Child Outcomes After Parental Separation: Variations by Contact and Court Involvement

February 2016

Child Outcomes After Parental Separation

This study was commissioned by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to contribute to an emerging body of research aiming to shed light on how parental separation might affect children’s wellbeing.

The aim of this report is to improve the evidence base on the extent to which parental separation is associated with children’s outcomes, focusing on whether contact between a child and a non-resident parent post separation is associated with child well-being.

The report also explores the extent to which courts are used to establish agreements on contact and finance arrangements during the separation process and the links with child  outcomes. There has been limited research to date exploring these areas in a UK context. The report does not examine or identify the explanations for any differentials, but rather provides a descriptive portrait of UK families and, in particular, of a subset of these families who experienced separation. This descriptive information will provide evidence to inform social and justice policy in relation to parents who separate.


Client: Ministry of Justice

Authors: Alice Goisis, Berkay Ozcan & Wendy Sigle

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