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Moments of alternating residences Age, Gender and Temporality in Shared Custody

Benoît Hachet

Research Framework: The temporal organization of shared custody is a configuration of alternating residences following marital separation where parents divide their time with the children at separate residences—with the implication that their homes are near to each other.
Objectives: Investigating how age and gender affect the temporal organization of shared custody. The temporalites in question include the daily experience of alternating residences as well as biographical temporalities. We look into the moments that found shared custodyincluding implementation, transformations in the temporal framework and their duration as well as the exits of this organization by using the age and gender of the children and their parents.
Methodology: The analysis is based on 45 semi-structured interviews with separated parents. This is equivalent to 34 situations of shared custody. Participants recruited for the interviews came from across all of France.
Results: When the children were young, the gendered difference in parental skills affected shared custody. As the children aged, the weight of the transformation of temporal organisations and the gender relations between parents and their children influenced this change. As the parents aged, their sphere of possibilityreduced, making it more difficult to support the spatio-temporal constraints of shared custody.
Conclusions: Gender differences between parents affect this organization when their children are young. Gender differences between parents and their children seem to be more significant when the children are older.
Contribution: This article highlights the necessity of rethinking gender relations between estranged spouses or between the parents and their children in a dynamic manner as they change over time.