Shared care after separation in the United Kingdom: limited data, limited practice?

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

Family Court Review


Tina Haux, Stephen McKay and Ruth Cain

Publication date


Despite legislative reforms over the last 5 years aimed at giving non‐resident parents rights to ‘involvement’ in the lives of their children, the UK has not enacted a presumption of 50‐50 shared care. The UK's emphasis on individual arrangements follows an overall policy trend toward privatization of family disputes. The sparse data that exists suggest that the UK lags behind other Western countries in the number of separated or divorced couples engaging in shared care. This article outlines recent legislative changes, examines the available information on post separation contact and shared care, discusses reasons for the scarcity of data, and concludes with observations on the importance of improved data‐gathering on UK post separation parenting.

Volume and page numbers

55, 572-585





Law And Legislation, Lone Parents, Households, Public Policy, Family Formation And Dissolution, Surveys and Social Policy