among non-resident parents was also unavailable.
Matt O’Connor, founder of Fathers 4 Justice, described the figures as “alarming”.
He said: “The department has a responsibility to conduct some meaningful research to understand what is actually behind these figures.