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Access_open Formerly cohabiting parents and parenting plans: Who makes the effort?

Journal Family & Law, June 2016
Authors Simon de Bruijn Msc, dr. Anne-Rigt Poortman and Prof. dr. ir Tanja van der Lippe
AbstractAuthor's information

    When the Promotion of Continued Parenting and Proper Divorce Act came into force on March 2009 both married and cohabiting Dutch parents of minor children were obliged to draw up a parenting plan when they separate. Parenting plans are not enforceable for cohabiters, however. Using data from the New Families in the Netherlands survey, we examine how many former cohabiters create a parenting plan and how this compares to the number of verbal or no arrangements. We expect that child, parents and relationship characteristics are important for the likelihood that a parenting plan is constructed. Results show that more than half of former cohabiters create a parenting plan. Furthermore, former cohabiters are more likely to draw up a parenting plan if they consult a legal practitioner during their separation process. In addition, the younger the youngest child is, the more likely that former cohabiters will create a parenting plan or make verbal arrangements rather than no arrangements. That is also true for higher educated households and if they opt for residential co-parenting after divorce. Former cohabiters in a high-conflict situation are less likely to develop a parenting plan than make no arrangements.


Simon de Bruijn Msc
Simon de Bruijn is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Sociology and Research School (ICS) of Utrecht University. His research interests include divorce and post-divorce arrangements.

dr. Anne-Rigt Poortman
Anne-Rigt Poortman is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology and Research School (ICS) of Utrecht University. She received her Ph.D. at Utrecht University in 2002. Her main research interests are divorce and separation, new relationship types and legal aspects of partner relationships.

Prof. dr. ir Tanja van der Lippe
Tanja van der Lippe is a Professor of Sociology of Households and Employment Relations at the Department of Sociology and Research School (ICS) of Utrecht University. She is the head of the Department of Sociology and research director of ICS Utrecht. Her research interests are in the area of work-family linkages in Dutch and other societies.
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