The relationships between adults and their separated parents

Émilie Vivas, division Enquêtes et études démographiques, Insee

Separated blue-collar and white-collar workers have less frequent contact with their eldest children than fathers from more comfortable backgrounds. 46% of eldest children whose father is a blue-collar worker or unskilled white-collar worker never see their father, compared with 13% of children of executives. When the parental couple breaks up, the eldest children also live further away from their parents: the proportion of children of unskilled blue-collar workers living more than two hours journey from their father doubles. While distance is a handicap for all fathers, blue-collar and white-collar workers have greater difficulty overcoming this obstacle. Furthermore, half of eldest children from a broken home stopped living under the same roof as their father before their eighteenth birthday; relationships are thus not as close. However, when separated parents form a couple with a new partner, this only slightly diminishes the frequency with which children have contact with the father and has no influence at all on the relationship with the mother.

Insee Première N° 1196
No 1196
Paru le : 20/06/2008