Volume 27 - Article 5 | Pages 121-152

Untraditional caring arrangements among parents living apart: The case of Norway

By Ragni Hege Kitterød, Jan Lyngstad

Print this page  Twitter


Date received:24 Aug 2011
Date published:19 Jul 2012
Word count:10975
Keywords:divorce, father sole custody, gender equality, parents living apart, partnership dissolution, shared residence


Background: In spite of quite symmetric parental roles in Norway, shared residence and father sole custody are still rare when parents split up. Several countries have witnessed an increase in shared residence for children recently, and this is also the case in Norway.

Objective: We wish to add to the literature on untraditional caring arrangements among parents living apart by examining the determinants of shared residence and sole father custody in Norway, a country with high gender-equality ambitions.

Methods: Based on a survey from 2004 with a unique sample of former couples, we ran multinomial logistic regressions estimating the odds of shared residence rather than mother sole custody, and the odds of father sole custody rather than mother sole custody.

Results: Shared residence is particularly likely when the father has a reasonable income, the mother is highly educated, the mother is currently married, and the parents have no other children in their households. Father sole custody is most likely when the mother’s income is low and the father’s high, the child is a boy and at least ten years old, the father is single and there are other children in the mother’s household.

Conclusions: Despite more equal parental roles in couples in recent decades, most children still live mainly with their mother when parents split up in Norway. However, visiting arrangements with fathers are extensive. More parents will probably opt for shared residence in the years to come.

Author's Affiliation

Ragni Hege Kitterød - Statistics Norway, Norway [Email]
Jan Lyngstad - Statistics Norway, Norway [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» She said, he said: Comparing mothers' and fathers' reports on the non-resident father's contact with his children
Volume 30 - Article 31

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

» Union formation and dissolution among immigrants and their descendants in the United Kingdom
Volume 33 - Article 10    | Keywords: divorce

» Marriage and divorce of immigrants and descendants of immigrants in Sweden
Volume 33 - Article 2    | Keywords: divorce

» Partnership dynamics among migrants and their descendants in Estonia
Volume 32 - Article 56    | Keywords: partnership dissolution

» Stratified patterns of divorce: Earnings, education, and gender
Volume 32 - Article 34    | Keywords: divorce

» Post-divorce family trajectories of men and women in Flanders
Volume 32 - Article 31    | Keywords: divorce