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Family Matters No. 59 - June 2001

Post-divorce patterns of parenting

Bruce Smyth, Grania Sheehan and Belinda Fehlberg

Abstract

There has been an increasing emphasis on the importance of shared responsibility for children after parental separation. This is evidenced by changes to the Family Law Act which among other things, replaced the language of 'guardianship', 'custody' and 'access' with the less proprietorial 'residence' and 'contact'. This article summarises findings of a survey of post divorce parenting patterns prior to the changes. Data are drawn from the Australian Divorce Transitions Project, a national random telephone survey of 650 divorced Australians conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

There has been an increasing emphasis on the importance of shared responsibility for children after parental separation. This is evidenced by changes to the Family Law Act which among other things, replaced the language of 'guardianship', 'custody' and 'access' with the less proprietorial 'residence' and 'contact'. This article summarises findings of a survey of post divorce parenting patterns prior to the changes. Data are drawn from the Australian Divorce Transitions Project, a national random telephone survey of 650 divorced Australians conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

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