Divorce and children

Ouders houden kinderschoenen samen vast

Given the adverse outcomes for children, parents and society at large, high conflict divorces are currently at the centre of attention for policy makers and the legislature. Many legal questions arise regarding these important social issues. What is the role of family law and of procedural law? Would altering the structure of divorce proceedings result in different outcomes? This highly complex question goes beyond the legal domain, which is why we cooperate with experts from other disciplines. By participating in such multidisciplinary teams we can provide better answers for these complex issues.

One of these teams is the research hub ‘Where do I belong?’. This research project concerns the issue of where children feel at home when they split their time between two houses after a divorce. How does it affect children to switch between families, houses and neighbourhoods? How does this impact upon their wellbeing? Our team includes researchers from geography, linguistics, family law, pedagogical sciences and computer science. This research aims to get a better picture of the different dimensions of belonging and to learn what helps children in these situations.

This theme also includes a large-scale multidisciplinary research project concerning compliance with agreements about care and contact after divorce that is undertaken by researchers from both legal (Wendy Schrama and Christina Jeppesen de Boer - UCERF) and social science disciplines (UCERF, UU and the VU). The authority of parents and guardians is of great importance and is characterised by the three-way relationship between the state, the parents and the child. Christina G. Jeppesen de Boer has been the specialist in this field since she received her PhD in 2008.