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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/weekly31.0%

Fortnightly18.8%

Monthly6.1%

Once every 3-12 months15.9%

Less than once a year/never28.2%

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.


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