§ Gillian Merron
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many families in the UK in each of the last three years have been granted shared residency orders in cases where parents have divorced or separated and terms governing the custody of children must be decided and approved by the courts; and what proportion of those orders dictate that custody should be split equally between parents. 
§ Ms Rosie Winterton
In 2001 there were 22,970 residence orders granted in private law proceedings in the county and High Courts. The Lord Chancellor's Department statistics do not differentiate between those residence orders made in favour of one or both parents. The underlying philosophy of the Children Act 1989 is that parents share responsibility for the upbringing of their children, even after their own relationship has failed.