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Understanding Residence Orders

By: Angela Armes - Updated: 10 Nov 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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Unhappy - Your Question:
My ex changed pick up and drop off to suit his work comittments. He use to pick up and drop off from my home, now it’s the School as per Order. Our 6 year old is now unsettled at school and cries. Ex drops him off at supplementary School on his Sunday’s. Our son is ill and has missed School. I need help as he cries and then refuses to go to school. Social services not interested. I need help please.

Our Response:
If the ex is complying with the order, there's not much that you can do. If you feel your child would benefit from a change in the arrangements, speak to the father, let him know how much it's affecting your son's behaviour and see if you can agree to alter the arrangements.
LawAndParents - 10-Nov-17 @ 3:10 PM
My ex husband married me so he could come into the country I only found out after a year of him being in the UK there was also emotional and verbal abuse since I got pregnant with our child and after so I finally decided to ask him to leave our family home which he did he then turned up at my daughter's nursery without my concent then took me to lawyers cause he want our then 18month old daughter to spend alternate weekend with him which I refused due to her age and she's never spent a night away from me which he is aware of so we went to court I have live with order and there is a prohibited steps order in place for him and now he has contact via a contact centre. And he has been offered 2 sessions of community contact for 3hrs starting January via contact centre. What I want to know now is that will any judge Grant his request of over night stay? Am seriously worried of what he might do to her just to get back at me cause he blames her for our separation he has made that comment to me that it because I have her that's why I don't want him and he's told other people that i give her too much attention am seriously worried.
Lish - 10-Nov-17 @ 7:43 AM
My ex changed pick up and drop off to suit his work comittments. He use to pick up and drop off from my home, now it’s the School as per Order. Our 6 year old is now unsettled at school and cries. Ex drops him off at supplementary School on his Sunday’s. Our son is ill and has missed School. I need help as he cries and then refuses to go to school. Social services not interested. I need help please.
Unhappy - 8-Nov-17 @ 8:15 PM
My sons father has a residency order. My son is 9 and stays with me 3-4 nights a week although residency order states only 3. My sons father is fine with this until something comes up which he doesn't like. Usually this is something I question him about. My son will come to my house and tell me his dads wife has put him in his room for full days, her 15 year old daughter has been telling him about periods and blow jobs. So obviously I have questioned this. My son informs me regular that he doesn't want to stay at dad anymore however I feel powerless. My son wasn't taken away from me I let him go to his dads at 18 months old as I was suffering from post natal depression and couldn't cope. I provide for my son take him to his medical appointments take him on family holidays have joined him at football club and swimming lessons all paid for by myself. However when I mention to dad that he doesn't want to live with him he says I only want him so I can claim benefits which is not the case I provide for him as if he is living with me out of my own pocket I do not claim benefits and work full time. When things are okay, my son stays as long as he wishes. When it suits dad we then revert back to the residency order. I want my sons voice to be heard he feels bullied at dads and I feel powerless for him. Any advice please
tasha - 30-Oct-17 @ 10:05 AM
My ex has a residence order and stopped me seeing my children when ever it suited I haven't been able to see my children in 3 years and they have turned my children against me and made them believe it was me not wanting to see them and not because they stopped me My children don't want anything to do with me and I don't know the best way forward
Played - 25-Oct-17 @ 7:18 AM
Thanks to Dr Ekaka. My son has finally be released from the case of social service with the prayer and help of Dr Ekaka, His whatsapp. +447596927164.
Sarah - 24-Oct-17 @ 4:29 PM
Curlytop - Your Question:
My 2 grandchildren have lived with me for 3 months having been put on a child protection plan in August, I am in court Monday to get a residence order, with this (hopefully) in place, can I get the CPP removed as review not due until April 2018 ??

Our Response:
It depends on theterms ofthe Child Protection plan. If the plan includes monitoring their time with you etc, then it's unlikely it will be lifted until the end date. Have a word with the social worker to see what he/she thinks.
LawAndParents - 24-Oct-17 @ 11:40 AM
My 2 grandchildren have lived with me for 3 months having been put on a child protection plan in August, I am in court Monday to get a residence order, with this (hopefully) in place, can I get the CPP removed as review not due until April 2018 ??
Curlytop - 21-Oct-17 @ 6:02 PM
Azz25 - Your Question:
My son who is 3 has been living with me for past 6 months, as it hasn't been convenient for his mum now it is convenient for her can she just keep him or as he's been living with me can I keep him with me ?

Our Response:
You have to come to some agreement between you. If you can't, you may have to consider a mediation service followed by the courts.
LawAndParents - 4-Oct-17 @ 3:22 PM
My son who is 3 has been living with me for past 6 months, as it hasn't been convenient for his mum now it is convenient for her can she just keep him or as he's been living with me can I keep him with me ?
Azz25 - 4-Oct-17 @ 3:15 PM
My husband left a year ago and because of his awful behaviour only one of three girls is having contact with him.In June he put proposals in an email to see her every other weekend and once a week for dinner.I left it to see if he would see it through and unsurprisingly he didn't and last week she came home from a random visit to him saying they've agreed that she'll live with him 50/50.I sent him an email quoting his June proposals and he keeps saying that he will discuss it with my daughter.How can he bypass and undermine me so?I just keep answering 'we'll stick with your proposals of .. June" Any contact with him is devaluing, manipulative and infuriating.I just don't know where to go.
NewStarter - 9-Sep-17 @ 8:54 PM
Debs - Your Question:
My ex husband got residancy on my son when he was 8 he was with his new partner at the time. My ex dumped him back with me when he was 10 and lived with me until last year when at 13 his dad snatched him back he is now back with me after his dad punched him and threw him across the room. Where do I stand and is the residancy order still valid

Our Response:
Residence orders usually last until a child is 16. You may need to contact the courts to make changes. If your son's father is in agreement, this should be relatively straightforward.
LawAndParents - 4-Sep-17 @ 10:49 AM
My ex husband got residancy on my son when he was 8 he was with his new partner at the time. My ex dumped him back with me when he was 10 and lived with me until last year when at 13 his dad snatched him back he is now back with me after his dad punched him and threw him across the room. Where do I stand and is the residancy order still valid
Debs - 28-Aug-17 @ 7:20 PM
My daughter has been with her dad for the past18 months. There was a self-admission to hospital for mental health, around December 2015 -- the Christmas period. There were no direct authorizations from social services. My daughter started a school in his local area due to hospitalization on my part. Mediation was initiated by my daughter's dad and it was agreed that he was happy for my daughter to return home once certain conditions were met and a school placement became available. He has now taken the matter to court and has stated that my daughter is happy where she is and it's within her best interest to continue school in his area -- 120 miles away from my home address. Any advice for court? I am representing myself in court and he has a solicitor/lawyer, etc. He's claiming that he doesn't deem it suitable for my daughter to return with my history on mental health. I needed hospital, now my daughter may be set to stay with him...
Making - 26-Aug-17 @ 10:41 PM
Hi my partner's daughter was sent to live with her grandad with a residency order the mother's barely involved and my partner still has rights since then the grandad has passed and the mother sent her to another relative she now want to send her away so my partner cannot have access what rights does he have to say no or to bring her to live with us does the residency order still stand and can my partner legally keep his daughter to stay with us.
Shelby - 26-Aug-17 @ 4:54 PM
Tonii Ann- Your Question:
In 2010 my dad was granted a residency order for my son, who at the time only being 16 myself was a lot to cope with,, anyway I'm now 23, got another little boy who's 3 that lives with me, everything great there's no1 involved, but my sons now turning 7 and has never been a loud to stop at mine or even come to my house, my dad picks when I can an can't see my son, witch is about once every 2 weeks. I'm really wanting my son to live with me or to just stop a night at the weekend for now, I just want my son back and don't no where to turn Also a single mom.

Our Response:
Ask your family support worker/social services for advice to start with. If your father is not willing to allow you overnight contact and mediation etc doesn't help, you may have to consider court action.
LawAndParents - 23-Aug-17 @ 1:55 PM
In 2010 my dad was granted a residency order for my son, who at the time only being 16 myself was a lot to cope with,, anyway I'm now 23, got another little boy who's 3 that lives with me, everything great there's no1 involved, but my sons now turning 7 and has never been a loud to stop at mine or even come to my house, my dad picks when I can an can't see my son, witch is about once every 2 weeks. I'm really wanting my son to live with me or to just stop a night at the weekend for now, I just want my son back and don't no where to turn Also a single mom.
Tonii Ann - 22-Aug-17 @ 2:51 AM
I have residency of my son who lives with me he still has contact with his mother ..every other weekend but she is getting him to lie about me and telling him all sorts of lies am I with in my rights to stop contact?.
Chris..sfc - 13-Aug-17 @ 10:35 PM
Mania - Your Question:
Hi my husband left me and my children in 2004 I know want to apply for a divorce as there is no contact and we dont know his whereabouts what do I do ? Also he has only seen my son once in his all life , however without a recident order I cant get a passport for my son. And he is nowhere to be find to attened meditation. What Im I suppose to do

Our Response:
Here is the government information on how to apply for divorce from someone whose whereabouts is unknown. To get permission to take a child abroad if you haven’t got permission from the other people with parental responsibility, you will need to apply to the courts.
LawAndParents - 10-Aug-17 @ 11:16 AM
Hi my husband left me and my children in 2004 I know want to apply for a divorce as there is no contact and we dont know his whereabouts what do I do ? Also he has only seen my son once in his all life , however without a recident order I cant get a passport for my son . And he is nowhere to be find to attened meditation .What Im I suppose to do
Mania - 9-Aug-17 @ 6:40 AM
Annon - Your Question:
I have booked a holiday it has been payed off now my ex is saying she is not willing for my son to come with me out of the country I have an interim residency order for 2 months where he is to live with me as her parenting is being called in to question due to her exposeing the children to a violent partner can she stop me takeing him away? Its only 7 days and I have recipts of the full holliday

Our Response:
Your ex cannot prevent you from taking your child on holiday without applying to the courts for a prohibitive steps order from the courts.
LawAndParents - 7-Aug-17 @ 9:46 AM
I have booked a holiday it has been payed off now my ex is saying she is not willing for my son to come with me out of the country i have an interim residency order for 2 months where he is to live with me as her parenting is being called in to question due to her exposeing the children to a violent partner can she stop me takeing him away? Its only 7 days and i have recipts of the full holliday
Annon - 3-Aug-17 @ 12:18 AM
Molly - Your Question:
My daughter lives with my sister as she has a residence order til she is 18 cuz of my drinking. Ive been arrested for criminal damage to my parents house so my sister has now cut contact completely. What are my rights? As nothing was set at court about me seeing her it was down to my sisters discretion. I'm trying to get a family support worker but my little girl will want and need me and my sister is wrong to cut complete contact. Please help I'm desperate.

Our Response:
You may need to get help from the courts with this. Usually social services will be able to advise on suitable contact etc.
LawAndParents - 2-Aug-17 @ 12:16 PM
Liz - Your Question:
Hi my son has been to court 3 times as mother keeps stopping him having his son last court hearing 25 july 2017 the court said my son could have him every other weekend and every other monday 3 weeks holiday a year its now the 27th two days after hearing and she says no he ccant

Our Response:
Your son should write to/email his ex, with details of his concerns and a proposal to resolve the issue (be sure to keep a copy of the letter/email). Unfortunately if all his attempts to negotiate with the other parent fail, he may be reduced to returning to court for action because of breach of the court order. The courts can impose a community service order, fine the mother, impose a short prison sentence (they very rarely do this) etc.
LawAndParents - 31-Jul-17 @ 11:37 AM
My daughter lives with my sister as she has a residence order til she is 18 cuz of my drinking. Ive been arrested for criminal damage to my parents house so my sister has now cut contact completely. What are my rights? As nothing was set at court about me seeing her it was down to my sisters discretion. I'm trying to get a family support worker but my little girl will want and need me and my sister is wrong to cut complete contact. Please help I'm desperate.
Molly - 30-Jul-17 @ 2:31 PM
Vicky, you don't say how old your child is, nor how long ago the current arrangement started, but perhaps she might be feeling separation anxiety ? Perhaps try a different arrangement, instead of dropping her off at her father's, have the father come over and pick her up, or take her to a neutral place (like a park) and see if that helps ? Hope that helps.
Joao - 27-Jul-17 @ 4:11 PM
Hi my son has been to court 3 times as mother keeps stopping him having his son last court hearing25 july 2017 the court said my son could have him every other weekend and every other monday 3 weeks holiday a year its now the 27th two days after hearing and she says no he ccant
Liz - 27-Jul-17 @ 2:20 PM
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
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