This new OECD policy brief discusses policy challenges raised by “modern family life” which is increasingly diverse and insecure for a growing share of children: children are increasingly living with unmarried parents (16% of children on average live with informally cohabiting parents) and they are likely to experience different family settings throughout childhood. This can have a large bearing on children’s living standards. For example, a child in a single parent family is three times more likely to be poor than a child in a couple family. In addition, if one of the parents leaves home, another parental partner may enter the household or there could be a change in the child custody agreement.
Therefore, it is important for policy to ensure that children are adequately protected against changes in family living arrangements child well-being. It involves making access to benefits and social protection rights more neutral with regard to the legal status of parental partnership, and ensuring that child support policy is responsive to changes in children’s living arrangements.
See full policy brief here: