Possible impacts on the subjective quality of life of children after divorce/separation of parents in the Czech Republic

Aneta Witzanyová 1, Rostislav Nesnídal 2, Miloš Velemínský 1, Ingrid Baloun 1
1 University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, České Budějovice, Czech Republic 2 Centre for Family and Interpersonal Relations and the Trust Line České Budějovice, p.s.c., České Budějovice, Czech Republic

Korespondenční autor: Aneta Witzanyová (witzaa00@zsf.jcu.cz)

ISSN 1804-7181 (On-line)

Full verze:
Full version

Submitted:21. 9. 2021
Accepted: 22. 12. 2021
Published online: 31. 12. 2021


Introduction: Divorce and separation of parents have a significant impact on the quality of life of children. The experience and psychological development of these children are often affected by parental disputes, which also results in changes in their quality of life.

Goal: This research aims to show what impact a divorce/separation of parents can have on children’s sub­jective quality of life, including the effects on the psyche, and the realization of the child’s right to both parents in the Czech Republic.

Methods: The research was carried out by qualitative document analysis, specifically the grounded theory technique. Ten families who needed an expert opinion for a childcare agreement underwent a thorough qualitative analysis of file documentation. The obtained information was subjected to coding, and the main result established grounded claims.

Results and discussion: The main benefit of the research is that it shows the most significant problems are caused by parents’ efforts to reduce access rights or win disputes over childcare. Often, parents do not hesitate to use various forms of behaviour that are ultimately the most hurtful for children. These threaten the successful mental development of the children and decrease the subjective quality of life. The ideal way to rectify the relationship is to try to reach an agreement, which can make it easier and fairer for both parents, with the help of mediation and psychological counselling.

Conclusions: The analysis and interpretation of the obtained data revealed that the divorce/separation of the parents is stressful for children. Still, the most significant problems are caused by the efforts of the parents to win disputes concerning the care of the children by various means. However, this kind of behaviour is ultimately the most hurtful for children and threatens their successful mental development.

Keywords: Children’s feelings; Ending of a relationship; Divorce; Quality of life; Right to both parents


1. Běhounková L (2012). Fenomén odchodu do samostatného života dítěte vyrůstajícího v náhradní výchovné péči [The phenomenon of a child becoming independent while growing up in alternative care]. Praha: Togga. 208 p. (Czech).

2. Behrman LJ, Zimmerman J (2018). Loving Your Children More Than You Hate Each Other: Powerful Tools for Navigating a High-Conflict Divorce. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.1st ed. 200 p.

3. Berc G, Kokorić SB, Janković J (2006). The Competence Development for Constructive Partners Conflict Solving: The Role of Transgenerational Transfer. A World Out of Balance – Working for a New Social Equilibrium: Abstracts. München, pp. 60–66.

4. Branje S (2018). Development of Parent-Adolescent Relationships: Conflict Interactions as a Mechanism of Change. Child Dev Perspect 12(3): 171–176. DOI: 10.1111/cdep.12278.

5. Clemente M, Padilla-Racero D, Espinosa P (2019). Revenge among Parents Who Have Broken up Their Relationship through Family Law Courts: Its Dimensions and Measurement Proposal. Int J Environ Res Public Health 16(24): 4950. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph16244950.

6. Cochem.pro © 2016–2020 [Cochemská praxe © 2016–2020]. [online] [cit. 2020–05–15]. Available from: http://www.cochem.pro/ (Czech).

7. Corradiniová S (2010). Pojem řádné přípravy dítěte na styk s rodičem – výklad bývá nezřídka problematický [The concept of a child’s proper preparation for making contact with a parent – interpretation is often problematic]. Právo a rodina 12(8): 7–11 (Czech).

8. Eymann A, Busaniche J, Llera J, De Cunto C, Wahren C (2009). Impact of divorce on the quality of life in school-age children. J Pediatr (Rio J) 85(6): 547–552. DOI: 10.2223/JPED.1958.

9. Jaffe P, Scott K, Jenney A, Dawson M, Straatman A-L, Campbell M (2014). Risk Factors for Children in Situations of Family Violence in the Contextof Separation and Divorce. Canada: Department of Justice, 94 p.

10. Kalmijn M (2016). Father-Child Contact, Interparental Conflict, and Depressive Symptoms among Children of Divorced Parents. Eur Sociol Rev 32(1): 68–80. DOI: 10.1093/esr/jcv095.

11. Langmeier J, Matějček Z (2011). Psychická deprivace v dětství [Psychological deprivation in childhood]. Praha: Karolinum 4th ed. 577 p. (Czech).

12. Mahrer NE, O’Hara K, Sandler IN, Wolchik SA (2018). Does Shared Parenting Help or Hurt Children in High-Conflict Divorced Families? J Divorce Remarriage 59(4): 324–347. DOI: 10.1080/105025­56.2018.1454200.

13. Mareš J, et al. (2007). Kvalita života dětí a dospívajících I [The quality of life of children and adolescents I]. Brno: MSD spol. s r. o., 259 p. (Czech).

14. Meeus W (2016). Adolescent psychosocial development: A review of longitudinal models and research. Dev Psychol 52(12): 1969–1993. DOI: 10.1037/dev0000243.

15. Payne J, et al. (2005). Kvalita života a zdraví [The quality of life and health]. Praha: Triton, 630 p. (Czech).

16. Rogalewiczová R (2016). Střídavá péče a rodičovský konflikt [Shared custody and parental conflict]. Právo a rodina 18(2): 10 (Czech).

17. Rogalewiczová R, Killarová T (2015). Realizace Cochemské praxe v České republice (2.) [Conducting Cochem practice in the Czech Republic]. Právo a rodina 17(9): 16–22 (Czech).

18. Štyglerová T, Kačerová E (2014). Obrat v rozvodech [Turnover in divorces]. Czso.cz 2014 [online] [cit. 2020–05–15]. Available from: https://www.czso.cz/…o/0b00225862 (Czech).

19. Theunissen MHC, Velderman MK, Cloostermans APG, Reijneveld SA (2017). Emotional and behavioural problems in young children with divorced parents. Eur J Public Health 27(5): 840–845. DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckx056.

20. Tomešová J (2019). Syndrom zavrženého rodiče [Discarded parent syndrome]. Pravniprostor.cz 2019 [online] [cit. 2020–05–15]. Available from: https://www.pravniprostor.cz/…canskepravo/ syndrom-zavrzeneho-rodice (Czech).

21. Wacker DP, Schieltz KM, Berg WK, Harding JW, Dalmau YC (2017). The Long-Term Effects of Functional Communication Training Conducted in Young Children’s Home Settings. Educ Treat Children 40(1): 43–56. DOI: 10.1353/etc.2017­.0003.

22. Weaver JM, Schofield TJ (2015). Mediation and moderation of divorce effects on children’s behavior problems. J Fam Psychol 29(1): 39–48. DOI: 10.1037/fam0000043.

23. Witzanyová A (2020). Psychosociální prožívání života dětí v dětských domovech [Psychosocial experience in the lives of children in children’s homes]. České Budějovice. Diplomová práce, ZSF JU (Czech).

24. Witzanyová A, Velemínský M (2021). Quality of Life of Children in Children’s Homes in the Czech Republic. Int J Health New Tech Soc Work 16(2): 89–97.