University of Wisconsin–Madison
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Divorced Wisconsin Families with Shared Child Placements

Shared-placement living arrangements are becoming more common in Wisconsin divorce cases, constituting nearly 25 percent of physical placements in 1997–98. Research from a California study in the 1980s had suggested that shared-placement living arrangements might become, over time, more like mother sole-placement arrangements.
An IRP parent survey conducted in 2001 had, however, suggested that there was considerable stability in such arrangements and that fathers in these arrangements were considerably more involved with their children than were fathers where the mother had sole custody (see IRP Special Report 83). A 2004 survey, the fifth in a series conducted by IRP, provides valuable information on the viability of shared-time placement over longer periods of time, and on the effect of such arrangements on the payment of child support. Together, the fourth and fifth surveys provide a large enough sample, over a long enough time, to assess how shared custody placements affect contact with children and the provision of child support in both divorce and paternity cases.


Child Support, Child Support Policy Research, Paternity Establishment