Family Matters No. 63 - December 2002

When the difference is day and night

Parent-child contact after separation
Bruce Smyth and Anna Ferro

Abstract

Research into post separation parent child contact has focused almost exclusively on the measurement of the frequency of face-to-face contact. However, there is more to parent child contact than just time. The broad cultural, legal and policy push towards encouraging post separation cooperative parenting needs to be underpinned with detailed research that goes beyond simply measuring the frequency of contact between children and non resident parents. This article considers one important dimension that has attracted little attention to date: day-only contact versus overnight stays.

Research into post separation parent child contact has focused almost exclusively on the measurement of the frequency of face-to-face contact. However, there is more to parent child contact than just time. The broad cultural, legal and policy push towards encouraging post separation cooperative parenting needs to be underpinned with detailed research that goes beyond simply measuring the frequency of contact between children and non resident parents. This article considers one important dimension that has attracted little attention to date: day-only contact versus overnight stays.

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