Shared Parenting Information Group (SPIG) UK
- promoting responsible shared parenting after separation and divorce -
What is shared parenting?
Shared parenting is the concept that, following divorce or separation, mothers and fathers should retain a strong positive parenting role in their children's lives, with the children actually spending substantial amounts of time living with each parent.
There are a wide variety of parenting arrangements to suit a range of situations and these provide for time-splits from 30/70 to 50/50.
Why shared parenting?
Many children decline to 'choose' which parent to live with after family breakdown, and express dissatisfaction with the artificiality of traditional contact arrangements which often relegate one parent to the role of a distant and infrequent visitor.
Shared parenting offers the children the opportunity to build up and maintain meaningful relationships with both their parents.
What are the advantages of shared parenting ?
Children whose parents share parenting actually do better than children living with just one parent. Research shows clearly that the children who best survive their parents break-up are those maintaining significant and positive relationships with both parents. Research on adolescents in Northern California, showed that those in a shared parenting situation (four nights or more with each parent every two weeks) had higher levels of satisfaction than those living with one parent. It also showed that shared parenting can be successful even with high conflict between parents since it allowed children to keep good relations with both parents. (from One Parent Families Scotland)
- It ensures continuation of family life for the child, with the advantage of nurture and meaningful and lasting relationships with both parents rather than just one.
- It reassures children that they have two parents, and although they live in separate places, the children definitely have a home with each of them.
- It ensures that one parent is not unfairly burdened with the responsibility of discipline whilst the other becomes merely the fun or contact parent.
- It dispels the notion that only one parent is "caring" and that the other is "errant" or "absent".
What does SPIG do?
SPIG seeks to promote the concept of shared parenting after separation and divorce. SPIG recognises that this will require a radical rethink of existing policy and practice so they provide resources for interested parties and those working in the field.
This information is available on the SPIG website - which has attracted international interest and contains :
Last updated - 7 December 2002
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