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Researchers map out child-custody battles

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15:20 CET+01:00
Researchers have launched a study to find out why the number of child-custody battles in Sweden has risen by 60 percent since 2006.

In 2011 alone over 10,000 parents launched child-custody battles.

Now, researchers from Lund University are launching a study to find out which parents are fighting over their kids and why.

At least 1,000 parents will participate in the study, reports Sveriges Radio (SR).

The study will map out the ethnicity and class background of the parents and identify their needs.

Annika Rejmer of Lund University's Sociology of Law department believes that there is a lack of knowledge about the background of the parents and the nature of their conflicts.

"So far in Sweden the presumption has been that anyone can get involved in a custody battle and that the conflict is only linked to the separation or the divorce. But there are studies that show that there is more to it than that," Rejmer said.

Smaller studies have shown that parents who go through child-custody battles are often experiencing several simultaneous crises, both social and financial.

They are also more often in trouble with the law than other parents. A common cause of contention is that they tend to doubt each other's competence in caring for their children.

Other potential contributing factors to parents launching custody battles are cultural or religious differences, substance abuse or mental health issues.

Rejmer claims that the law is designed for normally functioning parents and that the knowledge gaps are very wide.

The research project launched by Rejmer and her colleagues will be the biggest of its kind.

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