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Two Homes, One Childhood

Protecting Children from the Fallout of Divorce

In the framework of the 15th international conference of the European Network for the Sociological and Demographic Study of Divorce, hosted by the Centre for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, CLLS, UCSIA organizes, in collaboration with clls, a public opening session at the University of Antwerp on Wednesday October 4th with guest speaker Robert Emery.

Huge numbers of children are affected by separation, divorce, cohabitation breakups, and childbearing outside of marriage. These children have two homes. But their parents have only one chance to protect their childhood.

As a researcher, therapist, and mediator, Robert Emery details a new approach to sharing custody with children in two homes. He explains that a parenting plan that lasts a lifetime is one that grows and changes along with children’s – and families’ – developing needs. Parents can and should work together to renegotiate schedules to best meet the changing needs of children from infancy through young adult life. Professor Emery introduces his ‘Hierarchy of Children’s Needs in Divorce’, provides specific advice for successful parenting, advocates for joint custody and highlights that there is only one ‘side’ for parents to take in divorce: the children’s side. Himself being father of five children, one from his first marriage, Emery brings a rare combination of personal and professional insight and guidance for every parent raising a child in two homes.

Robert Emery is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Children, Families, and the Law at the University of Virginia. His latest book is Two Homes, One Childhood: A Parenting Plan to Last a Lifetime (Avery, August 2016).

The lecture will be introduced by Dimitri Mortelmans, Head of the Centre for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies.