Researchers map out child-custody battles

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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Swedish recipe of the week: coleslaw with cinnamon

If you have some leftover cinnamon from last week's cinnamon bun day, food writer John Duxbury shares his take on this classic salad, adding his own Swedish twist to it.

Swedish recipe of the week: coleslaw with cinnamon
The finished and garnished coleslaw. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Swedes tend to eat a lot of raw vegetables so it is not surprising that coleslaw makes a regular appearance at mealtimes in Sweden. Adding cinnamon may seem a little strange, but a small amount adds a little interest. It goes well with robust foods such as with venison burgers.

Serves: 4-5

Level: Very easy

Preparation: 5 minutes (Plus 20 minutes for the cabbage to marinate)
Takes 25 minutes
300 g (12 oz) white cabbage (about half a cabbage)
1 medium cabbage
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 pinch ground cinnamon
5 tbsp mayonnaise
Freshly chopped herbs to garnish

1. Remove the core of the cabbage and any blemished leaves.

2. Finely chop the cabbage into long thin strips. (You can do this with a julienne slicer fitted to a food processor if you have one.)

3. Peel and thinly slice the carrot.

4. Mix the cabbage, carrot, lemon juice, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl and toss thoroughly. Leave to stand for about 20 minutes.

5. Tip the cabbage and carrot mixture into a colander and drain thoroughly.

6. Add the mayonnaise and mix thoroughly.

7. Garnish with a light coating of cinnamon and some chopped herbs.


– Don't add too much cinnamon. It needs to add interest without being overpowering.

– Don't be tempted to use reduce fat mayonnaise. We were, but the coleslaw wasn't nearly as nice as it somehow seemed to make it greasier. The amount of saturated fat in one portion is, in any case, fairly small, at under 2 grams, so we didn't feel too guilty eating coleslaw made with ordinary mayonnaise!

Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, founder and editor of the Swedish Food website.