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Kinder und Scheidung - Der Einfluss der Rechtspraxis auf familiale Übergänge

English title Children and Divorce - Current Legal Practices and their Impact on Family Transitions
Applicant Büchler Andrea
Number 103348
Funding scheme NRP 52 Childhood, Youth and Intergenerational Relationships in a Changing Society
Research institution Lehrstuhl für Privat-, Wirtschafts- und Europarecht Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Psychology
Start/End 01.04.2004 - 31.12.2008
Approved amount 624'851.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Legal sciences

Keywords (5)

Scheidungsrecht; familiale Übergangsprozesse; elterliche Sorge; Kindeswohl; Partizipation von Kinder

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Children and divorce: Current legal practices and their impact on family transitions

This project is examining current divorce practices and the everyday lives of families affected by divorce under the new conditions of Switzerland’s revised divorce law that went into effect on 1 January 2000. The focus is on the well-being of children and youth affected by divorce.


In 2002, 12 718 minor children in Switzerland were affected by divorce. Decisions made during divorce proceedings regularly affect children’s interests and welfare. There is a lack of empirically based data on applications of the revised divorce law, divorce rulings, and how the rulings are implemented in everyday life. This study will deliver needed information.


The main goal of the study is to investigate the reality and life situations of children during and after divorce proceedings and to assess these in terms of the well-being of the child. The study will produce findings on the issues of how children and youths’ interests are identified and taken into consideration in divorce proceedings, whether and in what form children participate in decision-making during and following divorce and have a say in their everyday lives, and what legal solutions serve their needs most adequately. On the basis of the findings, recommendations for the courts and professionals in other fields on applying the new law will be developed. Finally, the study will assess whether the increased participation of the child and consideration of the child’s needs, as required by the new law, is actually being implemented adequately in the reality of the divorce court and the family.


A representative overview of current divorce practices and family realities following divorce will be captured by means of analysis of case files and a written survey of divorced parents. Thirty family systems (children, parents, professionals) will participate in in-depth, semi-structured interviews at two points in time, with an interval of nine months, and ten families will be analysed as individual case studies. To gather complementary information, guided interviews with judges will also be conducted.


The project is a transdisciplinary study of the resources and risks of a complex transition phase in the life story of a family. It will contribute towards prevention of behaviour and development disorders in children. On the basis of the knowledge gained, the project will offer recommendations for preferred practices in implementing and further developing the new law and in increasing the involvement and support of children affected by divorce.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

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