Separated parents who fail to allow their partners to maintain a proper relationship with their children could be stripped of driving licences or passports, hit with curfews, ordered to do a period of unpaid work or even jailed.

Ministers will today propose a dramatic extension of punishments for breaches of court orders regarding care arrangements amid concern that millions of youngsters are losing contact with absent fathers.

The move is part of the most radical shake-up of the family courts for decades, with a new right to ‘shared parenting’ following family breakdown to be enshrined in law.

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