A common misconception is that “shared care” means that the child’s time is divided equally 50/50 between their parents. However, this is not correct. 

In child custody or child arrangement proceedings shared care can result in different outcomes depending on the situation. It is preferable that both parents have contact with the child, but it is often the case that it is not possible to equally split time between each parent. The reality is that each parent has different schedules with work and other commitments and a 50/50 split is just not achievable. 

If parents are going through child arrangements proceedings through the court rather than deciding themselves or using a mediator, the court will help to decide on the shared care arrangements. The court will always put the child’s safety and welfare before anything else when looking at shared care.  

Among many factors, the court will look at child’s wishes of where they prefer to live, their emotional, physical, and educational needs, their age and background. 

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