Capturing the experiences and understanding of shared care in the UKISER External Seminars

Sharing the care of children post-separation is an increasingly popular arrangement in a number of countries. However, there is a lack of agreement over the terminology and practice among parents, policy-makers and academics. Moreover, the evidence base on shared care remains thin in the UK with estimates of its prevalence varying between three and 17 per cent and little is known about the arrangements and experience of shared care within families. Academics have argued for a long time that the quality of contact is more important than quantity and, yet, we know very little for the UK what happens during contact while the notion that shared care should/has to mean equal time remains fixed in the imagination of many separating parents. This mixed methods project explores how shared care and parenting is understood, negotiated and practiced by separated families using qualitative research. Our findings suggest that communication between parents and levels of conflict as established by existing literature are indeed important dimensions of post-separation care. However, we argue further that the sharing of cognitive load (i.e. the planning and preparation around the child’s daily and future needs) and decision-making of the parents are additional dimensions that help capture different forms of post-separation parenting and care. We conclude by making suggestions for how to capture shared parenting with Understanding Society using existing questions.

Presented by:

Dr. Tina Haux (University of Kent)

Date & time:

25 Nov 2020 12:30 pm - 25 Nov 2020 13:30 pm


Link for online Zoom Meeting: For those who would like join from outside of University of Essex, please register by sending your names to

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