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Esther Podbevsek: Child-friendly separations

Title

Child-friendly separations, wishful thinking or the future?

The role and role perception of lawyers in Dutch separation cases in guaranteeing the best interests of the child.

Description

This research focusses on the role and role perception of lawyers in Dutch separation cases, with respect to guaranteeing the best interests of the child. Approximately, one out of six Dutch children experience the separation of their parents, which amounted to roughly 22.000 children in 2022. Previous research has emphasised the elevated risk for a variety of developmental problems for children from separated parents. Due to mandatory legal representation in separation procedures and child related procedures (e.g. custody, contact, alimony), lawyers are in a position to take the child’s interests into account when handling these cases. Whether and how lawyers actually incorporate the best interests of children in the separation procedure is still unknown. The purpose of this empirical research is to fill the existing gap in knowledge concerning the role and role perception of lawyers regarding their attention for the de-escalation of conflict, the relationship between the parents, the preservation of the parent-child relationship and the participation of the child in the procedure. Furthermore, this research seeks to gain a deeper understanding of what lawyers ‘must’, ‘want’ and ‘are able’ to do with respect to the best interests of children in separation procedures and the bottlenecks they encounter.

Researcher(s) Esther Podbevsek
Supervision
Duration 2023-2027
Funding Sector Plan