In recent years, an increasing proportion of children of separated parents have come to live in a shared residence arrangement. Numerous studies have suggested that children appear to benefit from having shared residence rather than less extended living arrangements. This paper raises the question why separated parents select one residence arrangement to another, including whether significant family characteristics may explain their choice. In combining register data and data from a nationwide survey that included approx. 6,000 Danish children (aged 3-15), this study find that parents who separate when their child is young not only are reluctant to choose shared residence; relatively, they are also often charged with burdens that may justify a rejection of a shared residence arrangement. When adjusting for family characteristics, statistical associations between residence arrangements and child well-being tend to disappear.