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New Families and Nonresident Father-Child Visitation

Publication Abstract

Manning, Wendy, and Pamela Smock. 1999. "New Families and Nonresident Father-Child Visitation." Social Forces, 78(1): 87-116.

Increasingly fathers are living apart from their children and often go on to form new families. We use nonresident fathers' longitudinal reports of visits with their children from both waves of the National Survey of Families and Households to evaluate whether and how changing family configurations influence fathers' visitation with their nonresident children. Nonresident fathers often report reducing visitation, but almost one quarter experience increases in the frequency of visits with their nonresident children. Generally, we find that nonresident fathers who form new unions (spouse or cohabiting partners) do not subsequently see their nonresident children less often than fathers who do not form new unions. Instead, it is the number of new children (particularly new biological children) that reduces the odds of fathers' frequent in-person contact with nonresident children.

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