Dangers of France’s child-sharing custody system

Child custody following divorce is an important issue and garde alternée – where parents share custody equally, often with alternating weeks of care – is common in France.

The child, in effect, has two main homes and splits his or her time equally between them.

However, leading psychologist Maurice Berger (pictured, left), former head of child psychiatry services at the CHU in Saint-Etienne and professor at Lyon University, says it is rarely a good thing for the child.

“Every three years someone proposes a law to generalise garde alternée and every three years we have to explain the damage this does to children,” he said. It was last put forward in 2018 by a Modem MP but the party later renounced the idea.

“Child experts ...

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