Children’s Participation in Family Law Decision-Making: Theoretical Approaches to Understanding Children’s Views
32 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2010
Date Written: October 1, 2010
The aim of this paper is to explore children’s views about their involvement in the post-separation arrangements that were made in their families and via the court process in the light of three theoretical models. The three models include two variants of the procedural justice theory – the instrumental and the relational – and Smart’s conceptualisation of children’s ethic of care and ethic of respect. There has to date been little procedural justice research specifically with children. This paper also distinguishes between various aspects of children’s participation, a term that carries a number of meanings and is used in various ways. In particular, it examines children’s reasons for wanting to be involved or not, and the association between the amount of say children thought they had had, how much say they wanted, and the perceived fairness of the arrangements and their happiness with them.
Keywords: participation, children’s views, parental separation, relational models, procedural justice, ethic of care, respect, recognition
JEL Classification: K10, K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation