Send to

Choose Destination
Fam Process. 2018 Jul 2. doi: 10.1111/famp.12372. [Epub ahead of print]

Children's and Parents' Well-Being in Joint Physical Custody: A Literature Review.

Author information

Department of Sociology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany.


Joint physical custody (JPC), a parental care arrangement in which a child lives with each parent for at least 25-50% of the time after separation or divorce, is increasingly common in many Western societies. This is a major shift from the standard of sole physical custody, with mostly mothers providing primary childcare after a parental separation or divorce. The increasing share of separated or divorced parents who practice JPC, which in some countries, US states, and regions reaches 30% and more, results from increasing gender equality due to mothers participating considerably in the labor force and fathers being actively involved in their children's daily lives. This review focuses on the effects of JPC on children's and parents' well-being, based on 40 studies from North America, Australia, and Europe published between 2007 and 2018. In sum, there is empirical evidence from different countries that suggests that JPC arrangements can have positive effects on the well-being of children and of parents. However, the existing studies are conceptually, methodologically, and contextually very heterogeneous. In addition, self-selected highly educated parents with a high socio-economic status, a low conflict level, and children between the ages of 6-15 practicing JPC dominate the samples. Thus, the risks and benefits of JPC are not clear yet and are heavily debated by advocates and academics. The review concludes with suggestions for future research.


Child Custody; Children's Well-being; Custody; Divorce; Divorce and Custody; Joint Physical Custody; Parents’ Well-being; Separation; Shared Parenting; Shared Residence; bienestar de los niños; bienestar de los padres; crianza compartida; divorcio; tenencia compartida; tenencia de los niños; 儿童健康; 儿童监护; 共同亲职; 共同监护; 家长健康; 离异


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center