The most critical questions are: “Does shared custody increase conflict between ex-partners?” and “Are there any negative effects on children?” The clearest answers available to these questions can be found in the results of the Stanford project. In Wisconsin, the return to court was considered within two years of the final divorce order for cases that were decided between 1987 and 1992. Of the five categories of child care arrangements examined, the highest rates of return are shared custody agreements and shared custody agreements, 45% and 43%, respectively. Lower percentages were found for maternal care (34%), paternal custody (30%) and the same shared custody (27 per cent) (Brown et al., 1997). Parents with unequal custody and shared custody agreements were twice as likely as other parents to return to court for their physical placement (about 22 per cent versus 10 per cent for the sample as a whole). It was found that these parents were the most likely to use legal assistance and that they had legal conflicts during the divorce process, indicating that this pattern may have continued within two years of the divorce. Analysis by Pearson and Thoennes (1990) showed that respondents` satisfaction with their ex-spouse`s education benefit varied by type of care: 30% of lone mothers were satisfied, as well as 50% of fathers and parents with shared custody and 65% of co-custodial parents. From the perspective of ex-spouses with joint custody, 90% of their former partners had good relationships with the children. This is comparable to 50% for single mothers who keep and 60 to 65% of single fathers who keep their custody rights and for parents in common custody. Requests for changes to custody regimes in the Pearson and Thoennes (1990) sample also differed depending on the nature of custody. Attempts to amend agreements were made in 10 per cent of single custody cases, in 14 per cent of joint maternal custody cases, in 29 per cent of parents with shared custody, in 33 per cent in cases of joint parental custody and in 39 per cent of cases of sole paternal custody. Other studies have looked at parental satisfaction by type of care.

Maccoby et al. (1990) found that women were more satisfied with a custody agreement than single mothers whose children saw their fathers. Both groups were more satisfied with their custody rules than women whose children had no contact with their fathers. Infants generally remain in the basic care of mothers, but toddlers and preschoolers do benefit from the back and forth between households. Second, the analysis of Nord and Zill (1996) with the Survey of Income and Program Participation does not take income into account. Shared custody was marginally related (it came close to importance), whether or not family allowances were paid, but they were not linked to the amount of family allowances paid by those who paid some help. Try to find ways to establish your disagreements with the other parent. If you are thinking about your toddler`s schedule, you need to consider the amount of child care provided by each parent before separation and your child`s temperament. . . .