Post-separation shared parental care in Germany
Compared to other European countries, there is a lack of information about post-separation parenting arrangements in Germany. While the current legal situation acknowledges only strict arrangements of children’s dual residence (50% time with each parent), there is a demand for a broader understanding of shared care. This study used three data sets to analyze demographic features, socio-economic conditions, (co-)parenting and children’s well-being in separated families using different arrangements of children’s overnights and contact with each parent. The data come from two representative surveys (“Growing Up in Germany: Everyday Life” and the German family panel “pairfam”) and a study focusing separated families only. The findings suggest an overall low prevalence (5%) of shared care (60% : 40% arrangements). Dual residence is largely restricted to parents living in the same area. Furthermore, there is a higher rate of shared care among higher educated parents. No differences regarding children’s well- being could be found. The findings are discussed in the context of international evidence.
Prof. Sabine Walper
German Youth Institute e.V., Germany
Since 2012 Prof. Dr. Sabine Walper has been Research Director at the German Youth Institute (DJI) in Munich. Her research focuses on family research and family policy. She previously worked at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. During her professorship for education, her focus was on youth and family research. The key issues she studies are family poverty, parental separation/divorce and repartnering or – more generally – family diversity and family complexity and its implications for children’s and adolescents’ development. She is currently the head of the committee of scientific experts working on the 9th National Family Report for Germany.