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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

08 SEP 2011

Shared residence: a review of recent research evidence [2010] CFLQ 475


Shared residence, where children divide their time between parents after separation or divorce is becoming more common. This paper reviews recent empirical research on the prevalence and durability of shared residence arrangements, the satisfaction of parents and children, and the impact of shared residence on child well being. The evidence reviewed suggests that shared residence can be a positive outcome where parents are able to co-operate and where arrangements are centred around children's needs but that shared residence in higher conflict cases, typically following litigation, is associated with negative outcomes for children. The review concludes that the adoption of a shared residence presumption in England and Wales would, following recent Australian experience, lead to a rapid expansion of the ‘wrong type' of shared residence, that is amongst the high conflict litigating cases least equipped to make it work for children.

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