Volume 27 - Article 5 | Pages 121–152

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

By Ragni Hege Kitterød, Jan Lyngstad

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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
DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2012.27.5
 

Abstract

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 - Institutt for samfunnsforskning (Institute for Social Research), Norway [Email]
Jan Lyngstad - Statistisk sentralbyrå (Statistics Norway), Norway [Email]

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