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Family & Law


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    Op 29 september 2015 werd te Antwerpen een studiedag georganiseerd getiteld, ‘Gezinstransities vanuit het perspectief van de kinderen’. Aangezien tegenwoordig steeds meer kinderen opgroeien in een nieuw samengesteld gezin, rijst de vraag hoe kinderen deze nieuwe gezinssamenstelling ervaren en welke functies de verschillende betrokken professionals daarbij vervullen. Tijdens de studiedag stond deze vraag centraal en werd het ontstaan van een dergelijk nieuw samengesteld gezin na echtscheiding vanuit verschillende invalshoeken onderzocht. Daarbij werden de ervaringen met het ouderschapsplan in Nederland eveneens toegelicht, en dit vanuit juridisch en sociologisch standpunt. Vervolgens werden een aantal workshops georganiseerd waar onder meer de pedagogische ouderschapsbelofte met de opvoedingspiramide aan bod kwam, het juridische ouderschapsplan, het plusouderschapsplan, alsook de rol van magistraten in de familie- en jeugdrechtbanken. Tot slot vond een debat plaats tussen verschillende panelleden, zijnde prof. Frederik Swennen, mevrouw Nancy Bleys, raadgever Justitie bij het Vlaams Ministerie van Welzijn, de federaal minister van Justitie, Koen Geens en een jongerenvertegenwoordiger, Thomas van Grinsven.
    On September 29th 2015 a conference was held in Antwerp. The title of the conference was ‘Family transitions from the perspective of the children’. Because nowadays an increasing number of children grow up in newly recomposed families, questions arise concerning the influence of these newly recomposed families on the wellbeing of children who live in these families. Moreover, questions arise about the part which different professionals play within this context. The family recomposition and its impact were studied from different perspectives. Since the Netherlands has introduced an ‘ouderschapsplan’ (‘parenting plan’) some time ago, several findings on such plans were presented from a legal and a sociological perspective. Thereafter, workshops were organised which concerned de ouderschapsbelofte (‘the parental promise’), het juridische ouderschapsplan (‘the legal parenting plan’), het plusouderschapsplan (the ‘plus parenting plan’) and the role played by magistrates confronted with conflicts in the family court. Finally, a debate was held between prof. Frederik Swennen, the Flemish Minister of Welfare, Nancy Bleys, the federal Minister of Justice Koen Geens and Thomas Van Grinsven as a representative of the youth.


Ulrike Cerulus
Ulrike Cerulus is a researcher at the law faculty of Hasselt University (Belgium), where she is preparing a PhD thesis with respect to parental rights and responsibilities within recomposed families.

Charlotte Mol
Charlotte Mol is a student assistant at the Utrecht Centre for European Research into Family Law (the Netherlands).
Article

Access_open Formerly cohabiting parents and parenting plans: Who makes the effort?

Authors Simon de Bruijn Msc, dr. Anne-Rigt Poortman and Prof. dr. ir Tanja van der Lippe
AbstractAuthor's information

    When the Promotion of Continued Parenting and Proper Divorce Act came into force on March 2009 both married and cohabiting Dutch parents of minor children were obliged to draw up a parenting plan when they separate. Parenting plans are not enforceable for cohabiters, however. Using data from the New Families in the Netherlands survey, we examine how many former cohabiters create a parenting plan and how this compares to the number of verbal or no arrangements. We expect that child, parents and relationship characteristics are important for the likelihood that a parenting plan is constructed. Results show that more than half of former cohabiters create a parenting plan. Furthermore, former cohabiters are more likely to draw up a parenting plan if they consult a legal practitioner during their separation process. In addition, the younger the youngest child is, the more likely that former cohabiters will create a parenting plan or make verbal arrangements rather than no arrangements. That is also true for higher educated households and if they opt for residential co-parenting after divorce. Former cohabiters in a high-conflict situation are less likely to develop a parenting plan than make no arrangements.


Simon de Bruijn Msc
Simon de Bruijn is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Sociology and Research School (ICS) of Utrecht University. His research interests include divorce and post-divorce arrangements.

dr. Anne-Rigt Poortman
Anne-Rigt Poortman is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology and Research School (ICS) of Utrecht University. She received her Ph.D. at Utrecht University in 2002. Her main research interests are divorce and separation, new relationship types and legal aspects of partner relationships.

Prof. dr. ir Tanja van der Lippe
Tanja van der Lippe is a Professor of Sociology of Households and Employment Relations at the Department of Sociology and Research School (ICS) of Utrecht University. She is the head of the Department of Sociology and research director of ICS Utrecht. Her research interests are in the area of work-family linkages in Dutch and other societies.

    This report discusses the interesting remarks and conclusions made by the speakers at the ERA seminar, ‘Recent Case Law of the European Court of Human Rights in Family Law Matters’, which took place in Strasbourg on 11-12 February 2016. The report starts with a brief discussion on the shifting notion of ‘family life’ in the case law of the ECtHR, then turns to best interests of the child in international child abduction cases, the Court’s recognition of LGBT rights and finally the spectrum of challenges regarding reproductive rights in the Court’s case law. The overarching general trend is that the Court is increasingly faced with issues concerning non-traditional forms of family and with issues caused by the internationalisation of families. How this is seen in the Court’s recent case law and how it effects the various areas of family law is discussed in this report.


Charlotte Mol LL.B.
Charlotte Mol is a Legal Research Master student at the University of Utrecht, where she specializes in family law and private international law. She has assisted the Commission on European Family Law with the editing of the comparative study on informal relationships. As a guest student she visited the University of Antwerp for two months, where she researched the best interests of the child in international child abduction cases in collaboration with, and under the supervision of, Prof. Thalia Kruger. She holds a European Law School LL.B. from Maastricht University.

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Frederik Swennen, Contractualisation of Family Law in Continental Europe, F&L July - September 2013, DOI: 10.5553/FenR/000008. www.familyandlaw.eu/doi/10.5553/FenR/.000008 (Last accessed: …)