Post-Separation Families: Spatial Mobilities and the Need to Manage Multi-Local Everyday Life



The number of post-separation families has been increasing in Europe since the 1960s although there are considerable differences in the divorce and separation rates across European countries. In most cases, families do not break up after separation or divorce; they rather go through processes of spatio-temporal, emotional, and social reorganisation. Furthermore, ‘residential mobility’, ‘visiting mobility’, and ‘escorting mobility’ constitute three different forms of spatial mobility, which play a central role in post-separation family life. However, little research has been done and few statistics are available concerning this issue as well as the impact of these different forms of spatial mobilities on family members and their daily lives. This paper aims to address these deficiencies by introducing an approach to multi-local and family practices to investigate the role of spatial mobilities in post-separation family life for both children and their separated parents. Using empirical research findings on post-separation multi-local families in Germany, the study focuses on the requirements which arise for children and their parents with residential moves and on the strategies the families employ to cope with the resultant multi-local living conditions.


Living Arrangement Residential Mobility Ethnographic Study Parental Separation Separate Parent 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Schumpeter Research Group “Multi-local Families”German Youth Institute/Deutsches Jugendinstitut e.V.MunichGermany

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