Twenty years ago, joint custody was considered a questionable parenting arrangement when a marriage dissolved. Now, with shared responsibility by both parents having become a widely accepted alternative, the debate has shifted toward examining what circumstances make it workable and the extent to which responsibility should be shared. The first edition of JOINT CUSTODY AND SHARED PARENTING, published in 1984, set the agenda for law reform and research on the effects of joint custody. The initial volume reported on preliminary data from the small research samples then available and surveyed existing law. Benefiting from the studies that have been conducted since then and from new legal developments, this second edition--completely revised and updated to encompass the wealth of new research, literature, and law--represents the collective knowledge of child developmental experts, therapists, mediators, researchers, economists, and lawyers. Part I provides an overview of the history of child custody and considerations for and against. Part II, focussing on the factors that influence the choice of joint custody, discusses when it is most likely to succeed, obstacles that can impede its acceptance, and how a workable parenting plan can be structured. Also examined are related concerns such as female dependency, inequality, and economic considerations. Part III reports the results of research on the effects of joint custody for both children and their parents. Chapters examine findings on co-parenting two years after divorce, compare joint custody with maternal and paternal sole custody arrangements, and discuss the effects of custody arrangements on preschool children, child support payments, and ongoing post-divorce conflict. In Part IV, chapters explore trends in the law, judicial preference for one type of child arrangement over another, and the effect of joint custody on Aid For Dependent Children eligibility. Also included is discussion of California's joint-custody statute and Canada's legal perspective. The book concludes with two helpful appendices: a state-by-state chart of all statutory enactments and key cases on joint custody and shared parenting; and a sample joint-custody agreement with alternative provisions to suit different circumstances. There is also an extensive bibliography. Shedding light in an accessible format on the myriad issues, questions, law, and research findings that surround the topic today, JOINT CUSTODY AND SHARED PARENTING is a timely, invaluable resource for professionals who help parents make decisions about child-care arrangements when a marriage ends.