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70 per cent of children ‘live with both birth parents’

Seventy per cent of children now live with both their birth parents, the government has claimed.

The figure, for the year to 2013, represents a rise of three per cent over the year to 2011. Of all children under the age of 16, one year-olds were most likely to be living with both parents (80 per cent), with the number gradually declining by few percentage points over successive years in age. Only 58 per cent of 16 year-olds live with both birth parents.

However, data in the Family Stability Indicator report from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) also shows a clear difference between low income and higher earning families. While 76 per cent of children living in families with a mid-range or high income lived with both birth parents in the year to 2013, only 45 per cent of children living in lower income households did.

Meanwhile 76 per cent of couples living with their biological children said they were happy in their relationship.

The results were welcomed by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith. He said:

“We know the importance of stability for children, so it’s good news that there has been a rise in the number of children living with both birth parents.”

The DWP now plans to commission a pilot scheme focusing on the provision of relationship education during antenatal and postnatal classes, the Minister added.

Father participation will be encouraged and areas with relatively high rates of births registered either by lone parents or parents living at separate addresses will be included in the pilot.”

The Family Stability Indicator is an annual statistical report detailing the percentage of children living with both birth parents in relation to their family’s income, as well as the percentage of such parents who state that they are happy or unhappy in the relationship.

Read the report here.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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