A Qualitative Synthesis of Children’s Experiences of Shared Care Post Divorce

In: The International Journal of Children's Rights
View More View Less
  • 1 King’s University College, Western University, Canada
  • 2 University of Toronto, Canada

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

€25.00$30.00

Objectives: Children’s views and experiences of shared care arrangements post separation were explored to provide their voices to the ongoing discussions of shared parenting.

Methods: Qualitative synthesis included a systematic and transparent method for retrieval, screening, and analysing qualitative studies. The inclusion criteria accepted studies that were: qualitative in design; included children as participants in shared care parenting time post-separation.

Results: Ten qualitative studies in six different countries with 466 children and young adults were included in the final analysis. Children’s experiences of shared care parenting post separation were mixed and varied depending on contextual factors related to their relationship with both parents, as well the quality of these relationships and the flexibility/rigidity of the parenting arrangement.

Implications: Hearing from children and young adults directly helps to move the shared care debate away from binary arguments about sole versus shared care based on parents’ rights and advocacy views.

  • Andreychuk R., and Fraser J. (2007), Children: The silenced citizens. Effective implementation of Canada’s international obligations with respect to the rights of children. Retrieved 21 December 2011, from Final Report of the Standing Committee on Human Rights, http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/391/huma/rep/rep10apr07-e.pdf.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bala N., , Birnbaum R., , Cyr F., and McColley D. (2013), “Children’s voices in family court: Guidelines for judges meeting children”, Family law Quarterly, 47 (3 ),381410.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bauserman R. (2002), “Child adjustment in joint-custody versus sole custody arrangements: A meta-analytic review”, Journal of Family Psychology, 16(1), 91102.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bearss K. E. (2004), Response patterns of parents undergoing contested custody evaluations. Dissertation Abstracts International: B. The Sciences and Engineering, 66(1-B), 542.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Birnbaum R., and Bala N. (2010), “Judicial interviews with children in custody and access cases: Comparing experiences in Ontario and Ohio”, International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, 24, 300337.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Birnbaum R., , Bala N., and Cyr F. (2011), “Children’s experiences with family justice professionals in Ontario and Ohio”, International Journal of Law, Policy and Family, 25 (3 ), 398422.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Birnbaum R., and Saini M. (2012a), “A scoping review of qualitative studies on the voice of the child in child custody disputes”, Childhood. DOI: 10.1177/0907568212454148.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Birnbaum R., and Saini M. (2012b), A qualitative synthesis of children’s participation in custody disputes. Research for Social Work Practice. doi: 10.1177/1049731512442985.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Blackwell D.J.T. (1992). “The evolutionary process in shared physical parenting: An exploratory study”, Dissertation Abstracts International, Proquest Dissertations.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Buchanan C.M., , Maccoby E. E., and Dornbusch S.M. (1996), “Adolescents after divorce”, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  • Butler I., , Scanlan L., , Robinson M., , Douglas G., and Murch M. (2002), “Children’s Involvement in their Parents’ Divorce: Implications for Practice”, Children and Society 16 (2), 89102. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Carlberg M., , Hardy A., , Elfver-Lindström E., and Julin S. (2004), Alternating Residency Different perspectives. Växelvis boende: Att bo hos både pappa och mamma: fast de inte bor tillsammans. Lindesberg: The National Board of Health and Welfare, Sweden.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cashmore J. (2003), “Children’s participation in family law matters” in Prout and Hallett (Eds.), Hearing the voices of children: Social Policy for a new century (pp. 158176). New York, NY: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cashmore J., and Parkinson P. (2008), “Children’ and parents’ perceptions on children’s participation in decision-making after parental separation and divorce”, Family Court Review, 46, 91104.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cashmore J., , Parkinson P., , Weston R., , Patulny R., , Redmond G., , Qu L., , Baxter J., , Rajkovic M., , Sitek T., and Katz I. (2010), Shared Care Parenting Arrangements since the 2006 Family Law Reforms: Report to the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department Sydney; Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dixon-Woods M., , Bonas S., , Booth A., , Jones D. R., , Miller T., , Sutton A. J., , Young B. (2006). How can systematic reviews incorporate qualitative research? A critical perspective. Qualitative Research, 6, 2744.

    • Export Citation
  • Eekelaar J., (1992), “The importance of thinking that children have rights” in Alston P., , Parker S., and Seymour J. (Eds.), Children, rights and the law (pp. 221235). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ermisch J., , Iacovou M., and Skew A. J., (2011), Family Relationships, in Understanding Society, ed. McFall S., esrc, Swindon, uk. Fehlberg B., , Smyth B., , Maclean M., and Roberts C., C. (2011), Caring for children after parental separation: Would legislation for shared parenting time help children?University of Oxford, Department of Social Policy and Intervention.

    • Export Citation
  • Freeman M. (1983), The Rights and Wrongs of Children, London: Frances Pinter.

  • Fidler B.J., and Birnbaum R. (2006), “Child custody disputes: Public and private assessments”, Canadian Family Law Quarterly, 25 (2 ),137167.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Graham A., and Fitzgerald R. M. (2010), “Exploring the promises and possibilities of children’s participation in family relationship centers”, Family Matters, 84, 5360.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gunnoe M.L., and Braver S. L. (2001), “The effects of joint legal custody on mothers, fathers, and children controlling for factors that predispose a sole maternal vs. joint legal award”, Law and Human Behavior, 25 (1), 2947.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Haugen G.M. (2010), Children’s Perspectives on Everyday Experienced of Shared Residence: Time, Emotions and Agency Dilemmas. 24. 112122.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Johnston J. R. (2006), “A child-centered approach to high-conflict and domestic-violence families: Differential assessment and interventions”, Journal of Family Studies, 12 (1), 1535.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kelly J.B. (2006), “Children’s living arrangements following separation and divorce: Insights from empirical and clinical research”, Family Process, 46(1), 3572.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kelly J.B, . (2012). “Risk and protective factors associated with child and adolescent adjustment following separation and divorce: Social science applications” in Kathryn Kuehnle, and Leslie Drozd (eds), Parenting plan evaluations: Applied research for the family court (pp.4985), Oxford University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kline Pruett M., and DiFonzo H. (2014). “Closing the gap: Research, policy, practice, and shared parenting”. Family Court Review, 52(2), 152174.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lamb M. E. (ed.) (2010), The role of the father in child development. (5th edn.). Hoboken NY: Wiley.

  • Lansdown G. (2001), Promoting children’s participation in democratic decision-making.

  • unicef Innocenti Insight.

  • Lodge J. and m. Alexander (2010), Views of adolescents in separated families: A study of adolescents’ experiences after the 2006 reforms to the family law system.Melbourne, Australia: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lundstrom K. (2009) Växelvis boende ökar bland skilsmässobarn, Välfärd, 4, 35

  • Maccoby E. E., , & Mnookin R. H. (1992). Dividing the child: Social and legal dilemmas of custody. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  • Mason M. A. (1999), “The custody wars: Why children are losing the legal battle and what we can do about it”, Social Science Quarterly, 80, 879880.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McIntosh J.E., and Chisholm R. (2008), “Cautionary notes on the shared care of children in conflicted parental separation”, Journal of Family Studies, 14, 3752.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McIntosh J. E., and Long C. M. (2006), Children beyond dispute: A prospective study of outcomes from child focused and child inclusive post-separation family dispute resolution. Final report. The Australian Government Attorney General’s Department, Canberra. http://www.ag.gov.au/Publications/Pages/ChildrenBeyondDisputeOctober2006.aspx.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McIntosh J., , Smyth B., , Kelaher M., , Wells Y., and Long C. (2011), “Post separation parenting arrangements: Patterns and developmental outcomes: Studies of two risk groups”, Family Matters, 86, 4048.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Morag T., , Rivkin D., and Sorek Y. (2012), “Child participation in the family courts: Lessons learned from the Israeli project”, International Journal of Law, Policy, and the Family, 26, 130.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Neale B., , Flowerdew J., and Smart C. (2003), “Drifting towards shared residence”, Family Law, 904–908.

  • Nielson L. (2011), “Shared parenting after divorce: A review of shared residential parenting Research”, Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 52, 586609.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nielson L. (2013), “Shared residential custody: Review of the research (Part i of ii)”, American Journal of Family Law, 27(1), 6171.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nielson L. (2013), “Shared residential custody: Review of the research (Part ii of ii)”, American Journal of Family Law, 27(2) 123137.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Noblit G.W., and Hare R. D. (1988), Meta-ethnography: Synthesizing qualitative studies. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.

  • O’Quigley A. (2000), Listening to children’s views: The findings and recommendations of recent research. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pope C., , Mays N., and Popay J. (2007), Synthesizing qualitative and quantitative health research: a guide to methods. Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Prazen A., , Wolfinger N. H., , Cahill C., and Kowaleski-Jones L. (2011), “Joint Physical Custody and Neighbourhood Friendships in Middle Childhood”, Sociological Inquiry, 81(2), 247259.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rodham H. (1973), “Children under the law”, Harvard Educational Review 43(4), 487514.

  • Sadowski C., And McIntosh J. E. (in press), “A phenomenological analysis of the experience of security and contentment for latency aged children in shared-time parenting”, Journal of Phenomenological Psychology.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Saini M. (2008), “Evidence base of custody and access evaluations, Journal of Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention” 8(1), 111129.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Saini M., and Birnbaum R. (2005), “Linking judicial decision-making in joint custody awards with evidence-based practice: It is possible?”, Canadian Family Law Quarterly, 24, 139165.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Saini M., , and Shlonsky A. (2012), Systematic synthesis of qualitative research: A pocket guide for social work research methods. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sandelowski M., , Docherty S., and Emden C. (1997), Focus on qualitative methods, qualitative metasynthesis: Issues and techniques. Research in Nursing & Health, 20, 365371.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smart C. (2002), “From children’s shoes to children’s voices”, Family Court Review, 40 (3 ),307319.

  • Smyth B. (2005), “Time to rethink time?”, Family Matters, 71, Australian Institute of Family Studies, 410.

  • Swiss L., and Le Bourdais C. (2009), “Father–child contact after separation: The influence of living arrangements”, Journal of Family Issues, 30(5), 623652.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thorne S., , Jensen L., , Kearney M. H., , Noblit G., and Sandelowski M. (2004), Reflections on the methodological and ideological agenda in qualitative meta-synthesis. Quality Health Research, 14, 13421365.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Trinder L. (2010), “Shared residence: A review of recent research evidence”, Child and Family Law Quarterly, 22 (4 ),475498.

  • Warshak R.A. (2014), “Social science and parenting plans for young children: A consensus Report”, Psychology, Public Policy, & the Law, 20(1), 4667.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Whitehead D. (2012), The shared custody experience: The adult child’s perspective on transitions, relationships and fairness. Dissertation, University of Guelph.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 433 217 44
Full Text Views 225 26 2
PDF Views & Downloads 50 30 4