The most comprehensive guide to non-traditional custody arrangements to date, this handbook provides a step-by-step approach to setting up and maintaining alternatives to single parenting. Ware, a California reporter and joint-custody mother, first invites parents to consider their own assumptions and practices: Is Mom or Dad the best nurturer or chauffeur or moral guide? Before separation, how often did Dad participate in disciplining, or help plan birthday parties, or attend parents' nights? Then, strongly advocating negotiation through a mediator, Wade presents checklists to help parents assess whether they are willing and ready to mediate--along with detailed instructions for interviews with attorneys or counselors. To help determine the custody arrangements, there are telling case studies and examples of plans appropriate for children of various ages. For very young children, parents might decide that one will establish ""home base,"" while the other visits Monday and Wednesday and takes over all day Saturday; for adolescents, children might stay in the family home with parents moving in and out. Throughout, the focus is on the needs and capacities of the child or children, not on what may be convenient for the parent. After the plans are made (and, Wade stresses, in writing), suggestions for running a ""two-household family"" get down to basics like duplicate items (toothbrushes, rulers, even socks), managing pick-ups and drop-offs, and adult dating. A fine resource for parents who want to remain parents, though they don't want to remain married.