The seminal cases regarding the awarding of shared custody are the cases of In re Wesley JK, 445 A.2d 1243 (Pa. Super. 1982) and Wiseman v. Wall, 718 A.2d 844 (Pa. Super. 1998). Under these cases, trial courts are to consider four factors when awarding shared custody. Often referred to as the In re Wesley factors or Wiseman factors, trial courts consider the following four factors before awarding shared custody: both parents must be fit, capable to making reasonable child-rearing decisions and willing and able to provide love and care for their children; both parents must evidence a continuing desire for active involvement in the child’s life; both parents must be recognized by the child as a source of security and love; a minimal degree of cooperation between the parents must be possible.

The crux of the Wiseman analysis is often focused on factor four. In the Wesley case, the Superior Court stressed that the minimal degree of cooperation under factor four “does not translate into a requirement that the parents have an amicable relationship.” The evolution and application of factor four resulted in courts applying a very low threshold for cooperation in meeting the final factor of the analysis.