Moving Towards Family after Union Dissolution in the United States

Thomas Cooke, University of Connecticut
Clara Mulder, University of Groningen, Population Research Centre
Michael Thomas, University of Groningen

Clara H. Mulder, Amy Spring, Michael J. Thomas and Thomas J. Cooke

A growing literature has addressed the migration and residential mobility of ex-partners after divorce or the dissolution of a cohabiting partnership. It has repeatedly been speculated that a considerable share of the moves of separated people might be directed towards family members – most likely parents, but potentially also other family members – and towards otherwise familiar locations. However, although some previous evidence suggests that separated individuals are more likely to move towards parents than others, there is only little empirical work investigating the role of parents or other family members in the moving behavior of separated people. In this paper, we investigate moves of separated people towards parents and siblings – both moving close to them and moving in with them –, and towards locations in which the individual has lived before. We use longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics for the United States and multinomial logistic regressions models. We find that following a separation, individuals are less likely to engage in migration if they have parents living close by, especially mothers. Moreover, separated individuals with distant parents are more likely to migrate in order to move in with or move close to mothers or both parents than fathers. In the final version of the paper we also plan to include analyses of moves towards siblings and towards the county of birth.

Presented in Session 84: Partnership Dynamics across the Lifecourse