The award of shared custody involves both parents more directly in the upbringing of the children. It does not necessarily mean that the children spend 50% of the time with each parent or that the parents necessarily must move in and out of the matrimonial home every six months, as has been suggested.
It has been defined as “the shared assumption of authority and responsibility by separated parents of common children that permits the children the possibility of counting on both parents…of really having both a mother and a father…”
In practice, the concept of shared custody permits both parents and the courts more flexibility when considering the post-divorce upbringing of their children. This may take the form of the children sleeping in one of their parent’s houses but being picked-up from school and having a meal each day with the other parent.