Research project

Absent fathers? The dynamics of fatherhood and partnership after separation and divorce

This project, led by Michaela Kreyenfeld, focuses on the characteristics, behaviour and well-being of separated fathers in Germany. “Separated fathers” are men who are divorced or separated from the mother of their biological children. The project seeks to answer the following research questions: Who are separated fathers? Do fathers stay in close contact with their child or children after separation? What are crucial determinants of father-child contact? How quickly do separated fathers re-partner after separation and how does this affect father-child contact? Do social policy regulations (such as custody and child support regulations) impact father-child contact? How does father-child contact relate to the well-being of separated dads? The project is conducted as a collaboration with Prof. Heike Trappe and Dr. Katja Köppen (University of Rostock) and funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG).


German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG)



1 April 2015 - 31 March 2017


Workshop: Parental life courses after separation and divorce

3-4 May 2018, Hertie School, Berlin


Project lead

Faculty and researchers

  • Esther Geisler, Postdoctoral Researcher for Michaela Kreyenfeld