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Understanding Residence Orders

By: Angela Armes - Updated: 9 Sep 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 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
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
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