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Journal Article

Geographical distances between separated parents: a longitudinal analysis


Publication date

Oct 2018


Using detailed geocoded microdata from the British Household Panel Survey and longitudinal random-effects models, we analyse the determinants and trajectories of geographical distances between separated parents. Findings of particular note include the following: (1) post-separation linked lives, proximities and spatial constraints are characterised by important gender asymmetries; (2) the formation of new post-separation family ties (i.e. new partners and children) by fathers is linked to moves over longer distances away from the ex-partner than for mothers; (3) the distribution of pre-separation childcare responsibilities is relevant for determining post-separation proximity between parents; and (4) most variation in the distance between ex-partners occurs in the immediate period following separation (approximately the first year), suggesting that the initial conditions around separation can have long-lasting implications for the types of family life, ties and contact experienced in the years after separation.

Published in

European Journal of Population

Volume and page numbers

34 , 463 -489





Geography, Migration, Households, Family Formation And Dissolution, Sociology Of Households, and Caregiving


© The Author(s) 2017; Open Access; This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.


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