Volume 42 - Article 9 | Pages 245–292

Remain, leave, or return? Mothers’ location continuity after separation in Belgium

By Christine Schnor, Julia Mikolai

Print this page  Facebook  Twitter

 

 
Date received:30 Sep 2018
Date published:13 Feb 2020
Word count:10597
Keywords:family instability, internal migration, life course, local ties, residential mobility, separation, social inequality
DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2020.42.9
 

Abstract

Background: Partnership dissolution can mark an extended period of residential instability for mothers and their children. Location continuity, i.e., the ability to stay in or return to the same neighbourhood after separation, is essential to reduce the negative consequences of separation.

Objective: We focus on mothers’ post-separation location continuity in the three years following separation and study the role of socioeconomic resources and local ties (to a home, neighbourhood, and region) in remaining in or returning to their pre-separation neighbourhood.

Methods: Using linked Belgian Census (2001) and register data (2001–2006), we estimate multinomial logistic regression models (N = 25,802). Based on the occurrence, frequency, and destination of moves, we distinguish between high, moderate, and low degrees of location continuity. We also study the probability of remaining in, leaving, or returning to the pre-separation neighbourhood.

Results: Mothers who live at their place of birth (a measure of local ties) tend to stay in or return to their pre-separation neighbourhood or region; if they have more socioeconomic resources they are more likely to remain in the family home. Mothers from disadvantaged backgrounds move further and more often.

Conclusions: If separated mothers lack socioeconomic resources and local ties, they are less likely to maintain location continuity. Policy programmes should target these women in order to provide better opportunities for separated mothers and their children.

Contribution: We introduce the concept of post-separation location continuity and account for separation-induced as well as post-separation residential changes in the first three years after separation.

Author's Affiliation

Christine Schnor - Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium [Email]
Julia Mikolai - University of St Andrews, United Kingdom [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» Separation, divorce, and housing tenure: A cross-country comparison
Volume 41 - Article 39

» Union dissolution and housing trajectories in Britain
Volume 41 - Article 7

» A decade of life-course research on fertility of immigrants and their descendants in Europe
Volume 40 - Article 46

» The role of education in the intersection of partnership transitions and motherhood in Europe and the United States
Volume 39 - Article 27

» Stepfather or biological father? Education-specific pathways of postdivorce fatherhood
Volume 37 - Article 51

» Does waiting pay off for couples? Partnership duration prior to household formation and union stability
Volume 33 - Article 22

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

» Separation, divorce, and housing tenure: A cross-country comparison
Volume 41 - Article 39    | Keywords: residential mobility, separation

» Changes in gender role attitudes following couples' residential relocations
Volume 40 - Article 39    | Keywords: life course, residential mobility

» Variations in migration motives over distance
Volume 40 - Article 38    | Keywords: internal migration, residential mobility

» Who leaves, who stays? Gendered routes out of the family home following union dissolution in Italy
Volume 40 - Article 20    | Keywords: residential mobility, separation

» ‘Will the one who keeps the children keep the house?’ Residential mobility after divorce by parenthood status and custody arrangements in France
Volume 40 - Article 14    | Keywords: residential mobility, separation