Research project

Divorce, separation, and the economic security of women in Germany

As in other European countries, family structures in Germany are characterized by high divorce and separation rates. This project, led by Michaela Kreyenfeld, focuses on the relevance of these developments for the economic security of women. The first part of the project deals with the employment behavior of women after separation and divorce, and with the question of how these patterns differ by region, number and age of children, and previous employment behavior; and whether these patterns have changed over time. In the second part, the effect of institutional regulations on the employment behavior of divorced women is analysed. Here the focus is on the 2008 reform, after which spousal support has been curtailed. In the third part of the project we look at long-term effects of separation and divorce, especially on how breaks in the employment and relationship biographies have an impact on pension entitlements of women.


German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs


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?


1 July 2017 – 30 June 2019

Project lead

Faculty and researchers