New Child Support Research Findings

Goldberg, J. S. (2015). Coparenting and Nonresident Fathers’ Monetary Contributions to Their Children. Journal of Marriage and Family, 77(3), 612-627. doi:

Kane, J. B., Nelson, T. J., & Edin, K. (2015). How Much In-Kind Support Do Low-Income Nonresident Fathers Provide? A Mixed-Method Analysis. Journal of Marriage and Family, 77(3), 591-611. doi:


Online Divorce Support Resources Increasing

The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts met May 28-June 1, 2013 and many of the exhibitors displayed online resources to support families going through divorce.

Online parent education programs

Managing Coparenting Relationships

There are also some new online tools for managing co-parenting relationships following divorce.  These seem to be designed to help parents who are likely to have conflicts manage their relationships more effectively.

Online Divorce/Conflict Mediation Tools or Services

There are also a variety of online mediation tools that are being developed.


Does technology improve postdivorce relationships?

One of the major challenges divorce parents face is how to communicate effectively post-split, without major arguments. Self-help guides and divorced parenting programs regularly include strategies and suggestions about how to maintain a cordial working relationship with a former spouse. Why? Because one of the most consistent findings about what facilitates children’s adjustment post-divorce is the degree to which former partners limit conflict.

So it is not surprising that scientists have begun to examine whether new electronic communication tools can be a help or hindrance to parents working out their post-divorce relationships. Early work by Aimee Miller suggests that in some cases, e-mail may help faciilate post-divorce communication, but no one has taken an in-depth look at all of the available communication tools until now.

A team of scientists at the University of Missouri led by Lawrence Ganong and Marilyn Coleman studied a group of 49 parents (mostly mothers) after their divorce to determine how divorced parents use communication technologies to manage their coparenting. This qualitative study involved 60 to 90 minute interviews followed by detailed coding methods to extract common themes.

The authors conclude that “communication technologies… make boundary maintenance both easier and more challenging. They are unequivocally neither boon nor bane to divorced co-parents.” For the most part, it seems that the technology tools matter relatively little. Parents who are trying to work on co-parenting can use these tools to enhance their communication and parenting skills. On the other hand, parents who are having difficulty co-parenting together after divorce may use these tools to harass, control and mislead the other parent. The big challenge that remains for divorced parents is not what technology to use to communicate, but how to find a way to work together to raise their children.

For more see Huffington Post….

National Council on Family Relations– 2012 Schedule with Divorce Sessions Highlighted

Divorce, Stepfamilies, Co-Parenting Sessions at NCFR 2012

NCFR is one of the professional organizations that focuses on divorce and stepfamilies.  At the upcoming professional meetings here are the sessions that include new science on divorce and stepfamilies.  Here is the complete schedule….

 Wednesday, Oct 31, 2012

3:30 – 5:00 pm Concurrent Sessions 3 Continued

RT PA 134 Divorce, Co-parenting, and Repartnering

134-01 Divorced Mothers’ Co‐parental Boundary Maintenance After Parents Re‐partner, Richard Feistman, Lawrence Ganong, Marilyn Coleman, Tyler Jamison

134-02 Post‐divorce Co‐parenting: What is Working? Marilyn Coleman, Lawrence Ganong, Tyler Jamison, Richard Feistman

134-03 Implications for Children of Parenting by New Partners After Divorce, Jessica Dominguez, Edward Anderson, Shannon Greene

Thursday, November, 1, 2012

8:00 – 9:30 am 203 Poster Session 4 Continued

Divorce and Separation

203-21 FT Understanding Parenting Coordination for High‐conflict Post‐divorce Couples, Eric Johnson

203-22 RT Children’s Undermining of Their Mothers’ New Relationships After Divorce, Brooke Thoele, Edward Anderson, Shannon Greene

Remarriage, Blended Families

203-23 IN Youths’ Quality of Life in Biological and Stepfamilies in Colombia: The Contribution of Maternal and Paternal Figures, Milton Bermudez, Sonia Carrillo, Victoria Cabrera, Carolina Botero

203-24 RT Claiming of Former Stepkin, Luke Russell, Nicky Frye, Marilyn Coleman, Lawrence Ganong

203-25 RT A Comparison of Self‐identifying and Non‐self‐identifying Stepfamilies, Kristin Hadfield, Elizabeth Nixon

203-26 RT No Longer Newlyweds: Difficulties Experienced by Remarried Couples Over Time, Katie Reck, Brian Higginbotham

11:45 am – 1:00 pm

222 Poster Session 5

FP Poster Symposium: Social Support and Resources Influences on Familial Issues

222-11 IN Parent‐child and Sibling Relationships in Colombian Families: Comparing Nuclear and Step‐families, Sonia Carrillo, Karen Ripoll, Victoria Cabrera, Carolina Botero

11:45 am – 1:00 pm Focus Groups

EE 223 Co‐parenting and Divorce Education

Presiding: Denise Brandon and Lawrence Shelton, Focus Group Co‐chairs

Friday, November 2, 2102

8:00 – 9:30 am TCRM Workshop Session 4

305 Co-parenting and Computer-mediated Communication: Methodological Techniques

305 (TC4B-1) Measuring Co‐parenting With Time Diary Methodology, Letitia E. Kotila, Sarah J. Schoppe‐Sullivan, Claire M. Kamp Dush

3:15 – 4:45 pm Concurrent Sessions 10 Continued

FT/FF PA 335 Gender and Sexuality in Family Therapy Training

336-04 The Impact of IT Use on Co‐parenting and Father’s Child care Involvement in Japan and the U.S.A., Kuniko Kato, Mari Nakagawa

338-03 Examining the Personal Economic Consequences of Divorce: A Mixed Methods Study, David Schramm, Adam Galovan, Greg Brooks, Graham McCaulley, Tyler Jamison

6:30 – 9:30 pm 242 TCRM Workshop: Co-parenting Measurement , Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan  This research‐focused Special Session is open to all conference attendees.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

9:00 – 10:30 am 401 Poster Session 8 Continued

Financial and Work Stressors

401-28 RT Financial and Work Stressors and Divorce Probability, Karina Shreffler, Michael Morris

9:15 – 10:30 am Concurrent Sessions 11

FS PA 407 Parenting Issues

407-02 Defining Divorced Nonresidential Father Involvement: A Qualitative Study, Jessica Troilo, Marilyn Coleman

Genes matter less for children of divorce

Scientists have long known that development is a combination of genes and the environment.  There is growing evidence that the nature of the environment allows or prevents genes from guiding development.  Sylvan Robbers and colleagues recently published a study that examined the degree to which genetic or environmental factors played a bigger role in children’s internalizing (e.g., depression) or externalizing (e.g., aggression)  behaviors following the divorce of their parents.  The results indicate that the behavior of children whose parents are divorced were more influenced by environmental factors than children whose parents were not divorced.  This finding reminds us how powerful and important parents and other caregivers are in influencing postdivorce adjustment.


Robbers, S., van Oort, F., Huizink, A., Verhulst, F., van Beijsterveldt, C., Boomsma, D., & Bartels, M. (2012) Childhood problem behavior and parental divorce: Evidence for gene–environment interaction  Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology doi:10.1007/s00127-011-0470-9  Full Paper

Parent Coordination Guidelines

“Parent coordination is  a nonadversarial dispute resolution process that is court ordered or agreed on by divorced and separated parents who have an ongoing pattern of high conflict and/or litigation about their children.”  APA, 2012.

This is the latest effort to provide more systematic and structured guidelines for professionals such as mediators, psychologists, therapists and attorneys who are providing parenting coordination for divorcing families who are unable to resolve conflicts.  One especially important aspect of these guidelines is an expectation that professionals involved in parenting coordination will work actively with other professionals who are involved in cases.  This is critical for families to not be buffeted by competing and/or conflicting advice from others involved in trying to help families manage or resolve conflict.

The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) has also produced a series of guidelines for parenting coordination.

AFCC has also produced guidelines and standards for divorce mediation, custody evaluation and other court related services to children and families.