No Father's day for some fathers

12/06/2008 15:00

Although most children in the Netherlands grow up with two parents, one in seven children experience the divorce of their parents. After a divorce, the contact between children and their fathers deteriorates.

Children and their family situation

Children and their family situation

One in five children have less contact with their father

In 2007 3.6 million children – nearly 80 percent of all Dutch children living at home - lived with their father and their mother. Not everyone born in the period 1970-1979 who grew up in a two-parent family had a close relationship with their father: 4 percent said they were not close to their father. Most of them, 80 percent, did get on well with their father.

Relationship with father deteriorates after divorce

Two out of ten children whose parents are divorced had no contact with their father in the first years after the divorce. Another 20 percent were still in contact, but did not get on well. The relationship with their mother was much better. Most children (80 percent) experiencing the divorce of their parents stayed with their mother after the divorce. In 2007, nearly 300 thousand children lived with a divorced single mother.

Divorced parents: relationship between child and father

Divorced parents: relationship between child and father

One in three children do not get on with their stepfathers 

For about half of children who stay with their mother after the divorce, a stepfather enters the family. These children are then 12 years old on average. Half of the children concerned said they had a good relationship with their stepfather, one third said they did not get on. A total 282 thousand children lived in a family with a stepparent in 2007.  

Arie de Graaf