Parenting dynamics after separation

A follow-up study of parents who separated after the 2006 family law reforms


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Content type
Commissioned report

December 2010

Commissioning Body

Attorney-General's Department


A report commissioned by the Attorney-General's Department to examine the pathways that separating families have taken through the family law system, and the impact the changes to the family law system have had on these families.

The Longitudinal Study of Separated Families examined relationships and wellbeing in separated families in Australia. Some 10,000 separated parents with children were interviewed for the first wave in 2008, as part of the evaluation of the 2006 Family Law reforms. This report presents findings from the second wave, when the parents had been separated for two to three years. The study investigated parenting issues including communication between parents, abuse and safety concerns, the development of parenting arrangements, the use of family dispute resolution services, changes in child care arrangements, involvement in decision making, and child support and compliance. The study also examined the effect of these issues on child wellbeing. The report discussed the findings and the changes that have occurred over time, as well as the methodology of the study. Though most respondents maintained a harmonious relationship with the other parent, there are still reports of conflict, fear, and family violence.

This report was authored by AIFS staff and published by the Attorney-General's Department