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Understanding Residence Orders

By: Angela Armes - Updated: 16 Jul 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Residence Order Residency Custody

There may come a time – either as the result of a separation or a divorce – where the issue of where and with whom your children live comes to the fore. For this reason, the application for a Residence Order is normally made.

What is a Residence Order

A Residence Order is an order issued by the Family Proceedings Court, and details which parent the children should reside with. This order normally provides details of when and where the children can be visited by the parent who has failed to gain residency. Once the order has been granted, Parental Responsibility for the children goes to the person with whom the children will be living.

Applying for a Residence Order

You should only apply for a Residence Order if you and your partner cannot come to an amicable arrangement relating to the living arrangements of your children. If this is the case, you should consult with a solicitor specialising in family law, who will advise you on the best course of action to take, and may suggest that a period of mediation is entered into before pursuing the matter through the courts.

Paramountcy

This is the term used to describe how the court will look upon such requests for the issuing of a Residence Order. Paramountcy relates to the importance to the children of where they should live and also what is in their best interests. For example, if the court feels that the children’s best interests would to stay with their mother, then they are obliged to issue in her favour.

The most important aspect of any court proceeding relating to the care and wellbeing of your children is what is best for them. This is something that can become a secondary issue if the circumstances between parents is not amicable. Therefore, if your children are old enough to understand, you should discuss the situation with them, and if they are old enough to decide, ask them where they would prefer to live.

Visiting Rights

If you are the parent that the court has ruled against, then you will have visiting rights. This means that between you and your partner you must agree – or the court will make a ruling on your behalf – as to how often and for how long you see your children each day or each week.

It is important that the children have access to both parents and also have the means to contact either parent as and when they wish to. The court may also rule that telephone calls are allowed in between visits in order to maintain some level of continuity.

The most important thing to remember during the application for a Residence Order are the thoughts and feelings of the children involved. You should – at all times – make sure they are aware of the fact that they are not at fault and are not to blame for the circumstances in which they are caught up.

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Hi for the past couple off weeks my daughter won't stay at her dad's on weekends she cryed and shakes when I meet him to drop her off and he's blaming me for it there has been a court order that he has her every 2 weeks but she's refusing to go and he wants to take it back to court and saying it's my fault I've tryed my best to incorrage her and talk about what she's going to do with daddy but she's just not wanting to go with him is there anyone that can talk to her to see why with out me and her dad there
Vicky - 16-Jul-17 @ 1:02 PM
Ash - Your Question:
Hi I have a question, my daughter is 9 and she lives with her father he has residency order, he could be facing a lengthy prison sentence next month what happens to the residancey order when he is inside? If I was to have my child at my home would I be able to even if some one in his family didn't agree? I'm so confused, I have parental responsibility I also have 2 other children living with me

Our Response:
It's most likely that the courts will decide your daughter should live with you for the duration of the prison centre. The courtform to use C100
LawAndParents - 6-Jul-17 @ 11:51 AM
Hi I have a question, my daughter is 9 and she lives with her father he has residency order, he could be facing a lengthy prison sentence next month what happens to the residancey order when he is inside? If I was to have my child at my home would I be able to even if some one in his family didn't agree? I'm so confused, I have parental responsibility I also have 2 other children living with me
Ash - 5-Jul-17 @ 4:38 PM
Kalin - Your Question:
I also have a residency query. There is a residency order in place where my son (11 years old) stays with his mum the majority of the time. Last week the school found marks on his arms and he's been staying with me ever since. The social services are involved but with the school year ending I'm not sure if I should try and secure a place at a school nearer me for the start of September? Would this be me breaching the residency order?

Our Response:
Yes it might be worth applying for an alteration in the existing child arrangements order. Social services should be able to advise on what they might recommend in the future. You will also need to consider his feelings on this, as his circumstances are already complicated.
LawAndParents - 5-Jul-17 @ 12:26 PM
I also have a residency query. There is a residency order in place where my son (11 years old) stays with his mum the majority of the time. Last week the school found marks on his arms and he's been staying with me ever since.The social services are involved but with the school year ending I'm not sure if I should try and secure a place at a school nearer me for the start of September? Would this be me breaching the residency order?
Kalin - 4-Jul-17 @ 10:53 PM
Hi my son as had he's daughter in he's life for 10yrs she now 11 he split with the mother before she was born but always been there and always had weekends but now she married she stopped access she hates me the court granted access but she keeps stopping it my son as to pay 250 pounds to keep going back to crt he's out of work now what help can we get my granddaughter is so upset she as always wanted to live with us please help us many thanks
Pat - 4-Jul-17 @ 9:09 PM
Portuga - Your Question:
Hi there.Need advise please! Me and my ex were issue with a residence order from court that stated -" the court order by consent: there be a shared residence order with the child shall be with each party to be agreed between the parties time to time. For 2 years my child stayed with me 98% of the time with me, and child benefits were being payed to me, but after those 2years she asked me to transfer benefits to her because she would have natasha(child) living with her therefore she would have her for 50% of the time so I agreed. we endure pace and things we're working well but since January my ex doesn't allow my daughter and me to see or to have any contact, even by phone. I was threatened by her boyfriend and mates at my door step to don't go near if her anymore and I even have to move to a different location in order to feel safe. I miss my daughter. what can I do in order to gain contact again.Regards

Our Response:
Make a note of all the times you've asked for contact and been refused - these are all occasions on which your ex has breached the shared residence order. You can then take it back to court for an enforcement order.
LawAndParents - 27-Jun-17 @ 2:16 PM
Jem - Your Question:
My little boy is 5 and my parents were granted residency 2 years ago. My mum said it would be better this way as I will see him more, and but in actual fact I had more contact when social services were involved. I only get to see my son for two hours a month, she also doesn't fill my me in on his school work meeting being attended for his adhd, which she said I would be. Its been two years now and nothing has changed I done every thing asked of me before court and as I didn't have suitable accommodation I was decilined. What rights do I have to see my son more or be more involved?

Our Response:
Speak to your support worker at social services, to get individual help with this if your parents are now sticking with any contact agreement. You also try contacting Family Lives
LawAndParents - 27-Jun-17 @ 2:04 PM
Hi there.Need advise please! Me and my ex were issue with a residence order from court that stated -" the court order by consent: there be a shared residence order with the child shall be with each party to be agreed between the parties time to time. For 2 years my child stayed with me 98% of the time with me, and child benefits were being payed to me, but after those 2years she asked me to transfer benefits to her because she would have our daughter living with her therefore she would have her for 50% of the time so I agreed. we endure pace and things we're working well but since January my ex doesn't allow my daughter and me to see or to have any contact, even by phone. I was threatened by her boyfriend and mates at my door step to don't go near if her anymore and I even have to move to a different location in order to feel safe. I miss my daughter. what can I do in order to gain contact again.Regards
Portuga - 26-Jun-17 @ 9:16 AM
My little boy is 5 and my parents were granted residency 2 years ago. My mum said it would be better this way as I will see him more, and but in actual fact I had more contact when social services were involved. I only get to see my son for two hours a month, she also doesn't fill my me in on his school work meeting being attended for his adhd, which she said I would be. Its been two years now and nothing has changed I done every thing asked of me before court and as I didn't have suitable accommodation I was decilined. What rights do I have to see my son more or be more involved?
Jem - 26-Jun-17 @ 8:06 AM
Lina65 - Your Question:
I have family court order stating that my daughter shall live with the mother.this has been in place for 3 years. Shes now 11 , nearly 12. when she is 16 we want to move abroad as im setting up business there and we go over twice a year on holiday/business.she really wants to ho now but my ex hubby wont allow it.once she is 16 can he stop us ?

Our Response:
Parental responsibility lasts until the age of 18 so the father's consent may be needed before then. If it went to court however, at 16, your daughter's views would probably be considered.
LawAndParents - 22-Jun-17 @ 11:23 AM
I have family court order stating that my daughter shall live with the mother ..this has been in place for 3 years . Shes now 11 , nearly 12.. when she is 16 we want to move abroad as im setting up business there and we go over twice a year on holiday/business ...she really wants to ho now but my ex hubby wont allow it..once she is 16 can he stop us ?
Lina65 - 20-Jun-17 @ 1:40 AM
Hi there I havea question a friend of mines partner walked out taking there two children with him (he is on birth certificate) she hasn't given permission and police and social services r not going to do anything due to being in the certificate.... She needs to no how to go about getting a residency order to get back her children she has 3 others at home (not his) there us no reason to not have the children at home with her other than the father refusing to bring them home has even left the town with them... She is desperate can anyone help me to help her plz she is in bits
Lou - 14-Jun-17 @ 7:50 PM
Buddy14 - Your Question:
I have a question tegarding residence. I am a mother who temporarily sent 2 of my 3 children to live with their father when my oldest son was very unwell mentally amd was a safety risk to my younger children. Since then my son has my made huge progress and is currently now medicated and doing well in all areas of his life with minimal disruptions to his in regards to his mental health and has built a food reletuonship to his 2 younger half siblings. My partner now refuses to compromise and I want my children to return home and due to reletionship break livong back together is looking like a far distant memory. What I want to know is aftee communication break down and lack of conpromise and stopping contact as and when he feels like it, what will a court look at if I apply for a shared residency order. Hes a good dad but cant always act in the best interests of our children, and I want to split the residence 50/50 as both children need to have their dad in their life. So my question is ehat will they look at and whats the likely hood this will be granted.Many thabks in advance

Our Response:
The courts will assess all aspects of your children's lives. They may ask for a CAFCASS family report, to look into the relationships between the siblings and also with each of you, as parents. We can't really tell you what the courts will decide though.
LawAndParents - 13-Jun-17 @ 11:51 AM
I have a question tegarding residence. I am a mother who temporarily sent 2 of my 3 children to live with their father when my oldest son was very unwell mentally amd was a safety risk to my younger children. Since then my son has my made huge progress and is currently now medicated and doing well in all areas of his life with minimal disruptions to his in regards to his mental health and has built a good reletuonship to his 2 younger half siblings. My partner now refuses to compromise and I want my children to return home and due to reletionship break livong back together is looking like a far distant memory. What I want to know is aftee communication break down and lack of conpromise and stopping contact as and when he feels like it, what will a court look at if I apply for a shared residency order. Hes a good dad but cant always act in the best interests of our children, and I want to split the residence 50/50 as both children need to have their dad in their life. So my question is ehat will they look at and whats the likely hood this will be granted.Many thabks in advance
Buddy14 - 10-Jun-17 @ 1:56 PM
I have a residence order of my 9 year old granddaughter which I have had for 7 years the mother refuses to allow the child to return to me what do I do
Brooke - 7-Jun-17 @ 8:41 PM
At what age does a resident order finish. My grandson who is almost 16 has lived with his step grandmother since he was 9. They lied at court about my daughter and brainwashed my grandson from an early age. My daughter would have loved to go back to court to fight for her son but can't afford too as you can't get legal aid now. His grandmother has full control over him, my daughter phones him 3 times a week, can visit once a month but only for two hours in the grandmothers house with the grandmother present. Her son sounds so unhappy but she doesn't know what to do.
Jayce - 1-Jun-17 @ 9:04 AM
My 13yr old daughter has resided with her father for the past 5years (he has a residency order). She desperately wants to come home and over the past few months been subject to being called 'emo' amongst other things from both the ex and his partner along with being taunted at school. This is affecting her self esteem massively, to the point where she says she hates herself and her life. She wants to come home and live with me. Since she went to live with her dad I have collected her every fortnight for the weekend and half of any holidays.There is a complete break down of communication between myself and my ex and when I attempt to talk I either get ignored or given verbal abuse so he is completely unapproachable. What would be the best way of tackling the issue to get her home?
Ae75 - 11-May-17 @ 10:27 PM
Gem - Your Question:
Need urgent advice on behalf of my partner, his ex has a residence order on his children that they live with her full time and he gets them in the schools holidays but his son wants to live with his dad full time as he is really unhappy living far away from his dad. My partners ex has agreed that he can live with my partner full time but we are now unsure what we have to do to get his son taken out his moms name and put into my partners. Can you help please?

Our Response:
If the courts have imposed the initial residence order, make sure an alternative order is not needed, a solicitor will advise. It may be a simple case of drawing up an agreement between both parents, then registering his son with local schools, doctors etc.
LawAndParents - 10-May-17 @ 1:45 PM
Need urgent advice on behalf of my partner, his ex has a residence order on his children that they live with her full time and he gets them in the schools holidays but his son wants to live with his dad full time as he is really unhappy living far away from his dad. My partners ex has agreed that he can live with my partner full time but we are now unsure what we have to do to get his son taken out his moms name and put into my partners. Can you help please?
Gem - 9-May-17 @ 3:06 PM
nanny - Your Question:
My son now has residency of his son, aged 21 months, in London. His ex partner, the mother of his son, lives in Scotland. She does not work, and is claiming benefits. Can she claim the cost of travel from Scotland to London to see her son.

Our Response:
Which party moved away from the other (geographically)?
LawAndParents - 3-May-17 @ 2:37 PM
My son now has residency of his son, aged 21 months, in London. His ex partner, the mother of his son, lives in Scotland. She does not work, and is claiming benefits. Can she claim the cost of travel from Scotland to London to see her son.
nanny - 3-May-17 @ 1:04 PM
I say partner because we are not married.Would the step parent form still be applicable? Also, your link leads to a document about foxes :-)
Dave B - 27-Apr-17 @ 6:04 PM
Dave B - Your Question:
My partner has been separated from the father of their 2 children for 5 years now. For the last 3-4 years both mother and children have lived with me, but I currently have no official parental responsibility, etc. We have an amicable relationship with their father. Would a residency order be the correct order to apply for to get equal parental responsibility for the children without removal of the fathers parental rights? Thanks

Our Response:
You can apply to the courts to be an additonal person with parental responsibility using the step parent parental responsibility form here
LawAndParents - 26-Apr-17 @ 1:53 PM
My partner has been separated from the father of their 2 children for 5 years now.For the last 3-4 years both mother and children have lived with me, but I currently have no official parental responsibility, etc.We have an amicable relationship with their father. Would a residency order be the correct order to apply for to get equal parental responsibility for the children without removal of the fathers parental rights?Thanks
Dave B - 25-Apr-17 @ 12:02 PM
My partner and I have contact with his daughter on weekends and have overnight access due to court order. And he is on BC. We have had concerns about violence in the household for a few weeks and this weekend his daughter confirmed it in general unrelated convo we didn't question her as She is only 4 but now we don't know wether it's safe to send her home? Can we keep her here. Would we need to apply for a recidentcy order? Is there a good chance it would be approved.
AM - 21-Apr-17 @ 10:56 PM
jodieandrews - Your Question:
My mum got a residence order for my daughter but she hasn't let me see her since what can I do to get contact with my daughter she won't even let me see her for her third birthday I'm so broken without my baby

Our Response:
Do you not still have parental responsibility? Are you supposed to avoid contact with the child by order of the courts? Ask Citizens' Advice how you can apply to the courts for specific contact time with your daughter.
LawAndParents - 19-Apr-17 @ 11:47 AM
My mum got a residence order for my daughter but she hasn't let me see her since what can I do to get contact with my daughter she won't even let me see her for her third birthday I'm so broken without my baby
jodieandrews - 16-Apr-17 @ 7:01 PM
i have A non moleatatipn order.on husband. we want to get back togwther as i have had a complete.mental breakdown and neex hia suppport. u.der the circimstamves qould thw court over.turn thw non molwsrarion orser ao he can come and bwlp me look after or daughteg
jkones - 14-Apr-17 @ 12:53 PM
my ex partners mother who has residencence order on my daughter who is 13 now and she wants to have contact with me , and grandparents wont allow her to see me at all but let's her dadwhat can i do there isn't no social services involved and I have a 6 year old and 3 year at home with me now and denying me contact can i refuse to hand her back when she comes visiting I still have PR
loz - 8-Apr-17 @ 9:31 PM
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