Children are to get legal rights to maintain proper relationships with both parents after separation, as part of a shake-up of the family justice system.
New rules will make clear that contact with both mothers and fathers is vital, the Department for Education said.
But ministers are likely to disappoint fathers' rights groups by ruling out a legal guarantee of equal access.
Campaigners say the UK fails to uphold a UN convention setting out children's rights to maintain relationships.
A review led by former senior civil servant David Norgrove last year rejected the need for any legal statement of rights, saying it risked "confusion, misinterpretation and false expectations".
But Children's Minister Tim Loughton said it was the state's duty to ensure decent, loving fathers were not "pushed out" of their offspring's lives.