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Parental life courses after separation and divorce

May 03

Separation and divorce have become increasingly prevalent also among couples with minor children in recent decades. Although union disruption is always a distressful event, it is most consequential for couples with minor children. Regardless of the end of their partnership, the couple is obliged to stay in contact to coordinate and negotiate their parental responsibilities. Typically, separation and divorce entail that the family splits into separate households. While women commonly continue to reside with their children, men face increasing difficulties to keep close contact with them over time. Little is known about how parents organize childcare responsibilities after separation and divorce and under which conditions fathers continue to be involved in the lives of their children. In addition, divorce and separation often lead to economic hardship and distress. The questions of how the economic situation is affected by child and spousal support payments and whether social policies can effectively alleviate some of the economic burden are not fully understood. We also have an incomplete understanding of how social policies, such as spousal support, child alimony, legal and physical custody as well as visitation rights, shape family behaviour, well-being and parent-child relationships after separation and divorce. Finally, little research exists on the subsequent life courses of divorced and separated couples with children and particularly on the interrelations across the life course prior and after divorce and separation. 

The workshop focuses on the parents’ life courses after separation and divorce and on the question of how these are shaped by individual histories, but also by social policy regulations. Contributions are welcome from all social science disciplines, such as sociology, demography, social policy, social psychology, economics, and law. We invite empirical contributions (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methods) from a national and international perspective.  

The organizers seek contributions on the following issues:  

  • Economic and social consequences of separation/divorce 
  • Parental well-being and health after separation/divorce 
  • Repartnering and fertility after separation/divorce 
  • Non-residential fatherhood, lone fatherhood, and father-child contact after separation/divorce  
  • Social policies, legal regulations, and parent-child relationships after separation/divorce  
Event information
03/05/2018 - 04/05/2018
Hertie School of Governance