Could somebody please explain the benefits of shared parenting . I have read up on it and the principles seem to be good but what is actually the process and what measures are put in place to ensure proper contact is upheld.
I have no real knowledge of this, but from the tone of your question, it seems that you may still have a reasonable relationship with your ex? If that's the case, then you can make an arrangement of care between you as you both see it being best for everyone, and include maintenance in the agreement. If you think it may be helpful, then you can go to mediation to sort out any niggles. As for enforcement, this only becomes possible to any extent if there is a contact order being broken which means that all other options would have fallen away and you'd have been to court.
Can you give more details of the situation you are in?