Journal Article

THE WELFARE OF THE CHILD IN CUSTODY DISPUTES AFTER PARENTAL SEPARATION OR DIVORCE

K.-F. KALTENBORN and R. LEMPP

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 12, issue 1, pages 74-106
Published in print April 1998 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online April 1998 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/lawfam/12.1.74
THE WELFARE OF THE CHILD IN CUSTODY DISPUTES AFTER PARENTAL SEPARATION OR DIVORCE

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Based on the analysis of sixty evaluation reports of child psychiatrists and psychologists at the Child and Youth Psychiatry Clinic, Eberhard-Karls-University of Tübingen (Germany), for judicial custody decisions, this article describes the personal networks of the eighty-one children involving a total of 222 relationships. The children's preference for father or mother significantly depends (a) on the current residential status of the child with preference for the co-residential parent (p <.01), (b) on the child's gender with preference for the same-sex parent (P <.05), and (c) on the psychological status and parenting capacity of the mother with preference for the father in cases of maternal problems (P <.01). In sixty-two cases the specialists' custody recommendations are based on primary criteria (the children's relationships and residence preferences), and in fourteen cases on secondary criteria (continuity of care, probability of future problems with a new stepmother, etc). For thirty children (37.0 per cent) the reports recommend residence in the father's household, for thirty-nine children (48.1 per cent) in the mother's household, and for seven children (8.6 per cent) with either the grandparents, the stepmother or a foster family. In five cases (6.2 per cent) no recommendations are proposed. Findings of the study are discussed, and suggestions are offered for further research.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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