Parent-child contact after separation

Parent child contact after separation

Face-to-face parent-child contact

Face-to-face contact between children and their non-resident parents is an important part of parenting after separation. Research suggests that there is a discrepancy in reporting between resident parents and non-resident parents in terms of the level of parent-child contact. Statistics from the ABS Family Characteristics 2012-13 survey show:

  • 31% of children aged 0-17 who had a natural parent elsewhere met with that parent on a daily/weekly basis
  • One in four children saw the parent they were not living with less than once a year or never.
Frequency of face-to-face contact between parent living elsewhere and child
Daily/weekly 31.0%
Fortnightly 18.8%
Monthly 6.1%
Once every 3-12 months 15.9%
Less than once a year/never 28.2%

View source data on frequency of face-to-face parent-child contact

Overnight stays with non-resident parent

It is important to distinguish between day-time only contact and overnight stays because the latter provides greater opportunities for family activities to occur, which encourages emotional bonds to develop between children and their non-resident parents. According to the Family Characteristics Survey (ABS 2012-13):

  • 51% of children did not spend a single night at their non-resident parent
  • 16% of children spent 1-35 nights with their non-resident parent
  • 11% of children spent at least 110 nights with their non-resident parent.

View source data on number of overnight stays per year

More family facts and figures

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