Victoria University is asking for separated parents to share their experiences in a survey about living arrangements for their children.
Associate Professor Jan Pryor, director of the university's Roy McKenzie Centre for the Study of Families, said researchers would also look at how the parents reached decisions and how they worked.
The results would be available for groups and individuals who worked with families and government organisations which made policies related to family separations, she said.
"We are interested in parents who have not been to the Family Court other than for initial counselling sessions.
"We are wanting to talk to Pakeha, Maori, and Pacific parents, and hope to be able to interview both parents if that is possible."
Dr Pryor said there was very little New Zealand-based information about how parents made decisions about their children after separation.
"Given recent law changes in this regard, it is important to know how and why decisions and plans are made."