Where will the children live?

In many cases when parents separate, the living arrangements for the children can be agreed amicably. In some cases, however, significant disputes arise in relation to where the children should live. In these types of situations consideration must be given to what is in the best interests of the children. Often, parents find that they must make an application to court when no agreement can be reached. At DS Legal our experts can guide parents through this process, offering advice every step of the way.

The court can make a residence order

A residence order is an order of the court settling any necessary living arrangements for the child. In addition, it automatically gives parental responsibility to any person in whose favour it is made.

There will only be one residence order at any one time with respect to any child.  The order may be quite detailed and may be subject to directions or conditions imposed by the court. The order may name more than one person with whom the child should live but who do not themselves live together.

A residence order:-

  • settles the practical arrangements for the accommodation of the child
  • vests parental responsibility in the holder of the residence order
  • may contain directions or conditions
  • allows the curt to make an order for financial relief
  • carries automatic restrictions concerning changing the child’s name and removing the child from the UK
  • discharges any pre-existing care order.

A residence order will only remain in effect until the child has reached 16 years of age, unless the court is satisfied that the circumstances of the case are exceptional.

Shared residence arrangements

Many parents now agree on shared residence arrangement. Shared residence is a legal status which recognises that, after parental separation, the children have a home with both parents. Research shows that children fare best when both parents are substantially involved in their children’s day-to-day care.Today most judges recognise the importance of shared parenting and are far more likely to award shared residence orders than in previous years.


As with all matters we will firstly assess your eligibility for legal aid. In the event that you are not eligible we will look to see if we can provide you with a fixed fee package depending upon your circumstances and if all else fails we will provide you with a competitive hourly rate which we will seek to reduce from our standard rate (please see our terms and conditions)

Can we help you?

If you would like to discuss any issues relating to your children’s living arrangements, then please do not hesitate to call Mark on 01242 517949, 01792 892692 or 01933 220651. Alternatively, please email us at enquiries@ds-legal.co.uk. We’re here to help.

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