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Understanding Residence Orders

By: Angela Armes - Updated: 11 May 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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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
My ex husband is taking me to court because he wants week about shared residency of our 5 children. I am really distraut about the whole situation as I cannot afford a solicitor as I don't work so have no money coming in but I am still a partner in our 2 family businesses so I am not entitled to legal aid. I have been a stay at home mum for 20 years as we also have 5 older children as well. When we seperated I was the one that was forced to leave so the children stayed with their dad but I was backthere every day to look after them..time went on n he began to struggle with everything so we tried shared residency but over the following 6 months things got a lot lot worse so in the end the children came to live with me permanently only seeing there dad every other weekend..I have never stopped him seeing his children but this is what he chose to stick to. Now he wants shared residency n I am really worried that he may get...any advice would be muchly appreciated.
H - 4-Apr-17 @ 5:06 PM
My daughters dad didn't return her in November when he has contact and I have had to go through the courts to her brother who is 6 lives with me as well and I have residents of.I am wondering will the court give her me back or will dad get resident now ?
sophie - 6-Mar-17 @ 10:47 AM
Help....i have a residency order for my 3 children... however in september my ex partner who is NOT my eldest sons biological father let my son move in with him against my wishes and then comstamtly harrassed me (domestic violence is on his criminal record)to sign over all benifits or have me done for fraud,i stupidly did so as i was concerned for my son due to him haveing disabilty and needing that money to be supported. Im now in the prosscess of going back to court to have an enfocement order put in place to get my son returned to me. Can my ex be arrested for claiming benifits for a child not his while in breech of an order saying that child lives with me?The police cant help as he is claiming benifits and my son has said he wants to live there even though i dont feel its safe or right. Please advise.Confused and heartbroken.
#heartbreak - 5-Mar-17 @ 10:06 PM
EG - Your Question:
I live with my brother and my nephew, my brothers partner and nephews mother lived with us until recently. She suffers from various mental health conditions which lead to my brother and her care team recommending she live separately. Since then she has seen him a handful of times. Nothing has been done in regards to custody but would I be able, as his aunt and the one who cares for him the majority of the time, be able to apply for a shared residency with my brother ? Or do I not have any rights as my brother is still living here and looks after him too?

Our Response:
You would need to speak with the social workers/care team involved and perhaps consider a guardianship arrangement.
LawAndParents - 2-Mar-17 @ 2:00 PM
Kudzi - Your Question:
Mother arrested, stepdad granted residency orders in respect of stepdaughter. Daughter not getting well with stepdad and wants to return to mother upon returning from prison. what are the options, does she have to apply for residence orders for her child or?

Our Response:
They will need to re-visit the courts to apply for a new child arrangements order.
LawAndParents - 2-Mar-17 @ 12:48 PM
I live with my brother and my nephew, my brothers partner and nephews mother lived with us until recently. She suffers from various mental health conditions which lead to my brother and her care team recommending she live separately. Since then she has seen him a handful of times. Nothing has been done in regards to custody but would I be able, as his aunt and the one who cares for him the majority of the time, be able to apply for a shared residency with my brother ? Or do I not have any rights as my brother is still living here and looks after him too?
EG - 1-Mar-17 @ 8:42 AM
Mother arrested, stepdad granted residency orders in respect of stepdaughter. Daughter not getting well with stepdad and wants to return to mother upon returning from prison. what are the options, does she have to apply for residence orders for her child or?
Kudzi - 28-Feb-17 @ 10:42 PM
Laura - Your Question:
I got a residency order in Jan 2017 because my ex kidnapped our son and I had to snatch him back. Because of this I didn't trust him to have him without one. He is now wanting to take him to France which I don't agree to as still no trust and order or not it won't help me if he was in another country. Does me having a residency order make me able to stop this?

Our Response:
No, this will depend on any other contact agreements you have, especially with regard to holidays etc. If you are concerned for your son's safety, you should apply for a Prohibited Steps Order.
LawAndParents - 22-Feb-17 @ 2:10 PM
Mumoftwogirls- Your Question:
Hi my ex partner phoned me yesterday while he has our daughter this weekend. He has informed me that he would like my daughter to live with him as it's in her best interests! I the mother has full custody/residence and she resides with me. What can I do as he refused custody twice in court two years ago. What are my legal rights here even though I have full residence of my daughter. Thank you

Our Response:
Your ex partner will need to take this through the courts if you do not agree with him.
LawAndParents - 22-Feb-17 @ 11:42 AM
Hi my ex partner phoned me yesterday while he has our daughter this weekend. He has informed me that he would like my daughter to live with him as it's in her best interests! I the mother has full custody/residence and she resides with me. What can I do as he refused custody twice in court two years ago. What are my legal rights here even though I have full residence of my daughter. Thank you
Mumoftwogirls - 19-Feb-17 @ 10:16 AM
I got a residency order in Jan 2017 because my ex kidnapped our son and I had to snatch him back. Because of this I didn't trust him to have him without one. He is now wanting to take him to France which I don't agree to as still no trust and order or not it won't help me if he was in another country. Does me having a residency order make me able to stop this?
Laura - 18-Feb-17 @ 11:02 AM
Iya. I got a residence order in 2013 for my daughter to live with me when me and her dad broke up. We got back together but only lived together for 4months not 6 and have read 6 months then the order is outdate if you live together for 6months.. He has my daughter now he took her from my mums last year. Is the order still in date ? My daughter is only 4years old. Thanks
kay - 17-Feb-17 @ 10:51 PM
Rossy - Your Question:
Hi ive applyed for a residency order for my 2 boys aged 3 and 5 there is a directions hearing on march 3rd and a final hearing on the 3rd 4th and 5th of april, my children are subject to a child protection plan for a further 6 months on child abuse by there mother and her current partner, all social reports state there are concerns also 2 caff cas reports also state they are concerned with further phyicial abuse' so my question is could the mothers solictor advise the mother to reward me of an residency order then waiting a further 4 weeks? which looks likely the court will grant me the order in april

Our Response:
If there is any urgency i.e you feel there is an immediate risk to the children, the court case may be brought forward. However, if a child protection plan is in place and social workers are keeping a eye on things, they may be willing to wait.
LawAndParents - 16-Feb-17 @ 12:47 PM
Hi ive applyed for a residency order for my 2 boys aged 3 and 5 there is a directions hearing on march 3rd and a final hearing on the 3rd 4th and 5th of april, my children are subject to a child protection plan for a further 6 months on child abuse by there mother and her current partner, all social reports state there are concerns also 2 caff cas reports also state they are concerned with further phyicial abuse' so my question is could the mothers solictor advise the mother to reward me of an residency order then waiting a further 4 weeks? which looks likely the court will grant me the order in april
Rossy - 16-Feb-17 @ 12:08 AM
For all you dads out there my son has just got a residency order after year of pure hell what you have to do is right everything down record everything keep a log and eventually you will get your child
JaniS - 12-Feb-17 @ 2:15 AM
My son has just got residency for his daughter after a year long battle of pure hell so all you dads out there do what we did record everything wright everything down times dates recorded everything again time and date it you will get your child
Jani - 12-Feb-17 @ 2:08 AM
I got custody of my 5 children 10 years ago. My youngest is 16 and at school and has decided to go and live with her mother. The mother has rarely seen her and broken her part of the court order in respect of never coming to pick them up at weekends. My daughter and I was very close because she always respected what I have done for her, because I punished her for poor behaviour at home and school she decided to go to her mums. With the court order in place can I make her come back home?
Kevin - 10-Feb-17 @ 6:21 PM
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