Couples and families2015 Edition
This first edition of Couples and families in the "Insee References" collection provides a description of the different types of couples and families in France today. It highlights the permanence of lifestyles and their changes, with an increase in separt
Residence and child maintenance payments between separated parents: initial decisions and developments
In 2012, 16% of couples with dependent children appearing before a judge to decide on child custody following separation were granted alternating custody of the children, who would thus reside in an equivalent manner with each of their parents. These numbers have increased considerably since 2003. Alternating custody is twice as frequent in cases of divorce by mutual consent as in contested divorces or separations between non-married parents. Single custody with the mother, granted for three quarters of children, nevertheless remains the rule. Single custody with the father concerns 8% of children, a proportion that increases distinctly with the age of the children. In eight separations out of ten, the parents came to an agreement concerning the custody of the children and the judge generally ratified their choice. Irrespective of whether they reached an agreement at the time of their divorce, after a period of two years, 10% of divorced persons changed the mode of custody of the children, generally in favour of single custody. Judges also rule on child maintenance payments, which are very closely linked to the mode of custody of the children. Child maintenance payments are less often fixed in cases of alternating custody or single custody with the father, than in cases of single custody with the mother. When a maintenance payment has been set, the parents systematically declared that it had been paid in full in eight cases out of ten during the two years following the judgement. Only one third of parents having difficulties making maintenance payments filed an action to obtain payment.