Robertson, Jeremy; Pryor, Jan; Moss, Janine
June 2009
Social Policy Journal of New Zealand;Jun2009, Issue 35, p129
Academic Journal
It is likely that the majority of separating couples make their own arrangements for the care of their children after separation. The aim of the Post Separation Parenting study was to explore how couples make these arrangements for the care of their children, without recourse to the Family Court. Using qualitative methods, the researchers interviewed a volunteer sample of 39 parents (including eight couples). Parents were asked how they decided on their current post-separation parenting arrangements and what factors they considered important in influencing the nature of the arrangements. They were also asked about changes in arrangements over time, satisfaction with current arrangements, and parents' need for information on separation. A predominant theme emerging from the interviews was the prioritisation of children's needs and best interests. Both mothers and fathers felt that children's ongoing contact with both parents was in their children's best interests. Couples reported putting aside relationship issues and working to keep these issues separate from ongoing parenting responsibilities. Although research has often focused on conflicted couples, this exploratory study suggests that further study of successful post-separation parenting might help guide parents through this very stressful time.


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