Story: Diverse families

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 over time as a fictional 'Chris' and 'Rachel' begin as parents in a nuclear family, separate, and then move into relationships with other partners. They share the care of their children, who spend some nights each week with each parent. 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:

Rosemary Du Plessis and Candice Diggelmann, 'Diverse families - Blended families', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 6 July 2022)

Story by Rosemary Du Plessis and Candice Diggelmann, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 22 Jun 2018