Equal Parenting when Families Break Apart: Alternating Residence and the Best Interests of the Child in Sweden
2016 (English)In: Social Policy & Administration, ISSN 0144-5596, E-ISSN 1467-9515, Vol. 50, no 7, 787-804 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Shared, or alternating, residence for children when their parents separate is increasingly common. Sweden adopted a new policy in 1998 (modified in 2006) which gave courts the mandate to order 50/50 alternating residence against the will of one parent. Since then, the 50/50 alternating residence has become the legal norm in Sweden in cases of disputed custody. In this article, we ask how Swedish policymakers reasoned in relation to the potentially conflicting values of equal parenting post-separation and the interests of children. More specifically, we investigate how they addressed some of the most common objections to court-ordered alternating residence. We found that all three issues were discussed extensively during the policy-making process, but that, in the end, none of them was seen as contradictory to the goal of promoting more equal parenting roles post-separation through the introduction of court-ordered alternating residence. This policy outcome, we argue, should be seen in light of Sweden's long-standing commitment to strengthening the role of fathers in the care of children.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 50, no 7, 787-804 p.
Alternating shared residence, Sweden family policy
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-311182DOI: 10.1111/spol.12138ISI: 000388476400002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-311182DiVA: diva2:1059338