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Child Contact and Residence (Custody)

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Your Position Statement is where you set out your case to the court, it should be child-focused throught-out. The purpose of the Statement is to give the judge an understanding of the dispute and an indication of what you would like the court to do in order to resolve it, and what arrangments you think are in your child's best interests.

Whether you can take your child abroad on holiday is one of the most common questions separated parents ask.

A brief consideration of sole residence awards to mothers and fathers.

Children and Civil partnership Dissolution

FAQs about children and dissolution

Where will the children live?

Married parents share joint parental responsibility and come before the Court as equals. The children's welfare is the court's paramount consideration.

If there is a dispute as to with which parent the children should live, the court must decide one after either parent issues a formal application to the court for a residence order. In considering which parent is best able to meet the child's best interests, the Court will apply the "welfare checklist" (s1(3) Children Act 1989).

What is joint custody?

There are two kinds of joint custody, legal and physical. Joint legal custody gives the non-residential parent the right to participate in major decisions about the children's upbringing and to view various records. In the traditional sole custody arrangement, the non-custodial parent has a right to a limited amount of contact with the child, and the requirement to pay child support, but is in many ways legally equivalent to a stranger. For example, a non-custodial parent cannot access his or her own child's medical records without the custodial parent's permission. Joint legal custody does not affect the child's living arrangements. Often it is granted with the traditional residence arrangement, in which the child lives with one parent but is permitted to visit the other parent four days per month.

With joint physical custody (also called shared parenting), the child lives with both parents, often on an alternating week basis. Joint physical custody is usually defined as a schedule where the child has at least a 30/70 time share between parents, although 50/50 arrangements are common (Ricci, 1981). Joint physical custody is almost always accompanied by joint legal custody.

What is contact?

An explanation of contact in light of the new Child Arrangements Orders.

What is Parental Responsibility?

According to the Children Act 1989 PR is ‘all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to a child and his property’. PR only applies once a child has been born and does not apply while the child is In Utero. There is no legal limit to the number of adults who can have PR for a child. PR was the most significant new concept created by the CA1989 and replaced the concept of parental rights in Section 4 of the Family Law Act 1987.

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