This paper explores 68 Australian children and young people’s understandings of what ‘home’ means for them after their parents’ separation. Home – a familiar yet complex concept of great personal and social significance – has been a research focus for many other disciplines but not family law. We found that home, as an idea and lived experience, was complex. Children and young people’s descriptions of home conveyed an interaction of tangible and intangible dimensions. Home was rarely defined by children and young people solely in terms of a physical residence; rather it was a fundamentally relational idea and experience, largely created through everyday interactions with significant others. Our study suggests that home is not simply the outcome of conforming to a defined list of ‘good’ post-separation parenting practices, or dependent on the amount of time spent at each parent’s residence: it has an existential significance for children and young people that matters deeply to them.
- children’s views
- post-separation parenting