Grandparents' contact with grandchildren after divorce

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Family life.

Wilkins R
The Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey : selected findings from Waves 1 to 14. Melbourne, Vic. : Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, 2016: 6-14
This chapter looks at four concerns of family life: having children, child care use, lone parents, and parents with non-resident children. Data is taken from the first 14 waves of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, which were conducted between 2001 and 2014. Information is presented on: lifetime fertility patterns, parental age at birth of first child across different cohorts, likelihood of having a child in any given year, characteristics of men and women at time of first birth, factors associated with decision of couples to have their first child, use of formal and informal child care by family type, expenditure on child care as proportion of income, use of grandparents for child care, characteristics of grandparents providing or not providing care, lone-parent families with dependent children, characteristics of lone mothers compared with partnered mothers, number of lone parents who have ever been legally or de facto married, lone-parent duration and partnering of lone parents, factors associated with partnering of lone parents, changes in wellbeing on becoming a lone parent, proportion of parents with children aged under 18 not living with their children, contact with non-resident children, nights per year children stay with non-resident parent, and changes in wellbeing on becoming separated from children, compared with changes for parents who remain partnered.

Trends in family transitions, forms and functioning : essential issues for policy development and legislation.

Weston R and Qu L
Family Matters no. 95 2014: 76-84
This article looks at the various ways in which family formation pathways and the characteristics and functioning of families have changed over the decades in Australia. It discusses trends in marriage, divorce, and cohabitation, and the resulting rise in new forms of families, such as grandparent-headed families, same-sex parented families, couples living apart together, and shared care. Though trends in the formation and stability of families have changed in striking ways over past decades, the fundamental things about families do not change. Most importantly, they represent the basic unit of society and the site in which most children are raised. This article was first published in the book 'Families, policy and the law: selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia', published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies earlier in the year.

Families, relationships and intimate life

Dempsey D and Lindsay J
South Melbourne, Vic. : Oxford University Press, 2014.
This text book explores family relationships in modern life. Sections include: relationships and families over time; diversity in families and relationships; sociological perspectives on relationships and families; young people, relationships and sexuality; love, commitment and marriage; relating beyond the cohabiting couple household; fertility, technology and family change; parenting, children and childcare; families and labour; separation, divorce and re-constituted families; violence and intimate relationships; and ageing, care and intergenerational relationships.

Trends in family transitions, forms and functioning : essential issues for policy development and legislation.

Weston R and Qu L
Hayes, Alan, ed. Higgins, Daryl J., ed. Families, policy and the law : selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia. Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2014. 9781922038487: 7-18
This chapter looks at the various ways in which family formation pathways and the characteristics and functioning of families have changed over the decades in Australia. It discusses trends in marriage, divorce, and cohabitation, and the resulting rise in new forms of families, such as grandparent-headed families, same-sex parented families, couples living apart together, and shared care. Though trends in the formation and stability of families have changed in striking ways over past decades, the fundamental things about families do not change. Most importantly, they represent the basic unit of society and the site in which most children are raised.

Echoes of disadvantage across the generations? The influence of long-term joblessness and separation of grandparents on grandchildren.

Hancock K, Edwards B and Zubrick S
The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children annual statistical report 2012. Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2013: 43-57
This chapter explores the impact of generational disadvantage on children, using data from 'Growing Up in Australia, the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children' (LSAC). It examines the effects of persistent disadvantage over two generations on children's wellbeing and development, and how these effects compare to children with just one generation of disadvantage, or no history of disadvantage at all. Family joblessness and parental divorce or separation are used as measures of disadvantage in this chapter. Topics include: parents' childhood experiences of growing up with family joblessness or separation; continuity of family joblessness and separation across generations; and child social-emotional problems and academic performance when their family has two generations of disadvantage, compared to children with disadvantage only in their parents' generation, only in their grandparents' generation, or no history of disadvantage at all.

Parental separation and grandchildren : the multiple perspectives of grandparents.

Deblaquiere J, Moloney L and Weston R
Family Matters no. 90 2012: 68-76
This article explores the impact of separation on grandparents. It analyses findings from the Grandparents in Separated Families Study, which featured focus groups with 50 grandparents regarding grandparents' experiences of the effects of parental separation on relationships with their grandchildren, their adult children, their adult children's former partners. The findings provide insight into the causes and consequences of such issues as relocation and geographical distance, financial capacity, family relationships, moral judgements of right and wrong, commitment, use of legal processes, and fairness, all of which appear to contribute to the growth or decline of post-separation relationships for grandparents.

Family dispute resolution : the role of FDR in multigenerational disputes.

Kochanski L
Family Law Review v. 2 no. 1 Dec 2011: 32-33
Aimed at legal practitioners, this article explains how family dispute resolution processes are well placed to work with grandparents seeking access to their grandchildren after divorce or separation.

Grandparents providing child care: briefing paper

Statham J
London : Dept. for Education, 2011.
This briefing paper reviews the British and international research literature on grandparents providing childcare. Sections include: How extensive is care by grandparents?; Family policies supporting childcare by grandparents; What is the impact of grandparent care on children's wellbeing?; What is the impact of grandparent care on children's cognitive attainment and behaviour?; What is the impact of grandparent care on grandparents themselves?; and Contact with grandchildren after parental separation or divorce.

Intergenerational relationships.

National Council on Family Relations
Minneapolis, Minn. : National Council on Family Relations, 2011.

Grandparenting and the 2006 family law reforms.

Qu L, Moloney L, Weston R, Hand K, Deblaquiere J and De Maio J
Family Matters no. 88 2011: 42-50
This article focuses on some grandparenting issues in the context of the 2006 family law reforms. The article shows that, after parental separation, children are more likely to experience a distancing of relationships with paternal rather than maternal grandparents. Consistent with the intent of the reforms regarding grandparents and other important people in the children's lives, the vast majority of parents in the general population agreed that it is important for children whose parents separate to continue to have the same amount of contact with their grandparents. Moreover, it seems that increasing proportions of parents and grandparents are seeking retention of these relationships.

Family characteristics, Australia, 2009-10

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Canberra : Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011.
This product presents findings from the latest Family Characteristics Survey, conducted from July 2009 to June 2010. The survey collects information on household and family composition, along with demographic and labour force characteristics of persons within households and families. Topics include family types, parent employment, and child contact with non-resident parents and grandparents, with comparisons with results from the 1997, 2003 and 2006-07 Surveys. The product is presented as a summary webpage with the main statistics available as spreadsheets.

A national peak body - why Australia's grandparents need one.

Hodge C
Elder Law Review v. 6 2010: Article 8
This article argues that Australia need a national peak body uniquely dedicated to representing grandparents. Research has highlighted the changing role of grandparents - who are raising their grandchildren, providing high levels of informal unpaid child care, or who are denied access to their grandchildren. However, more work needs to be done to address grandparent needs.

Grandparents and family separation : literature review.

Goodfellow J
Bella Vista, N.S.W. : Interrelate Family Centres, 2010.
This literature review explores the role of grandparents in non-custodial families. Topics include: assumed, implicit and explicit grandparent roles; parental separation and grandparent/grandchild relationships; grandchildren's involvement with grandparents following family separation; grandparent/grandchild relationships and perceptions of 'closeness'; grandparents' access to their grandchildren; the law and grandparents' access to grandchildren; supporting grandparents following (parental) separation.

Views of adolescents in separated families: a study of adolescents' experiences after the 2006 reforms to the family law system

Lodge J and Alexander M
Canberra, A.C.T. : Attorney-General's Dept., 2010
As part of the Longitudinal Study of Separated Families, this report explores young people's experiences of family relationships, living arrangements, and adjustment after separation. Interviews were conducted in 2009 with 623 young people aged 12-18, whose parents had separated between 2006 and 2008. The study examined living arrangements, changes in care-time arrangements, involvement in decision making, sources of support, stepfamilies and grandparents, financial support and hardship, family violence and conflict, quality of relationships, and the effects on young people's wellbeing. The Longitudinal Study of Separated Families is part of the evaluation of the 2006 Family Law reforms. These reforms aimed to promote more cooperative parenting after separation and incorporate the views and feelings of children in custody arrangements.

Family ties & aging

Connidis I
Los Angeles : Pine Forge Press, c2010.
"Providing an integrated and thorough representation of what we know from current research and contemporary society, Family Ties and Aging is the only book that shows how pressing issues of our time - an aging population, changing family structures, and new patterns of work-family balance - are negotiated in the family lives of middle-aged and older adults. Focusing on such key questions as "How do current trends and social arrangements affect family relationships?" and "What are the implications of what we know for future research, theory, practice, and policy?" author Ingrid Arnet Connidis explores groups and relationships that typically receive short shrift, including single, divorced, and childless older people and their family relationships, as well as sibling relationships among the elderly, live-in partnerships not formalized by marriage, and the kinds of family ties forged by gay and lesbian individuals over the life course. The second edition is thoroughly updated to include the latest research and theoretical developments, recent media coverage of related issues, and new information on intimate relationships in later life, gay and lesbian partnerships, sibling ties, and older neglect and abuse."

Evaluation of the 2006 family law reforms

Kaspiew R, Gray M, Weston R, Moloney L, Hand K and Qu L
Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2009.
In 2006, the Australian Government introduced a series of changes to the family law system and increased funding for new and expanded family relationships services, including the establishment of 65 Family Relationship Centres. The reforms aimed to bring about a cultural shift in the management of separation, away from litigation and towards co-operative parenting. A study was commissioned to evaluate the impact of the changes and the reform's effectiveness in achieving its policy aims. This report presents the findings of this evaluation, which drew upon 3 projects: the Legislation and Courts Project (LCP), which examined the implementation of the legislative reforms; the Service Provision Project (SPP), which examined changes to the service delivery system; and the Families Project (FP), which examined the experiences of separated families. These projects involved a longitudinal study of 10,000 separated parents, two quantitative studies based on general samples of parents, analysis of data from 1,724 pre- and post-reform court files, and surveys with professionals, clients, and grandparents. Chapters include: Characteristics of separated parents: challenges and issues for family relationships and wellbeing; Use and effectiveness of new and expanded family relationship services; Pathways towards parenting arrangements; Family dispute resolution; Care-time arrangements: community opinions, prevalence and durability of different arrangements, and trends across the years; Care-time arrangements: negotiations and family profiles; Parental responsibility: decision-making about issues affecting the child and financial support; Parental responsibility and time: perspectives and practices of lawyers and other service providers; Family violence and child abuse: parents' pathways and professionals' perspectives; Children's wellbeing; Grandparenting and the family law reforms; The 2006 reforms and the courts; The implementation of Division 12A of Part VII: principles for conducting child-related proceedings; the application of the SPR Act 2006 amendments to the Family Law Act 1975; Summary of key findings and conclusions.

Literature review

Well Being of Children Following Parental Separation and Divorce Research Consortium
Clayton, Vic. : Monash University, 2009
The Well Being of Children Following Parental Separation and Divorce Research Consortium of 2009 is made up of fifteen members from the areas of research, policy development and service provision in Australia, and is funded by the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth. One of the main tasks of the Consortium is to identify research areas of interest and review the literature in these areas. This report presents the findings of the literature review, which will be used to determine the Consortium's Research Agenda. The review investigated the impact of parental separation and divorce on outcomes in childhood, adolescence, and later adulthood; gaining children's perspectives in research; involving children in family law processes; family violence; parental remarriage; children's contact with grandparents after divorce; and threats to children's interests as a result of the change in legislation.

Intergenerational relationships and union stability in fragile families

Hèognèas R and Carlson M
Madison, Wis. : Institute for Research on Poverty, 2009.
This paper explores the association between intergenerational family relationships and the union stability of married and unmarried parents. Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study in the United States, it examines whether grandparent relations, grandparent contact with grandchildren, and the parents relationship with their own parents and their inlaws, influences the parents' union stability or dissolution over a five year period after the birth of their child.

Relationships between grandparents and grandchildren.

Weston R and Qu L
Family Matters no. 81 2009: 58-60
This article explores the closeness of relationships between grandchildren and their paternal and maternal grandparents, as well as the impact of separation on these relationships, as perceived by the children's parents. The analysis is based on the General Population of Parents Survey (GPPS). The majority of parents described the relationship between their children and their grandparents as 'close' or 'very close', with relationships with maternal grandparents being more likely than those with paternal grandparents to be portrayed as 'very close'. Respondents' perceived relationships between their own parents and children differed according to whether they had separated from their children's other parent, and whether they were living with the children. At least half the separated fathers and mothers maintained that the relationship between their own parents and the children had not changed since they and their partner had separated. However, non-resident fathers were more likely to suggest that relationships between their own parents and children had become more distant than closer, while the reverse applied to resident fathers and resident mothers.

Family characteristics and transitions, Australia, 2006-07

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Canberra, A.C.T. : Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2008.
Results from the Family Characteristics and Transitions Survey, conducted in 2006-07, are presented and compared with the results from two previous surveys conducted in 2003 and 1997. The document provides information about the changing patterns of family and household composition in 8.1 million households in Australia and information on the composition and structure of families, including history of relationships and expectations of relationships. Summaries are provided of the findings about family transitions (such as divorce or separations, leaving home, or children being born), the fertility expectations of women and the employment status of parents.

Grandparenting: present and future.

Families Australia
Barton, ACT : Families Australia, 2007
The following issues for Australian grandparents and grandchildren are identified and addressed in this report: grandparents as carers; grandparents providing childcare; grandparents not seeing grandchildren; the needs of grandchildren. The report summarises the results of a forum on grandparenting, a focus group consultation and other consultations and research. Its recommendations recognise that many grandparents, especially those with primary caring responsibilities for grandchildren, would benefit from more financial, social and emotional support and from more information about where to get help.

Submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee Inquiry into the provisions of the Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Bill 2005

Australian Institute of Family Studies., Australia. Parliament. Senate. Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs
Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, February 2006.
This submission outlines the Institute's position on the 'Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Bill 2005'. The Institute supports the broad intent of the proposed reforms to bring about a cultural shift towards less adversarial processes in the way that parenting disputes after separation are managed and ways to encourage the active involvement of both parents in their children's lives after separation. Since the Institute has already provided verbal and written testimony to related inquiries, this current submission briefly addresses the four key frames of reference: the introduction of a presumption of shared parental responsibility; the requirement for parents to attend dispute resolution and develop parenting plans before taking a parenting matter to court; improvements to enforcement of contact orders; and the importance of grandparents and significant others.

Widening the family circle : new research on family communication

Floyd K and Morman M
London : SAGE, 2006.
"[This book] bridges [the] gap in family communication literature by providing [an] examination of lesser-studied family relationships, such as those involving grandparents, in-laws, cousins, stepfamilies, and adoptive parents. [The editors] bring together a diverse collection of empirical studies, theoretic essays, and critical reviews of literature on communication ..."

Grandparents, grandchildren and the generation in between

Ochiltree G
Camberwell, Vic. : ACER Press, 2006.
The book is about aspects of grandparenting, using research interpretation, personal opinion and observation, and accounts and case studies of people's experience. It examines the role of the contemporary grandparent; child care, babysitting and time with grandchildren, including grandparents from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; grandparents bringing up grandchildren; grandchildren after divorce and remarriage; challenges of diversity such as lesbian and gay families, grandchildren with disabilities, and death of a grandchild; child development, behaviour management and parenting.

Families count : effects on child and adolescent development

Clarke-Stewart A and Dunn J
Cambridge England : Cambridge University Press, 2006.

A new family law system [kit] : putting the focus on kids.

Canberra : Australian Government, 2006
This set of 11 fact sheets is designed to keep the Australian public informed about changes to the Family Law Act and the roles of family relationship services. Fact sheet 1, Our children come first, provides an overview of the reforms to the family law system. Specific aspects of the changes are described in the other 10 fact sheets. 2: Changes to the Family Law Act; 3: Additional services for families; 4: Family relationship advice line and family relationships online; 5: Family Relationship Centres; 6: The benefits for children; 7: The role of professionals; 8: Parenting plans; 9: Compulsory dispute resolution; 10: Dealing with family violence and child abuse; 11: The role of grandparents.

Keeping in contact: the role of family relationship centres in Australia.

Parkinson P
Child and Family Law Quarterly v. 18 no. 2 2006 157-174
The new Family Relationship Centres are designed to assist parents to prevent relationship breakdown, assist separating parents and grandparents with parenting arrangements and child support issues, and provide advice and mediation services. This article provides an overview of the development of, and the functions of, the centres. It discusses concern about fatherless families, the report of the 2003 parliamentary inquiry into child custody arrangements in the event of family separation, debate about a tribunal, the emergence of the idea of Family Relationship Centres, and the centres' focus on early intervention.

Mental health aspects of custody law

Levy R and Derdeyn A
Durham, N.C. : Carolina Academic Press, c2005.

Multiple meanings of family.

National Council on Family Relations.
Minneapolis, Minn. : National Council on Family Relations, 2005.

Relationships between grandparents and teenage grandchildren

Morton S
Edinburgh : Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, 2005.
Overview of results from a research study on how grandparents and grandchildren relate to each other and provide support, including after divorce. 75 young people, aged 10-19, and 73 older people, aged in their 50s-80s, in Scotland were interviewed.
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