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.
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.
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.
my daughters boyfriend is threatening legal action. she is 18 & has a 10 wk old daughter,her &her daughter live with me & my husband.the relationship between them has just broken down & they have split up he wants to take Amelia off on his own for the day but my daughter has said she doesn't want him too but he can come & see her or she will meet him so that he can see his daughter.he has given her £100 since the birth & bought a few nappies 1 box of milk & that's about it .my daughter is scared & upset we don't know what her rights are can you help with any advice please?
trudy - 16-Jun-13 @ 7:13 AM
I myself am the father of two children, girls 8 and 6. They have been living with me for the last 13 months due to the fact that my ex cheated on me and had assaulted them. She is now under a police investigation due to the fact, after a social services report said it was okay for her to have access on certain days, that she assaulted them again. When the first incident happened, i was given an interim residency order for the children, and now I have full residency, as the children have been doing so much better.
I stress that this country is very sexist, and always think that children should reside with their mother. This is outrageous! I say to every father out there who are in circumstances similar to that i was, don't listen to that, as there are many fathers who can provide stability and well being, much better than that of the children's mother.
But, the most important thing of all, of course, is the children. Whatever is best for them should be given.
Andy - 25-Sep-12 @ 4:16 PM
hi daz, im going through a very similar situation, my ex took my chirldren 300 miles away without any conversation.
apparantly we r a bit powerless once they have taken them away, but if we knew wot they were planning then we could have filed a prohibited steps order stopping them leaving,
so were just left with fighting for visits .also they dont have to bring the chirldren to us if they dont agree with this. sorry for the bad news, but have a word with a solisiter just to make sure. As each case can be differant due to personal circumstances. good luck,reguards paul.
paul. - 13-Jul-12 @ 9:37 AM
my partner's mum got residency off 3 of her children after a 2 year battle in court. her youngest stayed living with us. after about 8 months off her mother getting residency her 12 year old was dumped on our doorstep with no warning and no contact since before court. we took her in and let the police and child well fair no. and asked child well fair for help as she has anger problems and my partner cant control her. IS MY PARTNER'S MOTHER STILL RESPONSIBLE FOR HER? AND SHOULD SHE BE LIVING WHERE THE COURT SAYS?
tommo - 1-Jul-12 @ 9:46 AM
My partner was having an affair I went to work one day got home to find she had packed all her and the childrens clothes left a letter saying sorry and moved 180 miles away to be with her married lover what rights do I have about seeing kids can I make her bring them to me because she choose to live so far away?
daz - 31-May-12 @ 1:50 PM
how is a residence order ment t be handed out to the respondent