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Family dynamics and the changing landscape of shared custody in Europe: workshop in Lausanne

Call for abstract submissions regarding an international workshop that will take place at the University of Lausanne on December 14-15, 2017. It is open to social sciences researchers from all disciplines (demography, sociology, social psychology, political sciences, economics, law).

Divorce rates and separations are on the rise since a long time. They tend to stabilize on a high level throughout all European countries. Despite the long evolution of broken families, only the last decade has seen a radical shift in custody arrangements for children in divorced families. For a long time, mothers were considered to be the main socialization actor and fathers have been given visiting rights. A gender revolution is taking place, whereby fathers have asked and received an increasingly larger share of time to be spent with their children.

Despite this evolution, we do not possess a clear view on families in shared custody across Europe. What are the legal arrangements throughout Europe? What time allocation is considered “normal”? What kind of freedom do judges possess to decide on regulations? How do men act in their post-divorce roles? Are they a Disney-dad or rather a divorce-activated father? And what about mothers? Do they accept the decrease in time spent with their children? Do custody arrangements have an influence on their employment rates and career opportunities?

We address this call to social sciences researchers (demography, sociology, social psychology, political sciences, economics, law) with an interest in the topic of custody arrangements. We particularly welcome empirical contributions (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods) taking a national or international perspective on this domain.

The following topics are to be addressed in the workshop:

  • Prevalence of types of custody
  • Intergenerational perspectives on legal arrangements of custody arrangements
  • Transitions in custody arrangements. Stability and changes in arrangements across the life course of children
  • Socio‐economic, psychological, social well-­‐being of parents in different custody arrangements
  • Gender perspective on parenting and custody arrangements
Venue and date

The workshop will take place at the University of Lausanne, Geopolis Building, on December 14-15, 2017.


The deadline for abstract submissions (between 500 and 2000 characters) is June 15, 2017. Proposals can be sent to

Scientific committee
  • Laura Bernardi (University of Lausanne)
  • Dimitri Mortelmans (University of Antwerp)
  • Stéphanie Perrenoud (University of Neuchatel)