Keywords: Parental separation – shared care – social norms and practices – policy development
This article explores how shared care following parental separation or divorce has developed in law and policy over the past 25 years, identifying five phases of evolution. It traces the development of shared care as social norm and as social practice, and the interrelationship between the research evidence on shared care and case-law and policy. It explores two of the drivers for these developments: the body of research evidence on shared care and the role played by different ideas or ‘frames’ surrounding shared care – ‘welfare’, ‘rights’, ‘risk’ and ‘resources’ – and concludes that current case-law is significantly more supportive of shared care than either the current policy framework or the existing research base.
The full version of this article appears in issue 1 of 2014 of Child and Family Law Quarterly.