Growth of Shared Parenting

Equal shared parenting now accounts for more than 20% of post-divorce living arrangements for children.  Almost unheard of in 1970, shared parenting has grown at an extraordinary rate. Nationwide, equal shared parenting is selected by divorced families in increasing numbers each year. In some states, it has become the predominant form of child custody after divorce, accounting for nearly half of child custody awards.

The rapid growth of shared parenting means that more and more children are being raised by two parents. The active involvement of both parents has been shown to benefit children regardless of their parents' marital situation. In addition, new research has shown that higher levels of shared parenting are linked with lower levels of divorce. In other words, states that have more shared parenting tend to have lower divorce rates.

Child Custody,
Divorced Families, 1997
Data sources:  U.S. Census Current Population Survey.
National Center for Health Statistics.

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