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Understanding Residence Orders

By: Angela Armes - Updated: 12 Jun 2019 | 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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My partner and myself split 5 years ago, he hasn’t seen my daughter in 2 years and refuses to answering anything regarding my daughter who is now 13 and has ASD. I no longer have any details of his whereabouts but recently contacted his mum as my daughters passport is up for renewal, he is now refusing to sign the relevant paperwork! Where do I currently stand on this matter? Thanks
Mum - 12-Jun-19 @ 11:09 AM
Added on from previous message I have had 5 year old since he was 2 and the residency order started February 2017.
M - 3-Jun-19 @ 9:06 AM
Hello I have recently split with partner he has 3 children who I have bought up for three years. He is stopping me seeing them. There is a court order in place that states the children live with me and him as there biological mum neglected them. Do I have any rights to see them? The youngest is 5 so had him since 3 he sees me as his mum as knows no different.
M - 3-Jun-19 @ 9:03 AM
I am the father of an amazing 4 year old boy who spent his first 2 years with his mother. In those 2 years, mother did everything & anything you wouldn’t want your child to go through - attempted suicide, ran away abroad, drug abuse, domestic violence.. until she was arrested but not charged. They had found drugs hidden under my sons cot, drugs in the apartment, blood everywhere & smashed items etc. due to gang member boyfriend. In these 2 years, social services noted all of these concerns but were still convinced on giving mum a chance to redeem herself countless times (I’m a young father & I didn’t know my rights). I found this ridiculous & fought for custody of my son since he was born as I knew I could provide a more stable, loving home. My son has been living with me for 2 years now & mum accepts this but can be spiteful at times. She has been very inconsistent with contact over the two years I’ve had my son (went 6months without contact & decides when she just doesn’t want to turn up), she had supervised contact for a year & a half, & now can only take my son out locally near where I live; she hasn’t contributed at all financially & even asked me for money to take our son out & for cabs back home! I declined. When the situation was flipped & my son was in her care, I paid her weekly into her bank account. I’ve been nothing but amicable, never resorting to any negative behaviour. I’ve been overly accommodating. I now have a massive work opportunity abroad & im scared to just go for it & do it. I don’t know the legal implications of it. I do know we still have equal parental responsibility because I haven’t been to court. No residency order. I have countless evidence of negligence & ill care from mums part from social services & other bodies. She has an extensive criminal record. Every written document advises my son to live & be with me & that mum isn’t to have him overnight. My worry isn’t applying for a residency order, as I’m certain I’d win that. It’s the visitation part that would hold me down to being in the UK. I’m only saying this as I honestly believe that taking this opportunity, for myself & my son, would be life changing for us & I know for a fact that the lack of contact with his mum (which is already rare anyway) would not have a negative affect on him. This isn’t me trying to take him away from his mum but it’s come to a point where I have to weigh it all out & ive already decided in my head what is best. Any advice or help with what I should do?
youngfatherldn - 29-Apr-19 @ 8:54 AM
My granddaughter is 6 and for 1st 2 years her father wasn't interested. He then has been having access but always changes plans on the day and disappointing granddaughter. My daughter told him to go to solicitor to sort out access legally but he hasn't and he not been in touch to see bairn.My daughter is getting her will written up and will be staying I have custody if something happens to her. I have my granddaughter every day plus holidays. I been told I need to apply for residency order? Is that now or after event something happens to my daughter?
Endo - 28-Apr-19 @ 2:52 PM
Hi just a quick question. If a court has made a residential order for a child in a court order and the court order is not in place no more does that still mean the child has a residential order to stay where they are or does it mean the residential order is not in place aswell. Thanks
Jackp - 23-Mar-19 @ 11:08 PM
Hi, I hope you can help. My daughter has lived with me (dad) for a few weeks short of 10 years, under a residency order granted by the court as her mother was going through a troublesome period in her life. My daughters siblings were also removed from mum at the same time. My daughter was 5 when the order was granted and I have done anything and everything possible to ensure they have maintained contact and regular visits including doing the lionshare of the travel to drop her off and pick her up, but she has now stated she wants to return home to Mum - her siblings have also moved back but they are older (21 & 16 respectively) Whilst it breaks my heart that she wants to move back to her mum's,I dont want to stop it from happening if its what she really wants as I dont want her to be unhappy. Through lots of tears and talking - it is what she wants. I don't know what I/she/we can and can't do. Do we have to go to court to have the order overturned ? I appreciate any help, guidance or advice you can give me Many thanks
Kilo - 19-Mar-19 @ 9:11 PM
Hi there. I'm in need of some advice. My partner ex has residency of their daughter and there is a contact order in place as his ex was making contact difficult. They both had PR. My question is does he need to get consent from his ex to take their child on holiday in the uk? Or to take her away for one night? We are aware we do, if we are going aboard. Also, can she take her on holiday for a month, if it effect my weekend contact? Thanks in advance
Lozzer - 13-Mar-19 @ 9:57 PM
I left my husband in July 2018 after him and his parents were so controlling; I lost family and friends! I’m now living in a two bedroom house which is close to school, and I’m a teacher with a steady income. However, when we tried having the children at shared time the children were moving from house to house every couple of days. Unfortunately, I played into my ex’s hand, and said this is not good enough, for short term they could stay with him in the week and I have them at the weekend! But this is not ok, because when he is at work his parents are bringing up the children and he is not even there! I’m more able to give them a steady life but he is completely refusing and I’m afraid I will lose them! Is going for a residency order my best chance?
Chaz - 22-Feb-19 @ 7:20 AM
Hi. I got a residence order for my son 7 years ago after his mother was in a bad place and was no longer able to meet his needs. He is now 11 and went with his mum this weekend and she has now refused to give him back as he has stated he wants to live with her. I called her this morning and she said she was filling out the court forms. I said this was fine but I want my son returned home until we have a court date. She refused and said he didn’t had to come home if he doesn’t want to. Please can you advise where I stand with this
Wc - 4-Feb-19 @ 12:36 PM
My son turned 16 last December and has been living with me for a month now. His father has a residence order and is saying he can't move out. But my son doesn't want to go back as it's more easy for school and his social life with me. His father is saying he has to be 18 to decide. Do I need to apply for a residence order myself as it's in the best interest of my child?? Help please
Mum - 24-Jan-19 @ 10:14 PM
Hi my children’s father was granted a residency order 2 years ago. I have serious concerns for my children with as far as my child alleging violence impacted on them. I’m scared to go back to court. I am only allowed to have my children if I am single if I am in a relationship he refuses because he loves me still. So I can’t live a normal life for myself. Can I run away to another country. What would happen if I do this?
Sophie - 7-Jan-19 @ 1:08 PM
Me and my ex split up July 2017 well he kicked me out after I was doing a few bad things and we have a now 6 year old daughter a year and half on I am not the same person but he took me to court over her last Nov for residency which I didn’t want him to have as I wanted to see my daughter more then once a week and once I was back on my feet have her stay over but he said he would go to court and wrip me and my family apart if I challenged it so he got residency and on the paper I see her at least once a week which I do and ring her every night but when it comes to special occasions Christmas birthdays etc he holds all the cards according to him I can’t go to her school to pick her up or even have her over night etc and I have been told from a friend this week he was commented on saying she lost her daughter the day she went to court I miss my little girl so much and I want to be in her life more but he has me at arms length over everything with her I just need some help to understand where I stand with everything when I ring he doesn’t say right mummy’s ringing at such a time so be ready no i ring and if she’s on her tablet or something he won’t do anything he isn’t working with me on anything with her I feel so powerless and scared I miss her so much but he is so crafty with how he is his family won’t notice it like her birthday he arranges everything and I turn up he won’t let me help plan it for her or Christmas parties at school etc he does everything I have no say on anything she keeps asking me to stay over in my new 2bedroom house I have now as I had a flat before 1 bedroom with rats it was awful so now here she has her own room and he still says no I’m thinking of going back to court to get more visitation rights etc but when I say I think we should he says yeah you do and I’ll go for full custody and I’ll beat you every step of the way
Debs - 3-Nov-18 @ 7:37 PM
Hi I wanted some advice please me and my husband have been sperated for 3 years I will be apply for residency for my 2 children. I wanted to know will that affect the child maintence he gives me
Sarah - 8-Oct-18 @ 5:56 PM
My daughter is going to court for a residency order the social services and her ex and his mother are trying to stop her from having any contact with her kids. she has had to stop the kids from going to the grandmothers where there father lives until after the court case because he will not bring them back and has told her she can only see them once a week. There is no court order and it is my daughter that is taking this court not social services. My daughter has a long list of police reports against her ex for all forms of domestic abuse. The social services have ignored everything he has done and coached him every step of the way because his family are high up in the council. The social worker wants to know her solicitors name and she is reluctantto give it to her as we do not trust them does she need to know his name because these people have power influences. Her ex and family have no emotional connection to these kids at all.
Reyna - 4-Oct-18 @ 10:32 PM
Emma - Your Question:
If one parent is awarded full residency, does that take away the parental rights of the other parent? Can the parent with full residency change the child's name by deed poll if he/she remarries or emigrate without other parents consent

Our Response:
No, just because a parent has full or majority care of the child does not mean the other parent loses parental responsibility. The other parent will still have a say in important issues such as name changes, moving home/school etc.
LawAndParents - 18-Sep-18 @ 3:25 PM
My 8 year old son lives full time with his father in Yorkshire and I live in my home town of Manchester. He stole him in 2012 and was awarded custody in 2014 because at the time my son was deemed as settled. I tried to argue my case and inform them he was abusive and a drug dealer but no one listened. But now 5 years later he is facing a prison sentence because he was caught selling class a drugs. He doesn’t have a stable home and has jumped from relationship to relationship over the years my son grows a bond with these women and children and then never sees them again. He had a second son who he doesn’t bother to see and has just had his third and broke up with the mother to that child. He doesn’t care how all of this will affect our son but he wants my son to live with his aunty while he is in prison and I want him to return back home to my care. Now I am currently under a supervision order for my youngest son who lives with me but everything is going good for me and this should end may next year I have a stable home I have lived in for 10 years my son has a bedroom and is familiar with this home as it is a second home to him what can I do to prove he would thrive better in my care?
Sezy - 18-Sep-18 @ 10:45 AM
If one parent is awarded full residency, does that take away the parental rights of the other parent?Can the parent with full residency change the child's name by deed poll if he/she remarries or emigrate without other parents consent
Emma - 18-Sep-18 @ 7:24 AM
Hi,I’m married to my partner who got residence order for kids and both kids live with us nearly 4 years now, did this residence order grant me step parent parental Responsibility or do I still need any signed official documents from their birth mother, we haven’t got much contact as been advised not to by solicitor, it will be impossible to get anything to sign from her, thank you.
Chris - 15-Sep-18 @ 8:06 AM
radmc - Your Question:
I have been separated from my daughter’s father for nine years. We have an informal 50/50 care agreement. I want to relocate from London to Northern Ireland. What kind of order do I need to apply for if he doesn’t agree?

Our Response:
If the father doesn't agree he can apply for a prohibited steps order. The judge will look carefully at the circumstances and decide in the best interests of the child (not the parents)
LawAndParents - 12-Sep-18 @ 10:27 AM
I have been separated from my daughter’s father for nine years. We have an informal 50/50 care agreement. I want to relocate from London to Northern Ireland. What kind of order do I need to apply for if he doesn’t agree?
radmc - 11-Sep-18 @ 7:16 AM
Separated from the children s father I have a residency order court hearing soon... can i apply for the children passports once I have the order and not put the fathers details down on the forms??
Kez - 5-Sep-18 @ 6:55 PM
Kim - Your Question:
Hi, I have residential orders on my 2 niece's, one is 13yrs i've had her since she was 2yrs and the other is 7yrs i've had her since she was 12 hours old, my sister has had nothing to do with either child since the youngest was 8mths old and i've no idea who is either childs father, would I be able to apply for passports for them?? Many thanks kim

Our Response:
You should be able to apply for passports. The Passport officer will tell you whether you need permission/details of the mother etc.
LawAndParents - 22-Aug-18 @ 2:18 PM
Hi, i have residential orders on my 2 niece's, one is 13yrs i've had her since she was 2yrs and the other is 7yrs i've had her since she was 12 hours old, my sister has had nothing to do with either child since the youngest was 8mths old and i've no idea who is either childs father,would i be able to apply for passports for them?? Many thanks kim
Kim - 19-Aug-18 @ 11:14 AM
HiI have a very close bond with my 13yr old Great grandson.He stays with me for long periods off time .The longest being 6 mths.His father has residence order The child does not want to live with his dad anymore but with me What can i do as he is so un happy at home. Hes aware that the care i give him is better than at home.One min the father says he can live me me then the next No hes coming back .Can you five me some advice for my very unhappy Granson
Joan - 28-Jul-18 @ 2:15 PM
Kit - Your Question:
I have a court order showing my son lives with me (he stays with his father every Tuesday evening and every other weekend), I want to take him abroad next year with my fiancé, his son and our baby but my ex husband is always awkward, do I need to ask my ex permission or do I say we are going on holiday from whatever date to whatever date? As the court order does say I can take him out of the country for up to a month, does that mean even without his consent? Thank you

Our Response:
You can take a child abroad for 28 days without getting permission if a child arrangement order says the child must live with you, unless a court order says you can’t.
LawAndParents - 27-Jul-18 @ 11:45 AM
I have a court order showing my son lives with me (he stays with his father every Tuesday evening and every other weekend), I want to take him abroad next year with my fiancé, his son and our baby but my ex husband is always awkward, do i need to ask my ex permission or do I say we are going on holiday from whatever date to whatever date? As the court order does say I can take him out of the country for up to a month, does that mean even without his consent? Thank you
Kit - 26-Jul-18 @ 10:14 AM
Stacey - Your Question:
Hi a few year ago a residancy order was put in place with my son so his dad couldnt just take him anymore does this still stand as he has my son and is refusing to give him bk

Our Response:
A residency order usually lasts until a child is 16.
LawAndParents - 24-Jul-18 @ 3:42 PM
Hi a few year ago a residancy order was put in place with my son so his dad couldnt just take him anymore does this still stand as he has my son and is refusing to give him bk
Stacey - 24-Jul-18 @ 12:22 PM
I have been maintaining my daughter for 2 and a half years and her mother won't put my name on the birth certificate.... she keeps making excuses.... and saying it's only a bit of paper I have cut the maintenance money down and she is furious that I give her less eventhough she receives the full amount from government benefits for my daughter.... we don't get along hence why we are not together... she even uses our arguments and says that's the reason she doesn't put my name on ... I need help in what to do ....
Clay - 21-Jul-18 @ 3:23 PM
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