With a foreword by Bruno Vanobbergen, Administrator-general of the Flemish Agency Growing-Up and former Flemish children's rights commissioner.
Nowadays, many children have to live with the repercussions of their parents’ decision to separate. Following that decision, arrangements on the children’s residence and visitation rights with a parent become necessary. These arrangements are often made during a time of emotional tribulation, when children are struggling to find a new balance. Generally, parents turn to the legal system to handle their separation or to manage conflicts that arise. However, these legal proceedings can become very conflictual and although children are directly impacted by the decisions of courts, they are often shielded from the judicial procedure. This results in children not knowing where they can turn to when they face problems. Therefore, child-friendly justice, which safeguards children’s needs and implements children’s rights, is sorely needed.
In this book, the author drafted an evaluation framework with legal and sociopsychological principles to ensure that child custody and contact proceedings are child-friendly. Thereafter, the specific Belgian legal situation and practice is evaluated. Unique insights are gained in the experiences and viewpoints of Flemish family judges and children. The book closes with detailed recommendations and is therefore a must-read for academic scholars, policy makers and professionals who wish to improve children’s lives.
Evelyn Merckx holds a PhD in law, obtained at Ghent University. Her research interests concern international human rights law, children’s rights, juvenile law and family law. She is currently empl... More