Journal Article

Exploring A New Family Form – The Shared Time Family

Marygold S. Melli and Patricia R. Brown

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 22, issue 2, pages 231-269
Published in print August 2008 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online August 2008 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI:
Exploring A New Family Form – The Shared Time Family

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  • Marriage and the Family


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This is a report of a study in the state of Wisconsin of a random sample of 590 divorced mothers and fathers who shared the physical care of their children and 590 who had traditional mother custody. It examines three areas: (1) the social characteristics of the families in the survey – their education, occupations, income and family composition; (2) the living conditions of the families: residential stability and adequacy, the formation of a new family, the work hours and childcare arrangements they had, and the health of parents and children; and (3) family relationships including fathers’ contact with their child and parental relationships and disagreements. The report concludes that parents who share the care of their child post-divorce do not differ greatly from those who have traditional mother custody. The report cautions that it should not be taken as an endorsement of, or a recommendation for, a statutory presumption of shared custody on divorce. The influence of the law in changing gender roles is limited.

Journal Article.  18160 words. 

Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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