“Joint custody” and the “interest of the child”: Α feminist critique of the Greek legal concept of parenting


Athina Papanagiotou




The understanding of the legal issues and the socio-political antagonisms that meet and unravel in the issue of “joint custody” erases the trajectory for a reflective discussion of the recent legal reform. Critical feminist arguments should follow a similar path, seeking to destabilise oppressive gender roles and to create political friendships with endeavours based on similar political stakes. The following article looks into the crucial difference between the existing and the new Greek regulation, on which the public controversy takes place. From this starting point the following analysis outlines the reformers’ political (pre-)positions; points out the naturalised gender arrangements implied by the law 4800/2021; highlights the exclusions and the established prejudices that the new regulation introduces in Greek family law. The woman-mother, obviously targeted by the new law, is not the only one who can credibly take care of a child. The multiplication of the positions included in the legal concept of family, the consideration of the statutory vulnerability of the minor and the problematisation of the ethnocentric blood ties, which are reinforced by the concepts of “child-centeredness” and “parent-centeredness”, are analytical objectives of the following article.


Athina Papanagiotou studied law in the University of Athens. She completed her doctoral research in the Democritus University of Thrace and the Birkbeck Law School and her postgraduate studies on gender in Panteion University. She works as a postdoctoral researcher for the research program “ANTISOMATA. Antigones: Bodies of Resistance in the Contemporary World” at the University of Thessaly and as a lawyer.

email: papanagiotouath@gmail.com