Story: Families: a history

Complicated families

Complicated families

Children are increasingly moving between the households of separated parents. They develop 'family-type' relationships with the partners of their parents and often acquire new siblings when their parents form new relationships. This diagram maps the changes as a fictional 'Chris' and 'Rachel' move from being parents in a nuclear family to separation, and into relationships with other partners. They share the care of their children who spend some nights each week with both parents. Arrangements relating to the time children spend with each parent often change over time in shared-care situations, and the composition of households change as new families are created with new partners and their children.

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How to cite this page:

Ian Pool and Rosemary Du Plessis, 'Families: a history - Baby bust families: mid-1970s to 1990s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/diagram/30222/complicated-families (accessed 15 November 2019)

Story by Ian Pool and Rosemary Du Plessis, published 5 May 2011, updated 1 Jul 2017